Already Your Birthday

This is a black night.

Around dinner time I started thinking of your parents and brothers waking up in Korea, on your birthday.  What they must be feeling and thinking.  So it’s already your birthday.

Last night a friend told me I’m doing a great job grieving and she’s proud of me- “You get an A.”  It was an inside joke between us because we’ve both been slaves to being the “good girl” our whole lives.  It makes me think, yes- I am trying to grieve perfectly.  I am trying to get an A plus in the grief class.  I give up.  It is all disarray.

I was planning on going through all of the memorial letters- hundreds- I received for a book I will make Audrey- but I was telling the friend how down I feel this week and how I dread looking through them.  I looked at some of them briefly, crying, in the earlier days when they were emailed to me by the coordinator, but have not looked at them since.  She told me to let it go.  So, I have decided I will do that.  I will not force myself to read those the night before your birthday.  That will be for another time.

On December 17, 1976, you were born a tiny baby with a whole life in front of you.  It has only turned out to be 33 years.  I am sad for the baby that let out his first cry in the hospital room.  I am sad for the infant girl who was was eight months old living in New Jersey at the time…your future wife…me.

In your own words- in a journal from 1999- right after we met- you tell your own story with your unique humor and innocence.

“I was born in the Doctors Memorial Hospital in Carbondale, IL (Turns out a famous Korean American violinist was born in the same hospital. (David Kim?  Lee?  forget)  Anyways, I was born there in 1976 Dec.  I don’t remember much but I bet I was having a ball being kissed and lifted by all the young ladies…Uh, now that I think about it, they’re 40 now…sick…”

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