I have about four hours before I need to go to the airport. Grandma is up and moving. I've been for my last walk in the hills. The sewing machines have been put away. My bags are packed.
My last days in California have been mixed with fun and concerns. Liz sent me some more beautiful batiks to give to my friend who does stained glass quilts. I have had some good, long telephone calls with her! A couple of my English students (children) sent me letters (I assigned homework!) and that brought smiles to my face. Marcy and I went out to the movies and gorged ourselves at the Cheesecake factory. What's another day of indulgence?
But as always in my last days of vacation I feel sad about leaving my mother again. For nearly a week now when I talk about returning to Japan, she asks me plaintively if I really have to go.
"Can't you stay longer? Why do you have to go?"
I take a brisk, cheerful attitude.
"Because Tetsu is waiting for me. Because the cats are driving him crazy. Because I have to go back to work."
That will my mollify Grandma for the moment but a few minutes later she is asking if I can't stay again. It is like salt in wounds. I don't want to leave her either. I want to stay near and make sure someone is chatting with her, feeding her, cleaning up after her, making her stay connected to the world. I fear that a year hence things will have changed too much. But what can I do? Marcy and Keion take care of her as they see fit (maybe they think I coddle her too much). I have a patient husband that needs me too. For all I know Grandma will forget that I was even here for a whole month...
I love this picture of Takumi and Grandma. He looks so tall and strong next to her frailness.
And this one of Leiya supporting Grandma as they walk through a garden. Not such great lighting but they both shine.
It is good for my kids to have pictures to look back on and know they were loving with Grandma and she was happy while they visited.
I need to remember that too.