My grandmother passed away.

I heard the news yesterday from my mom. She debated calling me at work to let me know. I'm glad she didn't wait, I wanted to know.

My grandmother, Obaachan, was 94 years old, living in what they call a Group Home, in the countryside of Japan. Some of my family went to see her back in April, but the last time I saw her was in 2002, four and a half years ago, for her 90th birthday:

At my grandmother's 90th birthday, 2002

I wanted to visit for our honeymoon, but when Scott and I found out we were both going to be laid off, we put off the wedding. Then, as Gram got worse (Scott's grandmother), we feared she wouldn't be able to attend, and realized there is no good time. We threw together a wedding in 6 weeks with family and a few friends. Going to Japan at the time was just too much for us, so we chose Canada for our honeymoon, and decided we'd go to Japan once our finances were stable, once we had jobs, once we had time to plan a trip. Too late.

I've been expecting this call for years.

I began mourning in February when Obaachan no longer recognized family. Those thoughts still fit. Only now I know I know her better than I realized. I'm glad I put it into words; that's my grandmother. To me. I'll pass those memories and stories on to my child, so Obaachan is not forgotten.

Obaachan, I'm sorry I couldn't see you one more time. I know you understand and I know it's okay. Thank you for all the good memories and for taking care of me. I'll miss you.