Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grandma Elsie  エルシーおばあちゃん

In March, when I went to see Ty, I also took advantage of the opportunity to visit Grandma Elsie (Loren's grandma) who is living in a nursing home in Brookfield (near Milwaukke), Wisconsin. (Milwaukee and Chicago are about an hour away.)

As some of you know, Grandma Elsie is a very important person in my life. While I was with Loren for almost 4 years, I spent the whole 4 years with her here on Maui.  Those days can be read in the following postings.
The last time I saw her was last July with Ty. I wrote about it in this posting.

Very fortunately, Loren and I have been good friends since we separated. We are more than just friends now. We feel like we are a brother and a sister. I always wanted an older sibling, but it was impossible as I was the first born child, but now I know that it was possible :-) Well, anyhow, so we kept in touch and talked about how Grandma was doing time to time, and Loren told me past February that she was getting weaker. That was another factor that made me want to go to Chicago in March. I met up with Loren in Milwaukee (he was there before me), and we saw Grandma Elsie at a couple of occasions. We took her out for a dinner. We also did not forget to take her out for an ice cream outing (she is a big ice cream lover).

Although Grandma was a bit thinner and weaker, her shining smiles and cheerful rascally character was still there. Her sense of humor was still keen and wit-full. She made us laugh so many times. At the same time, I noticed how faster she got tired, and how the density of her existence was thinner than before. Each minute and second I was with her was precious because I was in the reminder of how any beauty won't last forever in a physical matter. Someday soon, she will go back to where she came from. That was a fact that was clear the whole time I was with her and made me even more appreciate the beauty of her as a soul and beauty of this world. Everything is living its 100% at any given moment.

Saying good bye was again very difficult. It does not seem to get any easier. She had us sit on the edge of her bed, and she started pray for us just like the last time. No matter how weak she gets, her strength and bigness as our "grandmother" is always there. I felt deeply loved by her, and I felt a deep love for her that words cannot describe.

She is an angel God sent my way.

This time, I stayed at Loren's mom (Melanie) and her partner (Gus)'s house in Milwaukee. Thank you, Melani and Gus for letting me stay at your place. Melani even said that Ty and I could stay at her place whenever we visit Milwaukee. Everyone in Loren's family warmly welcomed me again, and Loren even jokingly said, "Do you remember we adopted a girl from Japan when she was small? Look, now she is all grown up and came back to say hi to us. She is my little sister." Seeing his family responding by saying, "Oh yea, I guess I remember that now..." I felt something hot was flowing to my eyes from heart.

I am not sure if I get to see Grandma Elsie again before anything happens, but my heart is with her, and she will always remain in a special place in my heart.

---------------------------- Japanese --------------------------





とても幸いなことに、ローレンと私は別れてからも良い友人関係を保っています。そしてそれはただの友人以上のもので、まるで兄と妹のような関係へと発達しました。いつもお兄ちゃんかお姉ちゃんが欲しかったものの、一番最初に生まれた以上それが無理であることは子供の頃から渋々承知していたことでした。でも、それが可能なことを今知りました:-) ということで、私たちは今も連絡を取り合い、おばあちゃんの様子をローレンから聞いていました。この前の二月にローレンから「おばあちゃん、あまり状態が良くないんだ」と聞いたのが、三月にシカゴ行きを決めた理由でもありました。ミルワーキーでローレンと合流し(彼は先に行っていました)、おばあちゃんと何度か時間を過ごすことが出来ました。三人で夕飯を食べに行ったり、勿論アイスクリーム屋さんにお連れすることも忘れませんでした。(おばあちゃんは大のアイスクリーム好き。)







Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

Great update. I haven't seen your blog for a long time, but always very interesting. Our younger son has finished his freshman year in Illinois and will visit Hawaii later this summer. Meanwhile my wife and I get ready for a trip to Europe in the fall. I'm busy with work, so not much time for anything else these days.

Akari Ueoka said...

Hi Bruce,

It's nice to hear from you. Thank you for keeping in touch and thank you for your kind words. I am glad that your son seems to be doing well in Illinois. That's nice that he can visit Hawaii, too. Have a safe and fun trip to Europe with your wife! Don't work too hard, though :)