Monday, December 10, 2007

The end of a very long week....

Though I love my life here (usually) and really can't imagine living anywhere else (except maybe Hawaii or back in Colorado!), there are times that expats, like myself, really don't look forward to...and this week we had one of those times.

My father called early Tuesday morning....around 7:00, which is almost never a good thing...and told me that my Grandma Neva had passed away early on Monday morning. From what they can gather, she had a massive heart attack...and hopefully, she went quickly and without any pain.

Saturday morning was the funeral and after seriously debating with myself about making the trip, I decided to not make the 27 hour trip home, staying only a day or two before doing that 27 hours again back...as much as I dearly love my grandmother, I couldn't see myself doing that...it would have been emotionally / physically / and financially stressful...and as it was pointed out to me that Grandma herself was not a big one for flying so she would probably understand.

That decided....I still felt (and even now!) like crap.
I've been living in Japan long enough for some of the "responsibility"-guilt trips to attach themselves to my psyche....I am the oldest of my grandmother's grandchildren...I feel as if I have let the others down by not being there.
Silly...I know...but still...that feeling is running around my head, along with some others.
Silly thought #2....did she know how much I loved her? Did she know how bad I felt that I hadn't called her or written to her as much as I probably should have?

Yes, I know...the family understands why I wasn't there....and the guilt-trip is one I am taking all by myself, compliments of me.....

Anyway...enough of that...I thought that I would include a couple pictures of Grandma...she was such a "spiffy" little lady...



My brother-in-law (on the far right) took this picture this summer when we were home.
From the left...Uncle Dan-O, Aunt Janice (my dad's sister), Me, Koji and Issei. Then, my dad, Ron (looking like he just came from a Papa Hemingway-lookalike contest!!! He could win, I think!!), Grandma Neva, my sister Sara and her hubby of almost one year, Jarrett!







My youngest sister, Anna, got married and had a reception in October in Georgia. Grandma went out for the festivities with my aunt and uncle. This is one of my favorite pictures...Sara (on the left), Grandma (great example of her "spiffiness"), Anna (looking absolutely gorgeous!) and once again Papa R.

This was Grandma's last big trip...mom said today that she had actually gotten her application turned in for a passport so she could go to my cousin's wedding, which will be held (possibly) in Belize sometime next year.

So....dear friends, a piece of advice from me....call someone today and tell them that you love them. You never know when it might be your last time. Just pick up the phone and say "hey, I was thinking about you".
I know that Grandma knows how I feel about her...she was such an important person in my life...I'm glad I was a part of her life.
May she rest in eternal peace and watch over us and guide us.

7 comments:

Susan C. said...

I just wanted to let you know I've been thinking of you this last week. I seen your Grandma last Sunday at church looking as usual her "spiffy" self. It was a shock to hear of her passing away the next day, when I had just seen her. I wanted to let you know that it was probably best not to come, the weather was awful, the roads were icy, and they were cancelling flights because of it. I know how you feel though, and nothing can make it better except time. The only thing that I can say to help is you know your Grandma and Grandpa are dancing up in heavan right now! Love you lots, Susan

dkuroiwa said...

Thanks Susan...I'm feeling much better now, especially since hearing about the weather. I'm sure I would not have lucked out and gotten stranded in a nice place like I did when I came home for Daddy's funeral! Mom had said that Grandmas looked really good on Sunday...which made it all so much more shocking. and I'm wondering about that dancing in heaven....you know, I never saw them dance...it was always him playing the fiddle and her listening...maybe they can now dance!! Love you too!!

Anna said...

We all understand beyond a doubt why you could not be there, and what you wrote was just SO perfect. Thank you for that.

Mrs. G. said...

I am so sorry about your grandmother. Cut yourself some slack. I would bet money that a wise woman like her would not want you to spend one minute of your precious life feeling guilty.

And your advice is good. I'm going to give my mom a call in just a few minutes. Maybe my aunt too. Thanks for the reminder.

dkuroiwa said...

Thanks to the people who wrote these comments...and to those who sent e-mail messages. It's friends like you that help everything get into its right place!!!
Much love to you all!!
Debbie

Auntie said...

Debbie, they used to dance a lot. There were barn dances and the Cowboy Ball.

Paida said...

What a nice post Debbie about a neat woman.

I am so sorry for your loss. I know it just sucks being so far away. I remember when Eduardo's grandma passed away while we were in Japan - it was so hard for him.

Big big Christmas kiss!