My Grandma was strong and stubborn and incredibly feisty... She lived independently until she was 94, still cooking meals for the entire family every Sunday night, making sushi and chocolate pies for the neighbors, and chasing wild chicken out of her yard with a broom. :) She had an amazing memory... She remembered things that we sometimes forgot - at a family gathering with my Dad's side of the family she asked my Dad's relatives (who she hadn't seen in YEARS) how their children were and remembered meeting them on specific occasions. Even on my Mom's last visit to see my Grandma, the one question she had for her was when I was going to think about having children. :) That woman never gave up hope that I would give her a great-grandchild. :)
Her hearing was the one thing that went in her old age. But being the stubborn person she was, she refused to wear a hearing aide. My favorite story that I remember my Mom telling me is that when my Grandma was still living at home, she could hear her phone ring, but not anyone speaking on the other end. So she'd pick up the phone and say HELLO, and the person would be YELLING on the other side of the phone, "GRANDMA!!!" She couldn't hear them,... so she'd say, "Well, why you call if you no like talk??" and hang up the phone, very disgusted. :D Hilarious.
I always remember her hearty laughter... She once hit my Mom playfully on the back while she was laughing so hard that it literally knocked the wind out of my Mom. "Pua ting, you" (Poor thing) she told her when she realized how hard she'd hit her. :D She loved teasing us. She would always tease me for bringing too many shoes whenever I visited her. "Go come again," she told me once when I was leaving, "And go bring more shoes you not going wear." :D She was also very physically strong for her age. She used to carry burning hibachis across her garage when she lived at home, and in the care home, instead of using her walker to walk around, she'd pick it up and CARRY it places...
She was also a master at making sushi, and mochi. Every New Year the cousins would wake up early and form little mochi patties from the mochi she made. Her kitchen, though, was her domain and if my Mom was making breakfast or cooking there, she would be sure to get her hand slapped because she was doing something the wrong way... This is where I learned all my Japanese swear words, watching her with my Mom in the kitchen growing up... ;) And my Mom used to judge how good of a visit it was with her by how many times she got called "bakatare" by my Grandma. ;)
I know how fortunate I was to have had her in my life for as long as I did... Of course we are all sad that she's gone, but today, on what would have been her 98th birthday, I choose to remember all the wonderful and fun times. Thank you all SO much for all the lovely messages both on FB and Twitter, it's meant so much to me. ♥