Sayoko Meyer-Eggen

I thought that today was just like any other day. At first, it was like any other day. I woke up, late again. I made breakfast, scrambled eggs with sausages. Then I checked my phone for new messages. The sky was quite cloudy this morning, but it was not a cold day. I saw my mother off before she went to work in the afternoon and just like every other day I began writing my notes for university. After a while my father came home from work. He cooked some rice and then he laid down on the sofa to take a nap. Since I was writing notes for a few hours already, I decided to go upstairs to read something on my kindle, a lovestory, a story I downloaded from Amazon.

Then I heard our phone ring. It woke up my father and he picked it up. It was the mother of my brother’s friend. I just continued reading my story until he came upstairs and handed me the phone. The mother wanted some information concerning a Japanese language course I participated in 6 years ago because her son is now interested in learning Japanese, too.

The language course I participated in took place in her son’s school. It was just a coindcidence that I began studying Japanese. My former friend saw a poster, advertising for the language course, in our school and she suggested going there together. We didn’t even have to pay lesson fees.

I can remember that every Friday I would rush from my school to the other school, just to learn Japanese. It was exhausting, because unfortunately, during those years, school didn’t finish early. Everytime I just made it in time for the Japanese lesson. It was really enjoyable. Our teacher was strict, yet really kind and we learned a lot. I continued to study Japanese every Friday, for 3 years, until graduation.

I think that by her offering me the chance to study Japanese, it has had a great impact on my life. Maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now without her.

Since I only have good memories of my language course and of my teacher, of course I wanted to recommend her lessons to the friend’s mother. I told her that I would look for her E-Mail address and pass it on to her son.

I have this bad habit of not deleting my E-Mails. I still have E-mails that I received in 2006. However, thanks to that, I was sure, that I would find the E-Mail address of my teacher. To make sure that she was still teaching, I wanted to inform myself through google. I clicked on the first link, which seemed to be an annoucement in the newspaper, not aware, what would await me. I thought that it was an announcement for new language courses.

I have never expected to see a death notice, a death notice with my teacher’s name on it. I didn’t believe it at first, I thought that it was a mistake, I thought, that it was someone else. I checked the first name, compared it with the name I have in my E-Mail address book. It was the same. I checked her last name and compared it again. It was the same. I still couldn’t believe it. Then I opened the website of the university where she used to teach. There was also written, under her biography, that she has passed away.

Yesterday, one year ago, 23.09.2015, she passed away. Nearly exactly one year has passed. I don’t think that I know anybody else, with whom I have spend that much time with, who has passed away. I didn’t even spend that much time with my grandparents.

I am quite shocked and I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know whether I want to cry or not. I am sad of course, yet happy that I still have my happy memories of her and the language course.

I think that she has given me so much and I want to thank her for that.

Sayoko-Sensei, thank you for giving me the chance to learn Japanese. Thank you for being a patient and kind teacher, you were the first one who taught me the beauty of this language that has accompanied me until this very day. You will be remembered with every stroke I make and with every word that I write.

Another year has passed
without noticing
life is not
you may
but you will be