Papa’s family nickname in the Kagoshima dialect was Ikunchan. They called him by it, and he went to meet them.
Papa was mischevious, full of himself, clumsy.
The last time he spoke when he was awake, he said, “Maybe, maybe it’s too late, but I don’t want to leave you and Masami. Masami is my greatest achievement. Â Please, please, please. Â Do you understand? Â Please.” Â Over and over.
“Make sure you live a long time,” he had said to me recently. He sounded so weak and frail then, I couldn’t refuse.
Now that I think about it, back when Masami was only two years old, Papa had his colon surgery. Â The operation didn’t go well and he had to spend six months in the hospital. Â He was still pretty young back then, he even fought off pneumonia.
And his surgery six years ago.
We had come to rely on Dr. Yamakawa and his team, and the procedure went surprisingly well.
Thanks to them, we had Papa for another six years, but since he couldn’t really eat he couldn’t win this time.
On the night of the 13th, he had practically stopped breathing. Â He had a horrible convulsion and stopped breathing. He was on artificial respiration for nearly two hours. Â Papa’s pulse was 100. Â The doctor and nurse worked with him until they were dripping with sweat, but he didn’t breathe on his own again.
The doctor called me and Masami into another room and spoke with us. Â “Let’s watch over him until the end.”
Oh, so the time has finally come, I thought.
But when we went back into his room, we desperately appealed to Papa. Â We talked about how when he got out of the hospital we would go to Kaminogawa, about Masami’s kindergarten days. Â He nodded at everything we said. Â When we said, Kamen Rider was pretty cool, he began to breathe on his own again. Â God granted us a miracle.
“That’s a strange way to put it, but it’s incredible,” the doctor said.
About a day after that, when he was unconscious again, Masami said, “We were happy,” tears streaming down her face.
That night, quietly this time, so quietly, all of the machines went to zero. Â “The time is 5:02pm.” Â We heard the doctor say, andÂ Masami’s tears dripped on Papa’s shoulder.
To everyone who has helped us over the years, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Translated from the original entry. Â “Papa” was how Noriko called Shigeru.