pocoapocowithsmile

Hope? 希望?

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The last day of our short trip to Akashi, we visited my mother’s sister who is 95 years old.  She was lying on bed of a nursing home, not very together…in and out… But, she recognized me and said, “ah, Haruyo-chan, so nice to see you,” and cried.  She was very close to my mother and used to come to help us whenever needed.  I remember she came to take care of us when we were moving.  She was quiet, calm, and worked so hard with no complaints. I’ve heard from my late mother that although she had a sweetheart when she was 18, she was forced to give up the relationship and had to marry my uncle for some political reasons.  She could not really love her husband for her entirely life.  However, that was so normal those days.  Women were supposed to get married, raise children, take care of her family, sacrifice herself…..and that was so expected….

Her children all came to her room and we enjoyed our visits with each other.  Then, we all went to have lunch at a nearby restaurant.  What a fun time we had.  But eventually, came the time to say good-bye.  Behind our cousins waving hands and shouting bye-bye, I saw K quietly wiping her tears.  K is one of my cousin’s wife, about 70.  I think it was when I was about 20, she married my cousin. She lived with him and my aunt and uncle in the same house, worked as a school administrator all her life, and supported the family.  She is a calm person, not very talkative, but always so caring.  Of course, there is no blood relation to me, never saw each other more than just a few times, had not much conversation, there was no reason for her to be sad…  However, I saw her sorrow, loneliness, and overwhelming weight of life on her shoulders in her tears and choked my heart.  Somehow, that scene just stayed with me for a long long time.  Poor K…….

It’s kind of sad to get older.  Everything becomes heavier as the age progresses.  You lose your loved ones one by one, increasing your loneliness.  Your body starts to go wrong, taking away your confidence little by little.  How should we keep on holding our hope and continue to live happily?  I can see….it’s going to be my life project…a big one….

明石への旅の最終日、95歳になる母の姉を訪ねた。老人ホームのベッドに横たわって意識がもうろうとしている叔母、でも「ああ、治代ちゃん、よう来たな」といって涙を流してくれた。母と仲の良い叔母で何かと言うとすぐに駆けつけてくれてご飯を作ってくれたり幼い私たちの面倒を見てくれたり。。。おとなしくて働き者で辛いことがあっても文句一つ言わずだまって黙々と働いていたっけ。この叔母は18の時に、愛する人がいたのに無理矢理引き離されて政略結婚させられて、結局最後まで夫を心から愛することが出来なかったと今は亡き母から聞いたことがある。でも昔はそれが普通だったんだと。女は結婚して子供を産んで家族のために働きづめに働いて、自分を犠牲にして。。。それが普通だったんだと。。。

叔母の部屋にいとこ達が集まってひとしきりわいわいがやがやと懐かしんだあと、みんなで昼食を食べに行った。本当に楽しいひとときだった。そしていよいよお別れのとき、にぎやかに別れを告げるいとこ達の後ろで静かにひそやかに涙をながしているKさんを見た。Kさんはいとこのお嫁さん、といってももう70くらいだけど。私が20歳くらいのときだったかな、いとこの所にお嫁に来て共働きをして家族を支えた。おとなしいけどしっかりした人で言葉少なく、いつも細かな気配りを忘れない人だった。もちろん血のつながりもなく、滅多に会わない私とはあまり会話を交わすこともなく、涙を流すほど私たちとの別れが悲しいはずはないんだけど。。。でもその涙に私はKさんの抱える人生の重みや悲しみ寂しさを感じて胸が詰まった。なぜかいつまでもいつまでもKさんの姿が目にこびりついた。Kさん苦労してるな。。。

年を取るってなんだか悲しい。とればとるほど悦びも悲しみもど〜んと重くのしかかってくる。だんだん愛する人たちが他界して寂しさも増してくる。体も故障してくる。気が弱くなる。そんな中でどうやって希望を持ち続け明るく生き続けるのか、これからの私の課題だなあ。。。

Author: Haruyo Abramson

I'm a musician, mom, and grandma, living in BC, Canada with my husband and three dogs.

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