sigh. how else can i put it? first, my baa-chan passes away. and then i make plans to go see my dear, dear ojii-chan (grandpa) in japan so he can meet his great-granddaughter. but while i was off at the federal building applying for maya's passport this morning, he quietly passed away.
just because i knew he was dying doesn't make this any easier. he wasn't in good shape these last few weeks. the doctors had told my aunt and uncle he wouldn't make it until summer. yesterday my mom got a call from my aunt saying the cancer had spread to his liver and it wasn't looking good. he maybe had a week. my mom changed her flight to leave on monday instead of may 2. but even that wasn't soon enough.
after getting home this afternoon there was a message on the answering machine from my mom saying to call her back. i've been dreading the messages from my mom where she doesn't tell me what the call is about, but just to call her back. i was always afraid that it was "the" call about my grandpa. when i finally got a hold of her she said she would drop by. but just from her voice i knew she was coming over to tell me he had died. i didn't know how to prepare myself for the news i know was coming.
i didn't cry at first when she told me he didn't make it. but when i asked her if he went peacefully it really hit me that i would truly never ever see him again. not only did i feel sad, but i was full of regret. why hadn't i sent him more pictures of the kids? why hadn't i written him more letters? why hadn't i asked him to write out his life story? why hadn't i made my plans to see him sooner?
i really understand why some people say they would give anything to see a deceased loved one just one more time. it's not a cliche. just one more time to hug that person, to remember every laugh wrinkle around their eyes, to say all the things you needed to say but always thought there would be another day to say them. for whatever reason, each person does need "one last time" to say good bye. i know i needed it and i didn't get it.
i've changed my flight to japan for a week earlier than planned. i'm not going to make it to the funeral and getting to japan earlier isn't going to change anything, but i feel a certain urgency to be close to my ojii-chan, even if he's no longer physically with us.