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    Posted January 19, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

    My family’s end of the year tradition


    I love my family that includes my grandmother. Every year I spend the end of the year with my family. Of Course my grandmother is with us.

    In the middle of the 2013 my grandmother discovered she had cancer and had to stay in a  hospital. This meant it would be difficult for her to celebrate the ending of 2013 with us. When my family heard this news, we were shocked. However, my grandmother said she would try to recover because she wanted to spend the end of the year with us. She took a lot of prescribed medicine and finally got  permission from her doctor to return home at year’s end.

    In the end, my family was able to gather. We were very happy for my grandmother’s return. My mother and I cooked “Osechi-ryori”, which is traditional Japanese New Year foods. This tradition started in the Heian Period. “Osechi” foods are arranged in “Jubako”, which resemble bento boxes. Each dish has a special meaning to celebrate the New Year. My grandmother likes a sweetened mixture of boiled and mashed chestnuts, called “Kurikinton” in Japanese, so I cooked it for her.

    My family ate the “Osechi” though it was not New Year. My grandmother joined us and looked really happy. She said, “The Kurikinton was very delicious! Well done!” I was glad to see her smile. We laughed naturally and everyone talked about his or her recent situation. It was so exciting and interesting.

    At the beginning of the new year my grandmother returned to her hospital. She has to fight against her disease and of course it is sad. But I felt it was a precious time for me to laugh with the whole family. There are no bonds as strong as familial ties. The day my family gathered was a very happy day for me. I’m concerned for my grandmother’s recovery because I want my entire family to gather in our home once more.

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