It's taken me five months to write this blog post.
I still probably haven't fully processed everything, and maybe that will take more time than I would like. But it has to start somewhere.
July 26, 2014, my Grampa died peacefully in his sleep.
As hard as I tried to get home to see him to say goodbye, I know he didn't want me to see him that way. I found out he only had about a month to live while I was in Japan leading the Epic Japan Summer Project. Every day I prayed that I would make it home in time to see him one last time. I had even changed my flight from Japan so I would come back a week early, but he passed away during our debrief in Tokyo. I told him to wait for me...but my mom said he didn't want me to see him so sick. Momma was with him only about an hour before he passed away...he didn't even want her to be in the room. Sneaky Grampa to the last.
Being home was hard in August, and it's had it's moments this Christmas as well. I was reminded of him any time I walked past his room and he wasn't there, any time I walked outside to the back yard and saw his bench, where he spent so many hours sitting in the sun, any time I saw his empty shelf in the bathroom that used to have the sign "Grampa's Shelf" so he would remember not to use my things...it was hard not seeing presents under the Christmas tree for him, not hearing his laughter or seeing him put Christmas ribbons on his head like headbands, not finding acorn sculptures around the house...
Robert "Rube" Ritsuro Hosokawa, September 15, 1918 ~ July 26, 2014.
The man who survived the Japanese internment camps, who was a great journalist, Phi Beta Kappa...the man who was kicked out of Japanese school at age 10, who taught me how to be sassy, how to play poker and hunt for golf balls, who taught me songs about the Bearded Lady and how to cuss in Japanese: You will always be remembered as a leader in the Japanese-American community, Whitman grad, a wise professor of journalism, a devoted husband, loving father, and amazing Grampa.
I love you forever, tell Grandma I say hi and please try not to cause too much mischief and havoc in Heaven.
“In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
An article from Whitman College: http://www.whitman.edu/magazine/july2000/profile.html