A memory came back to me the other day and I’ve been pondering it in my heart.
It was in Korea when we went for the lunar New Year the year after we were married. It was a rough trip for me (and you). I was the new daughter in law, and not accustomed to the culture there. I brought my hanbok- traditional Korean dress, and had to change into it a few times to bow to the many relatives I met in Seoul and then Daegu. Your mom informed me on a Wednesday or Thursday that she’d told their church I would be singing on Sunday. It was February and very cold, and I caught a horrible cold and cough and was up many nights coughing and even throwing up. We traveled to the small village where your father grew up and there again, I bowed in a room of old women sitting on the floor squinting at me.
Finally, I remember there was a moment after church that Sunday- where yes, I’d gotten up in front of a huge congregation and sang while you accompanied me on piano- my face on a giant screen- when your mom said they’d give us a few minutes alone and we could rest- they had some things to do at church in the afternoon.
I think almost as soon as their apartment door closed, we stood in the middle of the room embracing very, very tightly and taking a deep, unified breath.
“I missed you,” you whispered. “I missed you so much.”