Your grand pa you know before you were born

K, Y, T, to my beloved sons, I will talk about my dear father who died at the age of 92 thirteen years ago. I’m glad that all of you were there on his funeral.

K drove him back to grandpa house when he had to leave hospital at Chiyoda, Kawachi Nagano City.
Y took your school friends to see him at the hospital. To see them, your grandpa was very pleased, which you might not have noticed.
T, then junior high boy, stroke his face with flowers for a while on his deathbed. That invited the sadness of those around.

You may remember all of this. Here let me talk about the days before you were born.
He kept java sparrows at the balcony of the house located near the river. The little birds on dad’s hand flew back to his hand. He let them poke his teeth to eat food particles.

He had never raised his voice. He loved his family. We all knew how he thought of us.

He was growing sweet potatoes on Sundays where my present house stands. He enjoyed growing strawberries with his fellow soldier Kaku san. He enjoyed sharing what he had grown with his neighbors.

He was repeatedly elected or rather asked to be ward mayor in our district.

In his old days he learned to use word-processor machine with which he printed handouts to distribute in the ward. The machine was then called “wor-pro” produced before PC was on the market.

Those were good old days.

Just after he had surgery for stomach cancer he had been in a sleep-like state due to general anesthetic.

While I was watching him at ICU, his big shout took me by surprise. He had been struggling at battle field in coma.

“Step back! What are you doing?! Step back!”

Then I remembered what he had said about the battle. When he had gone out patrolling perhaps with Kaku san, they would have been killed if the enemy shooting had come with loose angle. The bullets landed just before them.

One day in his hospital bed, he said,”there is one person who hated me terribly”. I just listened to him without asking who and why. Now I think I should have.

I suspect he might have done something brutal when he had worked at notorious pre-war SHP, Special Higher Police, a police unit controlling political thought and expression. My sister-in-law said he had worked as such, which my brother denied. My mother said he had been just a police person, not so high ranking.

True or not, it may be certain that he wanted to share his mind with me.

Before, I was afraid to die. Now I know I would follow my dad. The way dad tread on, I’ll take. No more, no less. Dad, I do want to see you just for once.

I had started to write about my dad, my sons’ grandpa to let them know what he was like. Now I have realized I have been writing for myself.

dad in his 70s at Abara Hot Spring to celebrate his recovery