Saturday, 29 August 2015

Magazine buying..and buying...

This is not a good sign: multiple magazines...

Until now Okaasan always clearly knew which magazines she had already bought, and which she HAD to buy right now.
Magazines are one of her passions. These young women fashion magazines. Always. She never buys middle aged or older person magazines. Fashion magazines with free bag offers.
When I moved/tidied away her magazines a few years ago she got really angry with me and accused me of stealing etc etc. It ended up as a huge family row...was that the time DS hit her and I left home for 4 days? I can't remember now. but maybe. All over her precious magazines.

So, I was surprised a little sad to find all these multiple magazines in her room this week. Not a good sign: she is beginning to lose the memory on something very important to her.

Next morning I asked her politely if she needed all these magazines and whether I could take some to give my students. Okaasan was as surprised as me to see multiples: did I buy these? All these? Why? I must be losing my mind! 
But she gave them up willingly and my Friday students were happy with the windfall. Funny though: my 50-70 years old students all said: Oh, I don't read this magazine myself. My daughter/daughter-in-law would like it though!!

But 85 years old Okaasan loves these magazines :-)

Meanwhile. Family trip to the local festival this morning. Walk in the local area. Sit in the festival. Eat some food. Say hello to a few familiar faces. Okaasan enjoyed it. Maybe. Sat looking at it all. Responded if we talked about something. Ate her way through a curry, some Chinese dumplings, some soy bean snacks and half a sausage. Came home hand in hand with her son.
Family outing. Makes me realize always how frail she is really. Watching her walk. Get off balance easily in a dip in the tarmac. Clutching onto walls and fences.
We are lucky that she doesn't go so far alone now. Downtown by subway is maybe twice a month now. Most of her daily walks are very local.

I'm off away tonight to stay at a friend's home and then early tomorrow driving a few hours east into the mountains to do another day of kayak training. Yippeeeeee!!!
A little scary. But yippppeeeee!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Calling home

Saturday - Okaasan got stuck downtown with no money.
But, luckily, had the smarts to ask a station staff member for help - and call her Dear Son.
Luckily too - that Dear Son and That Foreign Woman were still at home and able to drive downtown and get her. They were just 45 mins away from leaving the house and going out to eat meat and beer...

Good really.
Okaasan gets herself in these situations - heading out without enough money or without her prepaid subway card - but can rescue herself with the help of others.
She hasn't been downtown in ages. And this wasn't a very successful trip.
Don't know what happened with the subway card. She has it in a little leather pocket holder, but moves her things around between multiple it could be anywhere.
I really should go into her room and extract about 20 bags. Give them to the charity to auction online again. Reduce the number of places where Okaasan can hide stuff away.

*** About the November Memories Trip to Okaasan's Hometown - DS says he will talk to his uncle and see if they are home at that time. And if so, go ahead and book air tickets and hotels.
Students have said to me: Is Okaasan excited about the trip?
They are a bit shocked when I say we aren't consulting her about it all all. In fact we probably won't even tell her about it until about....2 days...3 days? before the flight.

Telling her earlier would over excite her. Get her into a panic of clothes checking/shopping/washing/packing/repacking/stressing.
And probably: I need new clothes for the trip! And I must buy souvenirs for everyone!

DS will already be in Tokyo then - he will go a week ahead to meet, greet, eat and drink with friends. So it would be ME on the receiving end of all Okaasan's pre-trip panic.
I don't need the stress.
If we go - I will wash and prepare her clothes. Get her to the hair salon. Get her to have a bath. Buy and send souvenirs to the family.

Tell her...oh..I don't know...2 days before the trip maybe?
That's more than enough time for her to get in a tizz about it.

We'll see. Not decided yet.

* Dad.
Long term readers of this blog (congratulations!) will know that a few years ago I had a terrible, terrible year when my father and then my step-mum died, AND I  injured my knee and could hardly walk AND developed a multiplying ovary system and had an operation etc.
The start of it all was 6 years ago.
My step mum had a car accident and was in hospital.
And Dad...weighed down by a lot of stress...died one evening at home. Cooking sausages. 
It was 6 years ago that he died. 6 years. I miss my Dad still - things I would like to tell him/ask him. Things I know he would laugh at. He'd LOVE the whole Donald Trump madness in the US at the moment.....silly things....
I miss my Dad.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Coming soon....the Homecoming trip?

Road trip with Okaasan.
Yup. I'm clearly a masochist: I have just suggested to DS that this November we should take Okaasan with us when we go to the Tokyo area!
Take her to her birth town Kawagoe to see her brother etc. Walk the old streets of her childhood memories.

Last chance while she is able to walk, talk and understand?
Chance because we are both going this year (he to his usual 1 week of old drinking haunts and me for a short trip so we can both go to the Elton John concert in Yokohama...).

This would mean me preparing Okaasan to leave this house, take her to the airport, fly with her to Tokyo and take her to Kawagoe.
Then hand over to DS and the family.

All sorts of things to consider.
But DS can see the reasons why this might be the year to do this trip for Okaasan. 
He goes every year for a week of meetings friends. But this year I am going too.
And Okaasan is still physically and mentally able to do this trip.

A big problem would be how to keep her away from her old house - where useless brother lives now. Once she got in THERE we might never get her out.....or she might want to bring everything in it back to Sapporo...
And another problem area is what to do with Okaasan the night we are at the concert. Could we leave her alone for a few hours in a strange hotel? Would she wander? Get lost?

I feel we should leave her with family that night.
DS thinks it is all too much travelling.

Anyway. The idea is out there this space.