1 year on....
Of course September 11th is significant for many, many people around the world because of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. 10 years ago.
But for me it will always be The Day Jane Died.
My step-mum was a big part of my life. She married my Dad when I was a small child, and I spent every school holidays with her and Dad.
The three of us travelled, and laughed and talked together. Jane was a wonderful step-mum and taught me many things.
When my mother died in 1996 - it was Jane who telephoned to tell me. A long time ago she had been my mother's doctor, and in fact Jane brought ME into the world.:-))
But 2 years ago Jane had a car crash, and after that she was in and out of hospital with never-ending health problems. My Dad died in August 2009 and Jane was determined to get out of hospital and get home to their house.
She did, with live-in carers to help, and enjoyed a Christmas and some summer months at home again.
But then last September she died peacefully on a Saturday evening at home in her sleep. I couldn't go to her funeral, because I was in hospital myself in Sapporo for an operation. But in October/November I finally went back to their home to scatter Jane's ashes with my father's ashes - under a tree in their garden.
In Japan there is a tradition of memorial days and prayers, family gatherings etc.
In England we don't have this custom: each person remembers a loved one in their own way.
Today I walked for 30 minutes at the bottom part of Mount Moiwa, I had cheesecake and coffee in a cafe and I came home to put flowers in the vase that Jane always had in the entrance hall of her home. Last week I sent letters to her sister and her oldest school friend.
1 year ago. I remember.