Monday, March 21, 2011

Enjoy Heaven, Jiji

One of the things I love about my husband is his family.

His sisters are the greatest girls -- smart, witty and just plain fun to be around.  They each married great guys and when we get together there is always a ton of laughing and story telling. 

His parents have always been wonderful to me.  They have been kind, generous and supportive of us from day one.  When people kvetch about in-laws?  I got nothing.  Mine are wonderful.  I hope I can be as good a Mother in Law as Greg's mom is to me. 

I call them Mom & Dad, even though no one would ever confuse them for my biological parents.  It must be kind of funny watching our family get out of a car -- first come all these dark headed kids, then Greg's petite Asian sisters, then small white haired mom, little wiry dad, dark Greg & then here comes the big red Irish girl.  Who cares?  I love them like my own parents.

My boys love their grandparents.  They call his dad Jiji, which is Japanese for "Gramps".  They call his mom Gramma, which is English for "Grandma".

Jiji went to heaven on Friday.

I'm happy for him.

Jiji loved Jesus, his wife, his grandkids, his garden and his kids.  In that order. 

Jiji was gentle.

Every time I hear the Beatitudes, I think of him. 

Jiji was simple.

Christ said to have the Faith of a Child, and Jiji had the Faith of a Child.

Jiji was humble.

He never let you know any of his accomplishments, but Jiji spoke three languages, was an avid baseball player, a WWII vet and travelled the world.

Jiji was industrious.

He was a gardener by trade.  He was a gardener by passion.  His yard was so beautifully maintained it should have been featured on HGTV.  He used his trade to make sure all three of his kids got good college educations so they wouldn't have to work as gardeners. 

Jiji was grateful.

He would say things like "So lucky my wife married me".  "So lucky the kids so healthy".  "So lucky have 5 grandchildren".  So lucky. 

Jiji -- we are the lucky ones. 

Enjoy heaven, Jiji.  Enjoy heaven, Dad.



  1. This is a beautiful tribute, Mary. Uncle Larry was such a soft spoken and gentle man. He will be missed.

  2. I'm truly saddened that another one of the Greatest Generation passes on. Thank you Mr. A for you service to our country. You'll be missed.

  3. I really want to say that I'm sorry for the loss your family is enduring, but after this beautiful post, it somehow seems inappropriate.

    I wish I would have known Jiji, after reading this. Thank you for sharing him with us, Mary.

  4. big hugs to you guys...what loving, beautiful words...i say he had a great daughter in law for being able to describe him so well...wonderful memories will hopefully cushion your to all of you!

  5. I am truly sorry for your loss, what a great tribute to him! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. I'm sorry to hear this Mary! Sending hugs to you and your family!

  7. Mary, our condolences for y'all while you mourn this great loss. I wish I would have given you a big hug this afternoon but we both had conferences to get throuhg and I didn't want to set anything off =}

    Big xoxoxo for you all!

  8. Jiji is in a wonderful place now. I think this is truly an amazing tribute, Mary-- I love that you are celebrating HIM, not the absence of him.

    You are wonderful.

  9. Mary, I am so sorry for your family's loss. From your wonderful words I can see how much he was loved. May God bless you all.

  10. What a heartfelt tribute. I am sure Jiji is sending all of his good luck to your family while he is gardening up in heaven. Sorry for your loss.

  11. He sounds like a wonderful man. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  12. What an amazing tribute. I wish the world had more Jijis in it--let's all take a little of him with us as we travel our roads.

    Of course, I mean that figuratively.

    Love you, Mary A. Thanks for this post.

    PS He was quite the looker back in the day, wasn't he?

  13. Mary, this made me cry. I love his pictures.


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