I've been suffering from writer's block and a dull mind, so I'm not going to try to write anything extraordinary today. I'm just going to make a list of what's been going on, because some of y'all have kindly reached out, asking me about some situations I wrote about in the past. So today's blog is a letter to my sweet friends here, written pretty quickly because the skin on my hands is already starting to crack with the change in the season, and the reduced humidity in the air. I LOVE the reduced humidity, but not the fact that it makes my hands hurt, and typing a little painful.
My father-in-law. Shiro is still in his house! And he is fine and happy. For a while, I was disturbed by the fact that he was paying a steep price for a nice room at a nearby nursing home but continued to stay in his house, making us all worry and feel we must go check on him every weekend, but my mind has changed. I understand. I would not want to go to a nursing home either. It would be like constantly staying in a hotel, where you're not really free to do as you like or go where you want but are confined to a small space with a just a bed and a TV. Why should Shiro go to the nursing home when he is still capable of living alone in the house he has lived in his whole life? He'll be ninety at the end of October, and his house is scheduled to be demolished in early 2018, in accordance with a city plan he's known about for more than fifty years. Everybody else has already vacated the neighborhood, but Shiro stays on, stubborn to the end. I predict Shiro will agree to evacuate when they finally come to move his TV to the nursing home. His bed has already been taken, so he has placed the vinyl-covered sleeping sofa where his bed used to be. On he soldiers, unwilling to cede territory. We all know things must come to head at the end of December, though, when the demolition process will begin. He is unwilling to come live with my husband and me or either of my husband's sisters--doesn't want to disrupt our lives, and is fiercely independent. I am hoping he will not be overly affected when the day comes to say goodbye to his house. I think he will be strong, though, having lost two older brothers in World War II and suffered hunger and deprivation himself during and after the war. He won't cry when he walks out his front door for the last time, but I know I will.
My daughter. Kana, who went through a kind of hell for years and years and years, starting around age 11, the girl who made my life miserable, too, by always saying she wanted to die, by throwing scary tantrums, by refusing to go to school or do anything, by waking me up in the middle of the night countless times on the brink of self-harm--well, my dear friends, she is remarkably improved. I've lost track of time, but it seems as if it's been more than a year since she has mentioned wanting to die. She plays piano for a band, performs her own original songs on occasion, joined the Nashville Songwriters Association (an organization offering educational online experiences for songwriters, as well as competitions and evaluation services), and has a boyfriend. Her life has truly turned around. She does not yet have a job, but she will live, and I can't tell you how relieved and joyful I feel as I type those words.
My son. Hisaki is taking a break from his company. I'm very grateful they provide this opportunity to him, with reduced pay, to take a leave of absence to consider his future. He loves the people at his company, and they want him to come back, but he cannot stand living in Tokyo and working the long hours required of Japanese company employees. He wants a family and is concerned that he will never be able to spend any time with them if he continues the life of what Japanese call a "salary man." Nevertheless, he has not yet decided whether to stay at the company or look for alternate work. He is in counseling and enjoying a respite from several years of constant fatigue. It's great having him here at home for a while. He went to the US for high school and university, as well as a year in between to study in Germany, so I went nine years without seeing him much. It's comforting to have him here to do heavy lifting, and he always invites me to watch with him the documentaries he loves to watch, the latest a series about the Crusades. Surprising and fascinating stuff.
Okay, well, I'd better sign off here. Thank you, my dear Spark Friends, for paying attention to me! I know I've received messages and comments I have most likely neglected to answer. I am definitely getting more forgetful. So sorry about that. I have a break from teaching starting this week, so I will be here much more often now. I really appreciate you all so much and love, love, love being friends!