A sad news has been brought to me by my brother a few days ago. He said that our senior friend, Dr. Wakai, had died on 10th of this month at age 74 years. I have mentioned of him in a post dated on Jan. 3 2016 of this blog.
I have first seen him at a bible class in my teenage days for the first time. He was a med student of Tokyo University at that time. It was when I had decided to go to a med school after graduating a college. He was kindly giving me advices and supports regarding my attempt from time to time. As if doing with his real brother.
While I quit Christianity in my twentieth, he became a competent neurosurgeon with firm belief in Christianity. He has worked for JOCS, Japan Overseas Christian Medical Cooperative Services, and has been to Taiwan for medical aid as a neurosurgeon. Later, he has become a staff of Dept. Neurosurgery at a medical school in this area, where we have worked at the same time for a few years.
Whenever we ran across on corridor of the med school building, he smiled at me saying "How are you doing?" or something else. When my father has occurred traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage due to falling down on an icy road, he has become the doctor on charge for him and eagerly treated him. My father has recovered almost completely.
He has been promoted to a professor in Dept. of Neurosurgery in a few years. It was around 50 years of his age when he moved to his mother school as a professor of International Health in social medical science, where he must have tried to compile all his efforts in medical aid to the developing countries throughout his life. A tragedy has struck him in his mid fifties that he suffered from juvenile Alzheimer's disease. He has had conflict to accept the reality as he told in an interview in a medical journal where he confessed of his illness. Since he published of his own illness, he and his faithful wife have made speeches to advocate on the illness at various places. In the last several years, he has been bed ridden at home cared by his wife and the others.
I wanted to visit him sometime while he was alive. But I have lost the chance. Whenever my sister met him, he always asked her how I and my brother was doing. Recalling of him and his kind friendship as a senior doctor, I feel he has been a role model for me even without being conscious of that. I believe he has asked himself why he should suffer from such an illness in the latter half of his life. It was an absurdity for him but also for me. But I also believe he has reconciled with and accepted his fortune. When, with his illness progressed, it became hard for his wife to make verbal communication with him, she still told the others she would see and testify what God might do with his husband. Even without belief in Christianity, her words, which might reflect her husband's belief, have overwhelmed me.
I would thank to him from the bottom of my heart and say rest in the peace.
The couple's photo taken 5 or 6 years ago.