I remember walking up strange streets in Okinawa with you, past houses with iron gates and stone walls, watching compact cars and colorful taxis nimbly drive by. I was 12, and you were younger than I had thought. We walked past merchants piping Japanese pop songs, their music mixing with the Thompson Twins playing steadily in my mind. We passed by temples and crowded graveyards with crypts as big as pet houses. I picture the tight curls permed into your hair and the dresses you wore, soft and lilting and feminine and humble, your flat shoes protecting your feet and reporting to the other ladies that you indeed were down-to-earth.
I may not understand everything a mother loses when her daughter grows up. I can only grasp for memories like this.