Today is January 10th, 2011. It’s actually a holiday in Japan: Seijinshiki or Coming of Age Day.
Today marks the the third year of my life in Japan. It’s kind of surreal. I never thought I’d be here this long. There is so much I’ve done since I’ve been here, but so much more I want to do. I’m taking a leap of faith this year by leaving my job because I don’t want to go another year saying “If only I had done this,” “If only I had done that…” This is the year I’m going to start taking whatever steps are necessary to live the life I want. If failure a possiblity…of course!! But what noteworthy person ever got to where they are by playing it safe. I have always done what’s logical and gotten the same, results. I’ve always done okay…but that’s just the problem…okay isn’t enough for me anymore.
I found out my 94-year-old grandmother has been in the hospital for the last two weeks. The hospital has just begun hospice care for her. For those who are unfamiliar with hospice care, it’s the spiritual and emotional support provided to patients and families when someone is dying or terminally ill. From what I understand, my grandmother’s systems are beginning to shut down, and it’s only a matter of time. It bothers me so much that I can’t afford to go home and be with my family when they need me. Of course they know how I feel, but being there makes such a difference. I have to make some changes. I’m not sad to hear that my grandmother is dying. I know that may sound shocking, but it’s true.
I am proud so of my grandmother, my heart is so full just thinking about her. I’m proud of her for, despite the bitterest of poverty, being such a strong, loving woman. I’m proud of here for staying with my grandfather until he died around 98 years of age. I’m proud of her for giving birth to and raising 12 kids…if that’s not strength…I don’t know what is!! I am proud of my grandmother for going back to school in her early nineties to get her high school diploma. I am proud of my grandmother for having raised my mother to be a good woman who then went on to instill in me the values that I hold dear.
Grandma, you have lived ninety-four noble years and now all I wish for you is peace.
I love you,
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