Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Okaasan catch-up

Okaasan - so how is she?
While so much happens at my end of this household...what about her?

She is ok, I guess.
The hot weather was tough for her, despite all the "I'm from Honshu so I'm used to for hotter" chat, but even so she went out almost every day for lunch and/or walking/shopping. While 200 people across Japan died from heatstroke I was was worried about Okaasan and I kept giving her bottles of water to remind her to drink...but I have to guilty say that Yujiro and I kept the electric fan upstairs and used it ourselves for most of the heat.

Hula dance has stepped up to twice a week. There is a dance event in September and the teacher has got Monday AND Tuesday classes going to get her students ready. This is so Japanese - a hobby group are taking practice to a whole other level and working themselves to a frenzy.

Ohta-san has told Yujiro that Okaasan finds learning the new dance routines hard, it's faster than usual and more complex. Okaasan hasn't said anything about it. Yujiro isn't saying anything. She seems to want to go. Certainly after the misunderstandings and hurt feelings of the Hula in the Park earlier this summer we won't try to stop/limit Okaasan's involvement in the coming event.

So, she's ok. Watching TV, hanging laundry, chatting hamster wheel stories. Needing a haircut very badly. Basically ok.

My end: Tuesday was tough tough tough. Leave the house at 9.45 am - teach three community center classes - drive 40 mins (x2) - get home about 5 pm - exhausted. Telling students about it all. Talking to the center managers about substitute teachers. The first two classes were fine, but my 3 pm I was getting backache and feeling hot and a bit strange. I managed to drive home and lay down for an hour. My stomach was enormous. But I managed to get up and sit for Family Dinner...a bit of fish and a bite of salad.
I'm beginning to think I won't be able to carry on a full teaching schedule right up to September 11th.

But wonderful thing: I put a message out on the Hokkaido Insider e mail service - which connects many of us ex-pats here - asking for other foreign women who've had gynecological operations to contact me and share their experiences...I want to ask questions about how I'll be prepped for this operation really detailed stuff...I've never had an operation...I mean, they stick a tube inside you to catch the pee right? Things like that? Got a great response from other expat wimmin in Sapporo - when I get a quiet time I'll be contacting them. I want to know what is going to happen, so I can panic in advance.

And finally.

My Dad. He died 1 year ago today. He'd just come home from visiting his wife in hospital, he was cooking sausages for tea, probably the TV was on with the news, his dog was with him. He'd felt sick that day, the doctor had come but done nothing much. He was worried about his wife in hospital. He collapsed in his living room with a burst pancreas. Two days later....found by the postman.

Tomorrow his wife will go home after her latest stay in hospital - we all hope she gets strong enough to stay living at home. But maybe a nursing home life is getting closer.
I've missed him. Missed talking about news stories together (he was a national newspaper photographer for 40 years), missed his funny cartoon cards, missed his detailed descriptions of "what-I-ate". Missed his enthusiasm. Missed him.


  1. Hi, I hope you will be able to take things a little quietly until your operation. I'm sorry to hear about your dad. That is a very sad story. Anniversaries always suck in that way, and especially the 1st one. I still miss my dad, even though he passed away 4 years ago.
    Take it easy today won't you!

  2. I'm sorry about your dad... He sounds like he was a great man and I'm sure you miss him a lot.

    In a weird dad died on August 25 too. He had pancreatic cancer. It was a long time ago though and we weren't as close as it sounds you were to your father.

  3. sorry about your father. Anniversaries are a bitch.

    Big hugs.