A Memorable Three Hours

madoka kasahara

MK_three-hours_03.18.09.JPGIn my last blog, I talked about my grandmother, who had just passed away.

What I didn’t mention was the tiny problem I had trying to get back to Japan for the funeral. This sad event was going to be held in Japan, but I was in Los Angeles – 5,500 miles away from Tokyo and an additional 30 miles from Tokyo to my hometown. Overall, it would take me 17 hours to get from the airport in Los Angeles to the one in Sapporo.

But no matter how far it was, I’d always promised myself, my family, and my relatives that when the time came, I would attend my grandma’s funeral, so I hoped they could delay the funeral for a few days to wait for me.

When my father called my cell phone to give me the sad news, it was past 7:30 in the morning here in LA and 12:30 midnight the next day in Japan (Japan being 17 hours ahead of Los Angeles). As soon as I hung up from the call, I got up, turned on the computer, and took out one of my suitcases from the closet. But I didn’t pack anything.

It’s strange – I had known that this day would come sometime soon because my grandma had been getting weaker and weaker every day, but even with that knowledge, I didn’t know where to start. I just stood there for a few minutes and then I started walking back and forth between the living room where the computer was and the bedroom. I lost a good few minutes doing nothing but walking. I went into a panic and my brain refused to function well – it became a blank and empty space. Finally, I decided to take a shower to shake the feeling off.
After my shower, which helped calm me down, I decided to look for a flight online. So for the next hour, I kept busy making several calls to check prices and availability. I then made a few more important calls to let people know my situation.

Once I’d booked my flight, I realized I had less than one and half hours to get to the airport. My friend came almost immediately to take me to the airport. But there was only one problem – I hadn’t finished packing yet!

15 minutes was the maximum time I could spend on packing; otherwise, I would miss the flight and have to wait till the next day. I ended up rushing into his car with a half-empty suitcase.

I arrived at LAX just a few minutes before they were closing the counter.
Whew, I barely made it!

All this happened in the space of three hours and now here I was, on the airplane. But I had to make a few more important calls, even though I know it’s illegal to use a cell phone on a plane. Two flight attendants came to tell me to turn off my cell phone, but the calls were so important that I had to try anyway.

Nobody picked up!?

Oh well, time was up and the plane was now taking me to Japan. All I could do was relax my mind and clear all the anxiety I’d felt rushing to get ready and make the flight. I took a few deep and soothing breaths, and stretched my body as much as I could within the confined space of my seat.

It was at this moment that I was grateful to Yoga for teaching me how to meditate and relax during such a stressful time.

Japan Trip to My Grandma’s Funeral:

[tags]grandmother, grandma, funeral, yoga on airplane, excercise on airplane, stretches, stressful time[/tags]

2 Responses to “A Memorable Three Hours”

  1. tad says:


  2. Madoka says:

    Thanks Tad. Well I was too busy to think anything at that time but now I feel this is definitely one of the most memorable moments in my life:)

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