Timeout with Toshiko

I had a choice to make in my trip to Denver.  Twice before I had gone on business and missed seeing Toshiko.  The first time I called and chatted with her for about 30 minutes.  The second time I flew in and out the same day.  My work-brain argued with my heart.  I made my flight and hotel reservations still undecided how I would spend my time in Denver.

Work-brain:  Get there early afternoon, and you’ll have plenty of time to get to the hotel, catch up on e-mail, and check for any urgent messages.

Heart:  Gt there early and spend the afternoon with Toshiko.  Four hours away from e-mail, texting, phone calls isn’t going to crash my work-world.

I hate to admit that I actually thought about this and agonized over the decision.  On Saturday afternoon, 3 days before I left, I called Toshiko.  She was so excited that I called.  When I asked if she would be home on Tuesday, she got even more excited!!  “Oh, Bea-chan, so I will get to see you and not just talk on the phone?” 

So we talked a while, she gave me detailed directions on how to get to her house, said she would change her dentist appointment so that she would be home.  Once I hung up the phone, my mind was made up.  I would rent a car, spend the afternoon with Toshiko and get to the hotel later in the evening.

Tuesday, I arrived in Denver on time and got my rental car.  I drove to Toshiko’s house and arrived around 11:30 a.m.  She was so happy to see me, and I caught her in the middle of making lunch.  For the next four hours, I listened to her “crazy stories”.  We had a good lunch and a good visit.  About 2:30 p.m., it started snowing.  She started to worry about me driving to the hotel, so I started getting my stuff together.  I couldn’t go away empty-handed, so she packed all the nuts, walnut treats, yogurt covered raisins for snacking!

I arrived at my hotel in time for an early dinner.  Of course, I checked e-mail, messages, etc. and amazingly enough, all was well with the work-world.  I didn’t miss any call, there were no major emergencies, and I spent an afternoon with a dear friend.  I reflected on what I had learned that afternoon:

  • Learned how to make home-made yogurt
  • Discovered the healthy benefits of walnuts
  • How to burglar-proof your house
  • Watch Toshi light up like a child when we sent a “selfie” to my dad’s phone
  • Got a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be a widow and live alone
  • Work-world kept turning without me!

In the grand scheme, what really matter is the human connection . . . cultivating your relationships, spending quality time with your loved ones.

Toshiko will be 87 later this month, and I realized that she and I have fewer days ahead of us than behind us.  So what if I missed four hours of the work-world?  I’m positive that I made the right choice and will do it again if given the opportunity.  I hope all of you have a “Bea Positive” day and remember to disconnect from technology and connect with friends and family.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Norma
    Mar 06, 2014 @ 23:46:25

    I love to learn new things every day. And it sounds like some of the things you learned were new and fun (how to burglar-proof your house and to make yogurt); some of them healthful (walnuts); some of them revealing (that a widow’s world is different and that the work-world can stay alive for a few minutes without our life support); and one that we always know and always count on in our heart-of-hearts without having to re-learn it (that loved ones are to be cherished). I am SO glad you had time to cherish Toshiko while she could cherish you right back ! Time well spent!


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