Flying Starts and Other Surprises

The kids excitedly prepared a card for S and gave it to him with a new summer shirt for Fathers' Day. Then we figured out that Fathers' Day isn't until next Sunday. Ooops.

We had a surprise visit from S's eldest brother this morning. He has three elder brothers and this was the first time the children and I have met this one. S has been avoiding him for more than 20 years (longer than I've known S) so he stayed in his room most of the time leaving the entertaining up to us after a gruff welcome of "Why are you here!?". The reply was a simple, non-confrontational "I was in Tokyo for a class reunion and wanted to see you all." Nine years ago, when another brother called from the station, S ran out the door to rent a car and take us all on a day trip to Mt. Fuji to avoid the brother who arrived just as we were packing the car. "Sorry, we're on our way out, we'll give you a ride back to the station." So staying home this time seems to be a big step for S.

This brother was a pleasant enough guest, bringing cake, showing pictures of his grandchildren on his cell phone, playing with the kids and staying for about an hour before catching the bus to Haneda Airport to fly home. He looks like S would look like if S were a politician; better nourished, shorter hair, sharp attitude. He seemed a little sad but not angry at S's reception and apologized to me for any discomfort his sudden visit may have caused saying that S's reaction to the visit was a product of the environment when they were growing up.

I did notice that the brother's hand motions were a little lethargic, much like S's. S says his hands and arms seem to be numb a lot but hasn't offered any medical reasons (MS? Diabetes?) in spite of consulting several local physicians. The other two brothers didn't seem to have any trouble when I last saw them so it isn't all four of them. Hmmm.

As S's health deteriorates, my memory is flailing. I rushed off to the local supermarket to get some evening bargains on Friday and managed to forget to bring home a whole bag of groceries. I only noticed that I had forgotten when I couldn't find the squid I'd bought for S's dinner and racked my brain to remember when I'd seen it last. One of those "Duh!" moments.

At least today I can't remember forgetting anything....I'm blaming the Father's Day fiasco on our Japanese calendar.