My late father's Buddhist sermon

Today was the one hundredth day after my father's death. My mother asked our temple to hold a Buddhist memorial service for him. I took a leave from work and attended the ceremony.
As I hardly understand the meaning of Okyou, or Buddhist sutra, I just sat behind our monk and
thought of my father. The relationship of my family members was good even before my father's death. During his hospitalization, my family members helped each other very much. When I think back, I feel my father's death strengthened our family bond much more.
After the service we went to a restaurant and had dinner together. We talked and laughed much.


Today I went to a family restaurant with my husband. When we began eating supper, a group of Asian men came in. As soon as they were seated at a table, they began talking very loudly in their own language. Their voices were so loud that some people around them turned around to see them. Some apparantly frowned. A female group changed their seats to farther ones. I felt a little scared, too.
But when their dishes were served, they did what few Japanese do at a restaurant these days.
They put their hands together and said in unison, "Itta-dakki-masu!", bowing their head deeply.
I felt the atmosphere around them changed dramatically. I saw some Japanese even smile.
Of course the Asian men continued talking in their own language again and I sometimes felt their loud voices annoying. But strangely enough, I didn't feel scared any more.


SF writer Ray Bradbury has died!


‘Fahrenheit 451′ Author Ray Bradbury Dies at 91

This morning I was surprised to see the headline of Bradbury's death.
I have been a science fiction fan for a long time.
Above all Bradbuy was a special writer for me.

I began reading science fictions when I was in the first year of junior high school.
A classmate lent me a book, and I found it interesting. It was Fredric Brown's "Angels and Spacehsips."
After reading it, I went to a bookshop to buy another science fiction.
It was at that time when I first met Bradbury's works.
I chose the thickest one and it was Bradbury's "The Octobeer Country."
I still don't know why I chose the thickest book. Maybe it was because I was fascinated by the fantasic cover by Joseph Mugnaini.
Anyway I began reading Bradbury's works. I loved all of them.

When I entered high school, I began reading lots of science fictions. I read as many as 100 books or more in the first year.

Then I became eager to read my favorite Bradbury's novels in its original language, English.
I went over to Maruzen bookstore, the only bookstore that dealt with foreign books at that time.
Fortunately I found Bradbury's "The Golden Apples of the Sun". It was a collection of short stories and it was the first foreign book I bought.
I read some of my favorite stories using a dictionary and Japanese trranslation.

If it had not been been for Bradbury, I might not have begun learning English.

In this sense, Ray Bradbury was the most important writer for me.


煙草の懸賞で電動自転車が当たった!I've got an electric bike as a prize


Should I call this a facebook moment?

My husband is a heavy smoker. He smokes a packet of tabacco a day. He never gives up smoking no matter how much I beg for it.

One day he applied for a prize by Japan Tabacco, Inc. We all forgot about that, but today, to our great surprise, he got a call from JT, and it said that he won the prize!

Soon an electric bicycle was sent to our home. I think this is the first time for me to get something as a prize.

All my family tried riding the bicycle in turn. It was good. I felt as if someone had helped me peddle it from behind.

My husband boasted and boasted. He said "Now you know something good can happen from smoking." Oooooh, it looks as if this prize gave him a right to smoke without any constraint.

He also said "It seems I'm getting more and more luck these days. It may be time to buy a lottery." Wow, now is he going to buy a lottery, too?

I said, "Why don't you think other way round? You might have used up all the luck you have in your whole life time."
He said, "Why do you think so negatively? A positive person will get good luck. You should always think positively."

Mom said, "Maybe God has given us this bike so that we can get good exercise."
She is right. I'm going to use this bicycle and get some good exercise.

Mother's Day's gift


Until yesterday I was wondering what I should present to my Mom, but found nothing good enough to present to her.

I gave it up and thought "Well, I've been taking care of her recently. I invited her to our dinner on weekends and took her shopping. That will be enough."

This morning, I got a package from my daughter. It contained two handkerchiefs and a card, saying "Thank you, Mom". I was happy.

I felt ashamed and regretted not preparing any present for my Mom. My mother's birthday happens to be May 13th. Fortunately enough, the package contained a small birthday present to my Mom, too.

I took it to my Mom, (we live together) and she was very happy.
I was a little reliaved.
My daughter has made up for my laziness.

Next year I'll prepare a mother's day's gift however small it might be.

My daughter's wedding and my father's death

※Alcom worldの方の日記に書いた物をまとめています。



A second opinion for a dog



Our family has a pet dog, a 10-year-old male dachshund.
About a week ago, he got sick. He didn't want food. He didn't bark. He was shivering all day long. (He used to bark whenever a door bell rang, but this time he only barked very weakly when a door bell rang.)
So we took him to a vet. He gave us some medicine. We made our dog take it after every day, but he didn't get well.
My daughter heard this a few days later. She got angry and said to us, "Why don't you ask for a second opinion?"
A second opinion for a dog? Anyway, my husband took the dog to another vet next day. The new vet X-rayed him, did blood test and examined him with ultrasound.

As a dog is hairy, he needed to have his belly shaved. As a result, he got a round naked part in his belly. Poor thing. He must feel cold in his belly. (Look at the shameful photo)

(By the way, have you ever seen an X-ray picture of a dachshund? Its backbone is very loooong!)

After the examination, the vet told us that there's something wrong with his lever. He gave us other medicine and instructed us what food to give him.

Thanks to the medicine and the instruction, our dog is getting better little by little. When the door bell rang yesterday, he was able to bark loudly. This was the first time that I was glad to hear him bark.

He is now ten years old. Pretty old but not too old to die of old age. I hope he will live long.



My father, who has been in a hospital, moved to a new hospital today.
A new hospital is one for medical long-term care.
In the previous hospital, Mom stayed with him for 24/7.
I hoped she would come home when my father moved to the new hospital.
However, she insisted on staying with him at the new hospital, too.
I'm worried about her own health. It's no good for an old woman to stay at a hospital, sleeping in a small cot bed every night, without moving so much.
To be honest, I would like her to stop staying at a hospital, but she wouldn't.
It can't be helped. To avoid her being exhausted, I decided to stay a few times a week instead of her.


My mother and I decided a new hospial for my father

My mother and I visited a hospital today.
My father, who suffers from cancer and alzheimer disease, have been hospitalized in F hospital.
F hospital is a university hospital and is said to be the best one in my neighborhood.
The hospial has the most recent medical equipments and my father got radiation therapy there.
Fortunately to our joy, the therapy went well without any serious side effects.

However, after the radiatioin therapy, all the treatment my father has got is drip infusion.
A few weeks ago, his doctor told us that there would be no possible treatment to improve his cancer, and that he should get hospitalized at another hospital which is specialized to treat the elderly. A social worker, who works for the F hospital, introduced us K hospital.
That's why my mother and I visited K hospital and had a talk with the director there.

The director of K hospital was an old doctor. He told us he had seen lots of patients' deaths in a calm tone.
Unlike doctors at F hospital, which pursue treatment for serious illnesses, the director's first priority was what was the happiest for the patients and their family.
(Don't take me wrong. I'm not blaming F hospital. It's a hospital for patients with serious diseases, and needed for such patients. )
He said to us, "What is most important is that a patient can spend their remaining days as peaceful as possible." and "A healthy person should not become a victiom of a patient."
His words have relieved us.
I think I've found a good hospital for my father as well as my mother.

In the previous diary, I once wrote that a life is full of choices, and each person has tried to make the right decision.
I hope our decision today will turn out to be a good one, though there'll be lots of problems ahead of us.


My father's discharge from hospital 父の退院


My father got the certification of long-term care need. There are five levels in need of nursing care, and he was certified as level five, which means the most serious level.
Though his situation is terrible, I was relieved somehow because he was properly certified. (until this point, he was certified as level one, the least serious level. )

He is going to be discharged from hospital.
It's not because he was recovered but because there's nothing the hospital can treat except infusing nourishing material and water replacement.

The social worker at the hospital advised us to visit a neaby elder care facility to let him in.
My mother and I went out to observe it leaving my father at hospital.
This was the first time for my mother to leave my father alone at hospital.

Indeed the facility was new and full of modern equipments, but it would cost very high, maybe higher than we could afford.
Plus my mother was worried about that my father would have to be left alone without my mother, even though he could get enough care.

Seeing her, I decided that we take care of my father at home, with as much aid from home helpers as possible.

When we came back, we found that my father had pulled off the tube of infusion and there was a little trouble happening. I suppose this was because he had felt uneasy because he couldn't see my mother anywhere.

Seeing this, my mother also made a decision to care for him at home.

Though it was until yesterday. Today my mother and I discussed this with our doctor.
I told him that we wanted to care him at home, but he said that my father had to stay at hospital.

My father has been on a drip to gain enough nourishment. As his veins are now so narrow, he's got a special drip, CVcatheter at the base of his leg. According to him, it's hard to keep CVcatheter clean, and it would be impossible to be done by lay people at home.

So we had to give up taking him to home.

Now we are searching for a hospital for the elderly where he can get proper cure for his CV catheter.

I am actually embarrassed by a sudden change of his future plan.
Recently I came to think that life is to choose something at each time.
When people make a choice, they often wonder if they chose rightly.
Now I also wonder if I made a right decision.

While I was wondering, I thought of people at the time of tsunami.
Lots of people must have wondered, say, if they should run to the hill separately or they should go back home to take other members, or if they should take a car or run.
Some might regret saying "I shouldn't let him go back home to fetch his coat."

All I can say is that all of them tried to make a right decision, not knowing what result comes out of their action.

Compared to that, my decision is a small one.
Still making a decision is heavy. I wonder how heavy their decisions were at the time of tsunami.


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浦辺 玲

Author:浦辺 玲
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