12. Please Be Alive, Mother

  The time, eight fifteen... I do not want to remember the time, eight fifteen on August 6th. My child, Shizuko came back home, having been burnt and tearing the skin of her arms, face, and neck. Our house had been blown away, disappearing without a trace. I was at a loss at that time, and I did not come to until my next door neighbor's daughter spoke to me. I ran up to my daughter. Her figure was completely different from what I had seen when she left for school. I could not do anything but absent-mindedly look at my burnt and swollen daughter. “How many hours passed?” I wondered.

  The first-aid station outside of Hiroshima was helpless as hundreds of people died hour after hour. Eight-year-old Shizuko was on the verge of dying, but nobody heard her cries and complaints. She kept asking for water. I gave her water although I knew the water would shorten her life. Who could blame me? I just wanted my dying daughter to relieve her agony.

  My husband was, at that time, one of the sailors who were stationed on the islands in the Pacific Ocean. “Since my father is in a dangerous place far away from home,” she said as if she had seen her father's vision, “please be alive, Mother. If both of us die, Father would surely feel lonely.”

  Shizuko mentioned all of her friends and relatives. When she spoke of her grandparents' names, she said, “Grandpa and Grandma were very kind to me and treated me with love.” She said, “Father, Father,” and died.

Written by Written by Fukiko Iura (Hirano-cho Hiroshima)

Death in the Atomic boming :Shizuko Iura (a second grader in Hakushima National Elementary School )