I sometimes get home for an hour or two in the afternoon, between classes.
Time to feed cats, take in laundry, prep an evening class.
Send Okaasan out for a walk. Maybe.
She is always watching TV. So when I say: "You aren't going for a walk today?" she always says: "Oh of course! I am just going" - and starts busying around to get ready.
The weather was iffy and it was already almost 4 pm. But off she went. I tried to get her to wear a coat and take the walking stick. An uphill struggle. Gave up.
90 mins later I was gathering my stuff together to head out for a 6 pm class.
Walked into the entrance hall and to the front door - jumped a mile! Okaasan was sitting on the front door steps in the cold dusk. Sitting on a neatly arranged handkerchief on the cold cement.
"I can't stand up. Is DS here? I can't get up..."
How long she'd been sitting there I don't know. Not so long I think - this time, because I'd been cutting down tomato vines until about 5 pm
Of course she refused any physical intervention from me. Instead she ordered me to bring old newspapers and spread them down on the door step area, into the hallway ...to make the floor cleaner...
So she could crawl on her hands and knees into the house.
I felt helpless. Stood there while this old lady crawled at my feet. Really pathetic.
She could see my work bags and kept brushing me away - telling me to go. I stayed until I made sure she into the house - with only two hallways and a kitchen to crawl across. Then I had to go. Called DS on his cell phone and told him what to expect when he got home in the next 15 mins.
Apparently he got home and she'd crawled as far as the kitchen door. Then she got into her room. Didn't want any dinner.
But an hour or two later she stood up from the carpet nest - and walked so she could close the room curtains herself. All the pain forgotten and gone again.
Is rheumatism such a come and go condition? I have to check up on this. Although knowing anything won't be much help - because she won't allow any action to be taken to ease the situation.
It's a worrying situation. She doesn't remember her own, recent condition at all - and off she goes for a walk. Goes too far. Doesn't wear a coat. Doesn't take a stick. Gets tired. Gets immobile. Needs help.
Mostly either he or I come home about 6 pm - at the moment.
Winter is coming.
He will be away for a week next month on his annual Old Mates' eating and drinking tour.
Then he will start ski work.
I'm hoping Okaasan won't go out walking so much anyway, because 20 mins sitting on a cold step in October is not great, but won't harm her. A month or two from now it will be very different.
There's a TV drama in Japan now called "Massan", it's a very fictionalized telling of a true story about the Japanese man who started whisky production, and how he came back from Scotland with a Scottish wife.
They made their whisky fortunes here in Hokkaido where Nikka Whisky is still a famous company.
The drama is big in Japan now. Okaasan sits and watches it every morning and lunchtime.
But when we talk about it she has no knowledge/memory of the drama and the story.
The information is all too recent I guess - she sits and watches it and understands what is happening. But the same day at dinner - there is no recall about it.
But I'm hoping - just hoping - that the whole foreign-kind-helpful-wife image will lodge in Okaasan's mind and make her think at some level: "ahh I have a nice daughter in law myself, she tries so hard....even if her miso soup isn a bit watery..."