On a bitterly cold January morning, I set out to teach a visiting Korean middle-school group during their winter break. They were housed dormitory style in a weathered Victorian house in Flushing, Queens. Had my NY students been sent to equally dilapidated lodgings their mommies would be on the first flight into Gimpo International to rescue them. But these Dae Han Min Gook sons and daughters were intrepid. They laughed at the faulty wiring, made faces at the food and piled their coats over their blankets when the icy winds stormed the window jambs.Read More
One More Thing Before I Go
Last spring when the scent of lilacs followed me from the backyard into my kitchen, I thought of my mother’s distant cousin and her daughters, who, like my lilacs, visited yearly when the earth warmed and the days grew longer. I pictured us all in idyllic memories of jump rope games and playing with dolls. But, except for MaryAnn, the littlest daughter, I could not remember their names.
A few years ago, I could have called my mother. She would have teased me for my forgetfulness, asked what I was making for dinner (there was never a phone conversation where we didn’t talk about food) and repeated her mother-to-daughter mantra, “When are you coming over?” We would have shared stories of those long-ago days before hanging-up and re-joining our lives. But my mother has passed on and while the images of our family lingers-the details are lost. I write One more thing before I go, my living record for my son, in hope that one day, when he has a question I can no longer answer, it can be found in this blog.