From Thomas C. Goodhart
It’s a random memory really, happening sometime in early January of 1989 while visiting my maternal grandparents. I was thirteen years old. After saying hello to grandpa and removing my shoes at the front door, my mom and brother still fiddling with their own, I was the first to walk into the kitchen and greeted my grandmother. She was at the stove putting the kettle on to boil for tea.
“Tommy,” (because everyone who knew me before college called me and still call me that) “did you hear Emperor Hirohito died?”
“Yes, I did.” I replied.
And then the rest of the family entered followed by commotion and what not, that the Monarch’s passing did not come up again during our time together.
I’ve often wondered about that abbreviated conversation. Why did she ask? What did she mean? Was it simply chatting about current events or was there more? Why didn’t the subject come up again? Was my grandmother processing with me something about his passing? I never brought it up again or asked her about it.