Feb 28, 2013

Friends He Has Been Longing to See

Hajime's childhood friend Akira and her older sister came to America to visit him.  We were so happy that they planned everything on their own to come see him.  Hajime was really looking forward to their visit.

Akira is on the right, and her older sister Mio is on the left.

They are really sweet and they are always smiling.  They talk to Hajime so gently.  I can't tell you how much Hajime must have been encouraged by them.  We are truly thankful for their visit.

Their mother Atsuko Yasui and I are friends from before, and we kept in touch all this time.  And then it worked out that Hajime was able to see Akira again.

It was a very short trip to America, but they came to visit Hajime every day and talked to him about all kinds of things.  They were always cheerful.
I can only say how thankful we are for their visit.

It was sad to see them go. Hajime said, "I don't want you to leave!" but they told him, "We'll be back, OK?" and he seemed satisfied with that.

I pray that we can see them again soon.

Thank you so much!

(translated by MS)

Feb 21, 2013

Trying Curry

My friends recently opened a restaurant called VegiLicious, so I gave Hajime a bit of curry, the featured dish of the restaurant.

During the day, he had been saying, "I don't want any", but at night he said, "I want some ".  So I immediately got everything ready and gave him the curry through his G-tube.  Of course, he could smell the curry too, and when I asked him,  "Is it good?" he answered, "It's good".  It looked like he was really happy.

From the time right before he was hospitalized until now, we had never given him anything besides (canned) liquid food and not anything that we would eat.
So it was the first time in almost two years that he had food in his stomach.

I am grateful to my friends, a husband and wife, who allowed us to have this moment.

Their VegiLicious restaurant uses all natural vegetables with no additives at all.
Everything tastes good, and the the atmosphere in the restaurant is just wonderful.
Please be sure to go check it out.
You will enjoy eating there.

(translated by MS)

Feb 19, 2013

Animals Can Help Lift Spirits

Hajime is very calm now but his energy level is not quite right.

Recently, he has been asking for Mint a lot.  "Can you bring Mint over?" he says.
Mint has had a hard time getting used to Hajime because he doesn't move.  Whenever we leave Hajime's bedside, Mint wants to leave.

But today, I laid Mint on top of Hajime's stomach, and I sat there next to Mint and pretended to be asleep.  I started to feel really good and happy and...whew! Mint calmed down and fell asleep.

When I asked Hajime, "Are you warm enough?" he answered yes.  When I said, "Mint makes you feel better, doesn't he?" he replied yes again.
It was at that moment that I realized that Mint was helping Hajime.
Mint has nice smooth hair, so when I let Hajime touch Mint with his hand, it looked like it felt really good to him.

Animals really do have a healing effect.

(translated by MS)

Feb 15, 2013

Hajime Is Doing Well

The past few days Hajime has not had any particular issues and is doing well.

Today was Mary's day to visit.
But Hajime said that he was depressed.
It was after his bed bath, and he seemed to be in a little bit of pain.  He seemed upset.
When I saw how Hajime expressed his anger with his big eyes, I actually felt relieved that Hajime even had the energy to get mad.
But, of course, I needed to hear him out.

Until now, Hajime had not been able to communicate with us well.  But recently, he has started to want to talk to us more, and so we have been able to find out his feelings in his own words.
Until now, it took a long time for him to communicate anything, partly because he was trying to express himself in sentences. He would get tired, and the conversation didn't progress very much.
But now, he just tells us words, so everything goes more quickly, and we can find out what he's feeling.

When I see Hajime in good spirits, I also cheer up.  I should be the one giving him encouragement, but actually I'm getting it from him.  It's a little embarrassing, but I am happy.

(translated by MS)

Feb 11, 2013

A Thought Crosses His Mind

The thought crossed my mind,  "Gee, I wish I could go anywhere like everyone else can." Thought, I know I should not think that way…
We are moving in a completely different direction from a normal healthy family.
I talked with my husband about the following things today.

He asked Hajime if he wanted to study if he got better, and he answered, "No!"
Well, that's not surprising.  We talked to Hajime about this sort of thing, and if he really does recover, I want to let him do anything he wish.
If that's what Hajime wants.
We talked about all the things we would like to let him do if he got better.
My husband said that if he doesn't keep telling himself that that's OK, he might slip and say something like, "Why don't you study some more?"
Well, that would be OK too.

Hajime can open his eyes wide.
We are not too worried about his secretion, so he has been pretty good every day.
He usually does not want the curtains opened, but I think that if he cheers up a little more, he will want the curtains opened.

His eyes are wide open today, so he watched Ultraman.
I'm feeling happy every day.

(translated by MS)

Feb 8, 2013

Chinatsu's Haircut

Hajime has been holding steady lately.

He had his hair cut the other day.
Chinatsu, who cut his hair last time, gave him the haircut this time too.

Kumiko had been cutting his hair before, but she was having a hard time returning to America because of visa problems.
But I'm relieved to hear that everything is OK now.
While she was gone, we asked Chinatsu to cut his hair.

They are both very kind, and they give Hajime good haircuts.
Chinatsu, thank you for the latest cut.

(translated by MS)

Feb 5, 2013

Grandmother's Return Home

My mother, older sister, and nephew went back to Japan today.  Their visit was a little long, about three weeks, but it did go by really fast.
Time really flies when you're having fun.

Hajime loves his grandma.  Grandma is a very important person to Hajime.  As he always does, he listened carefully when Grandma spoke.
I'm sure he is feeling very lonely right now.

Thank you for always cheering us on, Grandma and everyone.

They were the second group to visit us from Japan since January.  A third group will be coming at the end of March.
It's amazing that people would come to see Hajime all the way from Japan.  Like Hajime, I guess they are putting out the extra effort.

(translated by MS)

Feb 2, 2013

The Reason for His Tears...

Yesterday, the day nurse wasn't feeling well so she went home before 2:00 pm.
Later, Hajime was crying and his eyes were red.

Every single day is the same thing, this endless routine.  But even then, he hasn't been crying recently.
He is hanging on to the one hope that he will recover.
But it is also important to cry.  I grasped his hand as he cried.
I held onto his hand as I talked to him for about an hour, and then he started to smile at my jokes.  I was relieved.
I knew that I should be setting aside time for him like this.
I really am terrible.

I usually don't cry, but when I see Hajime crying and I see his hands, I can't stop crying.
Hajime has taught us so many things.
God is right beside Hajime even now and speaking to him.

(translated by MS)

2013 Benefit Concert

On January 27, the annual benefit concert was held.
When it was time to go to the concert, Hajime cried and said, "I don't want to go", but I think he is glad he went.

It truly was a wonderful concert.

Rob is the one who plans everything every year.  We are very grateful to him.

This year, everyone watched a video of Hajime as the music played.

Thank you very much to all of you who came.

(translated by MS)