I dreaded this Mother’s Day, fearing that it would throw me into a funk (and, let’s face it – nobody needs that:). First Mother’s Day without the MOP, first Mother’s Day on the other side of the world from the guys, etc. But then I decided, like Abe Lincoln said, “Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
So I made up my mind to be happy.
Of course, I missed MOP and wished a thousand times that things were different and that she was here and healthy and making some cheese enchiladas and pie. She always made everything special.
But, just when I was tempted to get all verklempt, I was reminded of one of those multiple moves that we made back when I was a kid. This one was to Mt. Clemens, Michigan. We lived in a townhouse during that move (good for southerners who weren’t familiar with snow-shoveling and ice removal). In our townhouse “neighborhood,” lived a family from Georgia. Since our accents were similar, my mother made friends with the mom of that family right off the bat. A few months into our tenure there in Mt. Clemens, I noticed that my mother was not hanging out with the Georgia woman much and asked her why.
“She naps all afternoon,” (a major character flaw in my mother’s mind) “and she has decided to just sit it out until their 5 years here in Michigan are over and they can go back home to Georgia.”
Even as a pretty unsophisticated 15-year-old, I knew that was not a good plan. “That’s just wasting your life,” I sagely told my mother. She agreed. A lesson to my 64-year-old self from that genius 15-year-old. Don’t waste a minute!
Mother’s Day is a big deal here in South Korea. Over the weekend, our hotel was full of multi-generational families (many from Japan) here celebrating the big day. In every subway station, there’s a “photo op” set-up flanked with balloons and flowers, and usually a bench, for families to use to take group photos. I loved watching the families, particularly loving the way that they took care of the 할머니 halmeoni (grandma). They do revere the elderly (which is good for me – there’s always a seat on the subway!)
Things are good here. We did a lot of exploring and shopping over the weekend. 5+ miles on Saturday and 6+ miles yesterday. If I’m not careful, I might lose a pound or two. Nah…Probably not.
We went to church at the Seoul International Baptist Church yesterday. Mack had visited there while I was back in Texas, and he liked it. For our entire marriage, Mack and I have been in a couple’s Sunday School class, which I prefer. But, there are no couple’s classes in Korea! So, off to the Women’s Class I went (held in the Crying Room over the Sanctuary…that struck me as funny, for some reason). The class was interesting. All English-speakers, but English speakers from all over the world. 8 of them. It’s a small church.
I liked the Sunday school class, but still wasn’t sure that we were in the right spot. Then….the second song they had during the church service was Knowing You, Jesus…my first (and still favorite) cello song. Since I’ve never been to any church that sang that song, I took it as a sign. The preacher was excellent. He’s American and has been here 11 years. He also teaches at the seminary here in Seoul. I enjoyed his sermon.
We’re signing up to make cookies and hang out at the church during the Haebongcheon Music Festival on May 25. The church members spend a few hours in the church that day, playing board games while the building is opened to the community to use the potties and cool down during the festival. Then, we will go out into the streets and pass out cookies to the festival-goers. This area is more “Korean” than some more Americanized parts of the city, and this is a good way to meet folks in the community. The preacher said that they are known as the “Cookie Church” to locals. I think it sounds like a hoot – and a good way to get to know people.
I rode the subway over from the hotel to the apartment this morning and am awaiting a shipment from the resale shop. I’ll post photos when the goodies get here. It’s like Korea’s own version of THE GUILD!
Of course, we bought beds, couches, recliners (anything upholstered) new and we are crossing our fingers, hoping that delivery gets here soon. My shipping crate from the US is due in customs this morning. I think that it is quite a process, and will take a few days to clear. But, we have given notice that we are leaving the hotel on Friday. I hope we have a bed by then:)
So, one of the hardest of the “firsts” came and went and I survived. I still can’t believe that the MOP is not there waiting to hear all about this new adventure. But, then I think that she’s probably up there in heaven, watching the whole shebang (so I need to be careful not to “nap all afternoon”🙂.
Jane Fischer-Medlin, quoting your Mother’s Day post..”I miss her every day, but I know I’ll see her again. And I know she would want me to live every day with joy and with a thankful heart.” Yep…what you said.