October 12, 2005

More On My Trip To Korea

One aspect of my trip that was bitter-sweet was finally meeting my uncle. The one who my mom didn't know until her teen years.

I didn't think I could love and miss this man so much after just 10 days with him. It was as if I had known him my whole life. His English is pretty good so we were able to talk about most anything. His days were devoted to carting me around so I could see what Korea was like.

Now, my uncle is 71 and not in the best of health. I learned just before I left Korea that he had been diagnosed with a fatal liver disorder and would likely not live much longer. Even though he was very ill, he made sure that I learned about my roots. - where I came from!

It really is a tragedy. No one longs for the Unification of Korea more than he. He wants to learn what happened to his father, his brother, his sister - 54 years ago. Are they still alive? What have they been doing all these years, do they remember him?

It is a door that is not closed in his life. Before my mother left, she gave him the funds to go on a "peace" ride to a mountain somewhere in North Korea. See they have trains and buses that are allowed to go into North Korea on a limited basis for the purposes of extending the peace and moving toward unification. He is, hopefully, going to take that trip before he dies. He wants to see the land that is part of his family, as the majority of the Ubong-Kim land lies just north of the DMZ. He wants to try to find his lost siblings, or anyone who may have known them.

Part of the reason he and my aunt put a headstone at their mother's grave was if unification was ever achieved and his siblings returned to the place of their birth, they would know someone cared for their mother's grave and that three of them survived. All their names are on the stone so they can reach out to any of the siblings should it ever come to pass.

It saddens me that he may not live to try to find his long-lost siblings. It saddens me that he may not live to meet my son on my next trip to Korea. I am, however, so happy to have had the opportunity to meet him!

Posted by Oddybobo at October 12, 2005 01:31 PM | TrackBack


Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Ogre at October 12, 2005 03:14 PM

Your stories of your family and Korea are amazing. I wish your Uncle well and I hope he is able to take his peace ride. Thank you again for sharing these personal stories.

Posted by: Sticks at October 12, 2005 08:24 PM

I too hope and pray he's able to visit and achieves closure before he dies.

Posted by: Michele at October 12, 2005 10:58 PM

I sooo hope you are able to see him again, however I am glad you did get to meet him.

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at October 13, 2005 10:36 AM

That is so difficult. I had a great aunt I just learned about and started talking to on the phone for a month or two, and she died. I never got to meet her in person. It is sad, but I had the opportunity to talk to her on the phone and learn more about my past. I am very happy you got to meet your uncle in person. What a wonderful memory... and hopefully more in the future.

Posted by: vw bug at October 13, 2005 04:12 PM

Oh, wow, honey, that is soooo very hard.

So many have suffered so much.

God Bless.

Posted by: Christina at October 17, 2005 01:02 PM
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