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My Grandmother

This is a photo of my grandparent’s wedding in Japan in 1957. They had quite a love story. It began quite humorously with my grandfather making the mistake of giving her a friendly smack on the behind, which ended with him finding himself on the floor after my grandmother decked him.

My Grandparents' Wedding in Japan


This is a photo of my grandparent’s wedding in Japan in 1957. They had quite a love story. It began quite humorously with my grandfather making the mistake of giving her a friendly smack on the behind, which ended with him finding himself on the floor after my grandmother decked him. Later, he found out that she came from a prestigious family, and realized he had to make amends. He camped himself outside of her home for three nights in the cold, until my great-grandmother convinced her to go out and accept his apology. Then, he began his pursuit, finally winning a first date with the offer of donuts and coffee, which were a treat during the days of occupation and rations.

They went on to date for seven years, until they were able to get her paperwork pushed through to the Japanese consulate to be married, after which they immediately moved to the states. Almost a year later, my mom was born.

They were married for 33 years, until my grandfather passed away on Thursday, October 25, 1990 at 3:45PM. Eighteen years later, on Friday, October 24, 2008 at 4:45PM, my grandmother passed on to join him. My mother had dreamt the night before that my grandfather was calling for my grandmother to come home. The dates, times seemed very connected.

In the past three years, I learned a lot of cool, random things about her, including

  • She knew how to dance the Jitterbug, Charleston, Waltz, Tango, Rumba and Samba.
  • She was betrothed to a member of the Mikimoto Pearl family, and was disowned when she chose to marry my grandfather instead.
  • She was an athlete – she loved to ski, and could have been in the Olympics for swimming.
  • When she moved to the US, she insisted the household be purely English speaking, and lost her ability to speak in Japanese.
  • She feared flying – when her, my grandfather & my mother were supposed to leave Hawaii, they got on an earlier flight, and the one they should have been on exploded on takeoff.
  • She was able to watch Soul Train and imitate the dance moves perfectly.
  • At the nursing home, she learned how to play hangman and was able to win at it.

It’s still hard right now to remember things other than being with her in that final moment. Watching her color change, hearing breathing slow, and seeing the beat of her pulse stop on her neck. I’m comforted by the fact that she wasn’t alone, that I was able to tell her how we loved her and everything was going to be ok, and that she is finally in a place where she no longer suffers. The afterlife is a mystery, but whatever it is, I just hope that it includes her being reunited with her family, my grandfather, all the pets that she once loved. I hope that she is able to dance again, and is surrounded by nothing but pure happiness and beauty.

Light a Candle

By Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and ghostwriter who specializes in business and marketing topics.

40 replies on “My Grandmother”

Sending you many hugs Kristi and the hope that these memories will be a source of comfort for you. Your Grandmother was an amazing woman and this was such a moving tribute!

Kristi,

I am sorry for your loss but am happy that your grandmother will be with your grandfather again.

I am very interested in the connections with dates. I don’t think the dates and times are a coincidence. I’ve also heard similar stories about dreams like that shortly before death.

Thank you so much for sharing this story – it’s beautiful and funny. She really does sound like she was amazing and it’s good that you were able to know her as well as you did.

I was very close to one of my grandmothers. She passed away 19 years ago and I still think of her everyday.

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Sorry for your loss. My father passed away last November 12th as I held his hand and the rest of my family stood at his side. It was one of the hardest things to do but it is comforting to know he was not alone.

Things like you have written will keep her memory alive for generations to come.

That was beautiful and you’re grandmother is very lucky to have you in this world to keep her story alive and her memory alive. Though the after-life is a mystery, there is one thing that I learned from briefly volunteering in hospice that crosses all cultural and faith barriers and that is that, often before leaving this world, the dying are visited by loved ones who’ve gone before, kind of like a welcoming committee. I don’t know if it does for you, but knowing that gives me comfort that someday we’ll see the ones we love who have passed on again.

@Lara: Me too. 🙂

@Sire: I only know my grandparents on my mom’s side. It is a great thing though, as you learn so much about your family history and stories and such that way.

@Dilasari, Mimi, Mr Muggles, and John: Thanks. 🙂

Oh my God… I am in love with that picture! It’s so beautiful; I hope that you have this hanging up somewhere in your house. I’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother, but what a beautiful tribute you just paid to her with this. *hugs*

-Morgan

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so you got your asian look from your grandmother.
I’m sorry for your loss
From what you’ve written I bet she lived her life to the fullest

…..She knew how to dance the Jitterbug, Charleston, Waltz, Tango, Rumba and Samba.
….. She was an athlete – she loved to ski, and could have been in the Olympics for swimming.
…..She was able to watch Soul Train and imitate the dance moves perfectly.
……At the nursing home, she learned how to play hangman and was able to win at it.

I think though that she is not really lost. she continues to live on through her sons, daughters and grandchildren and through you.We have traces of something from our ancestors and its not just the genes.

keep blogging

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@Yan: She did. She gave up a lot to be with him, and I think that is what love is… giving up everything for someone.

@Morgan: It is framed in my living room. What is even more awesome is I have her actual wedding dress, minus the headpiece. I hope to one day lay it all out and photograph the colors, and then maybe incorporate that into the photo.

@Coffeewriter: I do notice some sides of her within myself now. Plus she lives in my dreams. 🙂

Hi i visit through your blog and i found your story amazing, it seems that your grandparents were a happiest couple.Your story is to touching that i don’t have words to express my feelings.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. This is great blog on such a true lover. I really appreciate you. Your grandmother is very beautiful.

A beautiful story between your grandmother and grandfather indeed! I am fond of hearing of this kind of story very much. I must say your grandmother is absolutely beautiful!

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