I couldn’t wait for summer vacation to see my grandfather when I was in elementary School. I really loved him. He also really loved to see his grandchildren.
His name is Genpachi Tomori. He lived on a different an Island than ours. It is called Miyako Island is about 2 hours away by Airplane. We moved from Miyako Island to Okinawa Island when my parents divorced. I just had turned 5 years old at that time. I don’t have memories of living with him, but when I visited their house, I felt that I was always with him.
He took me to his sugarcane fields by carriage. He had a huge sugarcane field. I asked him how far as your field? I can’t forget his proudly face when he pointed to the mountain and he said it was as far as the mountain was.
I also loved his horse as he did. The horse loved watermelon and potato leaves. I gave him bucketfuls of water, watermelon and potato leaves after returning home.
I spent a good time everyday there but one of his habits makes me sad. He would close all the blinds to go to bed at 7 O’clock. Even when children in the neighborhood were playing outside, I couldn’t go out to play with them, especially, my cousins.
My grandfather passed away at the age of 96. My grandmother was 98. I couldn’t go to the funeral for each of them because I was in the U.S. So their deaths weren’t real for me. I feel like they are still alive in Miyako Island.