Happy Birthday Okaasan!
86 years old today.
Doesn't she look GREAT in this picture!!!
Last night we took her out to a fish restaurant in the city fish market for a crab feast - bowls of rice topped with all sorts of marine yummyness, AND grilled crab legs.
She enjoyed it. Quietly in the restaurant. Not much chat. Really focused on the food, getting it from bowl to mouth and chasing the bits that dropped. But sweetly, finally, taking the bowl off the table and cradling it at chest level so she could get into the yummyness easily.
But - when we came out of the restaurant and I got mother and son into this jokey face board she just lit up and gave this wonderful smile :-) We should use this picture as her funeral picture as a wonderful way to remember her?
This brilliant Oyomesan had the idea of going to this restaurant. Past years we've gone to a crab specialty place, and had a multi-course dinner in a private room.
But I thought that wasn't so great - it takes too long, it's just the 3 of us sitting a a table with nothing to talk about apart from print pictures on the walls, the waitress is kind of formal...and the food is too much.
So - I suggested the less formal fish place in the market, with a shorter service and eating time, laid back staff, things and people to look at around us while eating.
MUCH better. I am brilliant.
Dear Son ordered a cup of sake for Okaasan. But after watching her gulp into it for 3 minutes he sneaked the cup away and hid it behind the napkin and toothpick stand on our table, and we put water and tea within Okaasan's reach...which worked well...she never mentioned sake again and stayed happy and safe throughout the evening.
He added the sake to his drinking line-up. I was designated driver.
We ordered good choices. Gave her lots and lots of de-shelled, easy to eat, grilled crab bits. Chatted to the waiting staff and even found that the waitress shares the same birth date as Okaasan! About 60 years difference in year, of course.
At the end of dinner Okaasan told me the childhood memory about her father the truck driver, who sometimes brought crab when he worked near the sea. He'd come home and she'd be allowed, as the oldest child, to wait up and have bits of crab with him. That happy memory is still intact.
And we strolled back to the car on a balmy, summer night. Son and mother hand-in-hand. A successful night out.
Today we both have work and things to do. But I'll probably give her some flowers and snacks.
86 years and going strong.....mentally definitely weaker than when she first came to live with us, quieter, more pliable, accepts help more, needs to focus more on walking and eating, does less personal care, does less of most things.
But still walking, sitting up and down, dressing herself, feeding herself, reading magazines, enjoying TV, shopping - and most importantly LAUGHING at life!!
Happy Birthday Okaasan.