Friday, 28 April 2017

Opening the past...

Okaasan and Him.
Somewhere in Japan....

ISN'T that the cutest thing?

The past is opening up to me (and him) in photographs. It will soon open up to Okaasan too.
He came back from the family home and brought old photo albums, dusty and full of memories and a life that Okaasan is already forgetting.

Once the house is actively selling.
Once the real estate agent needs Okaasan's permission.
Once she has given it and had the "oldest son has moved somewhere smaller" tale.
THEN we will give her a book case and all the albums.

We don't want to give her the albums now - in case it sets off too many questions about the house in Saitama and the older son ...questions we don't want to get into quite yet.

We are sure the photographs will make her happy. There are some wonderful photographs of a happy, wonderful life. They have been a revelation to me: of the woman Okaasan was before she became an old lady with a brain-sapping disease.

The baby? The school girl? The young, strong-faced office lady on company trips with other workers. The young man who became husband....the little boys (Oh WOW! Dear Son was a clown in endless pictures even then!)....and the fashions, the trips.
In later years the foreign trips with friends to so many countries - Okaasan in a swim suit in the Dead Sea, Okaasan on a camel in Australia, in New York, in England....always nicely dressed, with hair just so, happy and active.

I found myself looking at the date on some of the foreign trip photographs - 17 years ago...was  she already starting to show signs of the dementia then? Did friends on those trips notice strange behavior? WE know for sure that about 10 years ago she wasn't looking after herself at home, beginning to get confused about money....did friends on those trips notice early signs?

I am starting to notice lapses in ability of an older starting to wonder. I sense she is starting to wonder too. Did Okaasan's friends notice vocabulary mistakes and directional errors, strange decisions, confusions...20 years ago?

Glorious pictures, which I will share more of later....
It is so wonderful to see Okaasan in her life. To put images to some of the stories. Already she doesn't talk about the New York trip...hardly about the Kenya trip....will she remember more once she sees these  pictures?
It will be great to sit and talk to her about them.

**  All good here: Okaasan went downtown yesterday alone! By subway alone. And came home ok! First time in half a year?? Amazing!! The good weather is here - spring flowers and sunshine. She feels good.


  1. I think the old family albums are wonderful! I discovered a whole box of them in my Mom's attic: my grandparents as teenagers, my Mom in school... And trips, and parties, and family friends. Having a glimpse of the past helped me to be a better, more forgiving daughter, I think.

  2. Glad to read that your knee is much better and that Okaasan is out and about-yay for spring sunshine! Enjoy

  3. Family photos are such a joy. I hope Okaasan can enjoy and remember all of the wonderful times of her life. Glad to hear your knee is improving. Isn't Spring grand!