Monday, April 23, 2012

The showering cherry blossoms

Dear Maya,

It's been two weeks since the last post because last week was a hard one.

Mommy's Aunt Patty passed away unexpectedly, making me very sad. One of the things that hurt mommy the most last week was the fact that your great aunt didn't get to meet you before she died. Thankfully she was a regular reader of this blog so she got to know you that way if not in person.

In this last two weeks you have been growing in leaps and bounds again. You seem much more interested in doing what the adults in your life do, be it climbing up to sit on the couch, playing games on Auntie Rhi's iPod, or standing on tiptoe on a step stool trying to help mommy make dinner.

You've also been very good about getting up and sitting in your own special chair for breakfast, lunch and snacks (we still put you in your high chair for dinner, though). You know that when the Cheerios or other snack foods come out, it's time to run over and climb on up.

You've also been even more vocal than ever. Your sense of pitch and memory of long melodies is so amazing--you now can sing about five songs recognizably with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" being your current favorite. Also, a few days ago you started saying "Oh!" with the funniest little face. 

Your verbal communication is improving, too. Whether daddy gives you instructions in Japanese or mommy in English, you respond accordingly. You regularly point at something you are curious about and say something that sounds quite like "What's that?" with the proper rising intonation. And the pièce de résistance? This afternoon while playing 'catch' with Uncle Matt you said "Ball!" and then brought your bouncy red ball to mommy and said it again with perfect pronunciation! Mommy was so so proud!

Grandpa came up from NC a couple days before Aunt Patty's funeral. On Friday we went to visit your Great Great Aunt Gert in the nursing home. She has all but lost her eyesight but still perked up when mommy held you near her face. We also went to pay our respects at your Great Grandparents Jack and Jane Jameson's grave site. You helped mommy pick up sticks and fallen leaves to make the plot look nice. Finally we went to visit a friend of Grandpa's (hi, Karen!) for a bit before heading home for the night.

borrowing Auntie Rhi's pearls to accessorize your dress

Then, on Saturday we went to Staten Island for the funeral. It was an emotional day for mommy, Uncle Matt, Grandpa and the rest of our family. You were blissfully unaware as you ran around the funeral home as fast as your little legs could take you, a welcome distraction for mourners to look at and fawn over. You were quiet and curious for a few seconds when mommy took you to kneel by Aunt Patty's coffin, though. It was sad but mommy was glad she could finally introduce you in person. 

Afterwards in the parking lot the wind scattered cherry blossom petals all around us. In Japan, the 'storm' of cherry blossoms (sakura-fubuki) is considered symbolic of the fleeting beauty and fragility of life. To see you playing in piles of the fallen petals made it feel like Aunt Patty was there watching and loving you. 

Rest in peace, Aunt Patty. You will be missed.

Aunt Patty, smiling joyfully as always

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