Audrey keeps telling people “My inlaws are coming…” I guess she hears me saying that a lot lately.
It’s a strange feeling Dan, to be preparing for a visit from your parents- without you here.
I can still remember the first time your mom came to our home when we were newly married. Before she came, I went crazy scrubbing our apartment from top to bottom, buying Korean food, and even magazines in Korean I picked up in Koreatown to leave by her bedside. She happened to come during a heat wave so it was miserably hot. You and I gave her our bed and slept on the hardwood floor beside her in the bedroom of our 100 year old brownstone in Brooklyn because that was the only room we had air conditioning in. It was miserable.
Today I cleaned again. Scrubbed the bathrooms, steamed the kitchen floor, dusted and vacuumed the living area. I went to H-mart and spent $160 on kalbi, panchan, special grain rice, and a bunch of other things. I will make a soybean soup I’ve never tried before, bi bim bop because Audrey has a children’s book about making that and she’ll enjoy sharing that with her grandparents.
I find I am throwing myself into this. Because this is what a good Korean daughter in law does- and no, I’m not Korean- but I did my best to assimilate- because that’s what you do when you love your husband and he happens to be Korean.
But also, I think, it is a certain kind of duty that I am a little giddy to embrace- it is a wifely duty- and technically- from what I hear- I’m no longer a wife.
Do I still call them omanim and abanim? Koreans are so particular about titles- they have a different one for each relationship.
I love you and I miss you Daniel. Tomorrow I will host your parents. They’ll play with your daughter. I will be thinking of you every moment, feeling the deep void of your absence. You should be here…
you should be here.