Wed 20 Oct 2010
It seems in Ireland, grannies play a pretty important role in the lives of their grandchildren. For a lot of my Irish friends, their Granny was an integral part of the household, living with them and their parents and helping with everything from cooking to homework. And for a few of my friends here, especially those who were the first-born son, Granny was more a mother to them than their Mammy. She took them into her home and essentially raised them from infancy to adulthood.
Although I didn’t grow up around my grandmother or Obaachan, as I would call her (that’s Japanese for “grandmother”), I have great memories of the brief period I lived in Japan as a child and of the visits we’ve had over the years. I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately as last Saturday she turned 101 years old. It’s really mind-boggling to think of all she’s experienced in that time: her marriage to my grandfather, which lasted for 73 years until his death; giving birth to five children, two of whom she has outlived; witnessing the transformation of her beloved city of Osaka from a quiet town to a bustling, modern city; leaving her house of 50-something years to move into an elderly-care facility and learning, later, that it had been torn down.