Here we are.
Another cherry blossom season.
And still we are not allowed to meet Okaasan...
This week we had another 10 mins of shout and wave time. Okaasan's face a bit puffy. On its side in a hospital bed. In a room we've never entered. With staff we've never met.
15 months ago we delivered her to the entrance hall of that hospital/care home. Said our goodbyes as she lay on a stretcher near the elevator doors. Then she was whisked away upstairs.
And since then. Online meetings once a month.
Japan IS getting back to normal. The non-mask wearers are increasing, and this summer's slate of events looks almost normal - beer festivals, flower events, concerts. My god, Dear Son and I may even rouse the neighborhood by holding our overflowing BBQ party again.
I hear from students and friends how they get into care homes and hospitals to meet elderly or sick relatives. It is happening. Some restrictions, like 10 mins in the lobby, or plastic screens. But also I'm happy to hear some nursing staff are ignoring the rules and letting families hold hands. We just have to wait....and probably wait some more.
Next week is Golden Week in Japan. Several public holidays together. A time to travel and relax. Traffic jams and crowded places. A time for us to hang out quietly at home. I might tidy the garden. Read some books.
Recently just getting into my new work routines. Thankfully I picked up more work this year, which will make the bank account a little healthier (JUST in time for the UK spending credit card bills!!). Dear Remaining Cat is getting his mojo back, heading outside more to catch mice, and learning how in the bed/on the sofa/under the blanket are ALL his space now.
We paid a lot of money to give him a total heath check. And were so relieved that it came back: All Good. For a 13 year old, kind of overweight feline - he is doing okay. Needs some special food to keep his kidneys healthy. Needs supplements to help his joints up/down stairs. But not likely to plunge us into a health crises in the immediate months ahead.
We can't do that again right now. I still dream of his brother. Dream of two cats running around the home. Still walk into the living room and pat the little ceramic jar that holds the slightly smashed up bones of my sweet furboy. I still can't believe he is gone for ever. He often sat here with me at the computer. Heavy against my left arm, forcing me to reply to Facebook stuff with one hand typing in all lower case.
We are fine.
Okaasan is fine.
There are cherry blossoms in north Japan.