14. “Bye, Mom” was the Last Word

  I must apologize that I could not answer your letters sooner, although I've been meaning to write back as soon as possible. I get too tired to write in the evening after the days' hard work. It's, however, been hanging on my mind.

  During the War, we moved from Osaka to Hiroshima, where my parents' house was, because my husband was in poor health and unable to make a living. He died. Since my 9 year-old son, Katsumi, then a second grader at Hakushima National Elementary School, was not yet fully befriended by his new schoolmates, I didn't put him in a school evacuation group and had him stay with me. We were a lonely mother and child family without a father.

  That day, when all was clear, he left home for school saying, “Bye, Mom, I'm going to school”. Those were the last words I heard my son say. People were saying, “Taguchi has been burned to death under the collapsed building”. Immediately I went to the place mentioned, and found white bones of my child's size. I gathered and took them home with me. I hold services for him even today.

  I've got more to write, more to tell, but I cannot continue any more because of the tears; perhaps some other time. Later, I'd be glad to be of some help. Thank you for your understanding.

Written by Shizuko Taguchi(Otemachi, Hiroshima)

Death in the Atomic boming :
Katsumi Taguchi (a second grader at Hakushima National Elementary School)