This is for a special lady, who’s also a mom who’s dear to us. She is a lady whom I met one summer, 11 years ago.
Kono-bachan (Grandma Kono) is my husband’s grandmother (his mother’s mother). The first time I met her was before I got married to her grandson. She was ‘only’ 83 years old that time.
In her generation where mingling or meeting foreigners is almost unknown, she welcomed me with open arms and was smiling and accepting. She did look at me strangely at first with the question in her mind, addressed to my (then) boyfriend: “From where did this lady come from?” In M’s small town, there are only very few foreigners and every time I go there, until now, I still get the questioning looks from people. They even attempt to talk to me in very slow and basic Japanese thinking I don’t understand a thing. It’s always awkward to talk back.
Kono-bachan and Pristine share the same birthday on December 23rd, 87 years apart. Pristine first met her when she was 6 months old and crying at every stranger that gets near her. But when I seated her on Kono-bachan’s bed, there were no hysteric reaction. She even touched her face.
She is the only living grandparent of my husband and we love her dearly. Up until today, she still writes a diary everyday and our names are in some of the pages of that diary. We go straight to her “home” (elderly care centre) the moment we go to that town. We always visit her first.
It’s been more than 2 years since we last saw her and we miss her a lot. She’s 94 now, still active and lively like when I first met her 11 years ago (as per my father in law’s report). She’s so strong despite the things she has gone through in her younger years: a battered wife, a mom who lost one of her child early. I wish I’d have even half her grace when I reach her age (if ever).
We wish to see her again soon. Happy mother’s day to Kono bachan and to all moms out there!