Many years ago, Naoto’s mom sent us a couple of postcards. First the one on the left, and months later, the one on the right arrived. Naoto explained that doing colored pencil-by-number was a hobby of his mom’s. These are postcards that she had colored. I was so impressed. They were so good that they almost looked printed, especially the fruits on the right. I kept them in a little drawer and when we moved, I put them in frames and hung them in the kitchen. (You can see them hanging in this post about the kitchen.) When I met Okaasan back in 2010, I enjoyed listening to her talk about her colored pencils. At that time, she had won an award for her skills and she was really excited about her hobby.
Two weeks ago, Naoto’s mom passed away. It was very sudden and it took us by surprise. Naoto was back in Japan all last week to handle the arrangements and attend the funeral services. (I stayed behind. It just made sense logistically and financially for him to go alone.) He got back on Monday and we are slowly getting back into our routine here at home and at work. We are beyond grateful that he got to spend so much time with her when we visited in March. But obviously it is a very sad time. When they were cleaning out her apartment, Naoto and his sisters found this postcard book of cats that his mom had colored. They decided I should have it, which was really touching. The original postcard is on the left (or top in some cases) and the postcard Naoto’s mom colored is on the right (or bottom). Both postcards are perforated so you can tear them out and mail them. Here are a few of the pages. Aren’t they beautiful? We haven’t decided yet if we are going to keep the entire collection in tact or if we are going to choose a few to frame. Either way, it’s just nice to have a little piece of her here at home.