Tuesday, December 23, 2008

before we get to Christmas

Christmas 2008 is nearly upon us. The house has been decorated, tree trimmed, parties gone to and another to come. We've caroled and missed loved ones who have passed. Watched a number of sappy but heart-warming television movies. The weather has been beyond bitter yesterday, ice is everywhere ( so sorry Teri for your fall), and now the temperature is rising and it's raining, which is supposed to turn to ice before turning back to water. Jacob, on duty today, in usually warm Indiana is treating an amazing number of broken bones, due to the ice storm that hit their area.

But there are two pictures I want to share with you. The first is the picture that s-i-l Ken took for us and I just got (thank you so much Ken). This is how we fit all 24 of us around "one" table....if you remember, it's actually 3 tables and one tea cart. It stretched from the back window where Robert sat, to the front window where Ken sat (or stood taking this picture). It was a marvelous meal. We won't be having that sort of meal on Thursday, Christmas Day. But this time we get to have Marissa and Hank join us....they were in Texas for Turkey Day as you may recall. Plus Jordan and Hillary. Wonder if it will be too quiet for us.

About the middle of the afternoon today, the phone rang. I didn't recognize the area code but I answered it anyway, which is unusual when I am in a rush doing all I need to do. But I am so glad I did. On the other end of the line was our own Jason Lee...officially HongJu Lee. HongJu came to live with us from Korea, before my mom died. He was one of our international students, placed at Lorain County Community College. We so enjoyed having him live with us and altho we knew that he was ready to move out on his own, we still were able to keep in contact with him. His mom came to visit him and we loved having her come visit us. She brought me this lovely enamel keepsake box which I still have and enjoy. When he graduated from LCCC he was this amazing, award winning student...Something like the #1 Junior College student in the nation. Attending his commencement was a thrill.

Then off he went to Northwestern. We emailed a couple of times but then lost him. Sadly, he lost us as well. But he has now completed his bachelors degree from Northwestern, was back in the community today and looked up our phone number. We were delighted to have him come visit us and had hoped he could stay....but drats! he had other plans but promised to return. He was sweet and said he missed my cooking.

And it was such an exciting moment to see him standing at the door, waving at us. And he's taller than me, even!

He has turned into such an amazing man. His language skills are excellent. He's taken two trips to Dubai for his Senior Thesis, interned in Mexico, China, Chicago and is now on his way to work in Manhattan. HongJu's plans are to work this next year, then to take the gmat and on to a PhD. HongJu promises to come back and I have to say, I intend to make him keep that promise. Since I am posting his paper, he knows he must update it. He brought along his pictures and studies from the experience and I , who won't travel out of the country, couldn't believe that this young student from Korea, could have developed this incredible urge to travel, study abroad and be successful.

Sometimes we accept these "adventures" for many reasons but when we see those adventures return to us, fully grown, kind and generous, we recognize how blessed we have been.


Lin said...

what a family you have and extended family. you are a blessing to them all...your cup overflows...

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Hey Mom - I'm typing to you on my new Christmas present!!!

mom/caryn said...

Okay... so, it's beginning to look like you may have to set up a dozen tables in the cultural hall with the addition of about three more family members. What an incredible sight. I'm so glad you shared the picture with us. It looks like such a good time! Where in the world did you fit everyone after the table had been cleared?

My youngest son is moving to Korea the end of February. A small Island in the south who's name eludes me at the moment. Age! It's sucking my memory right out of my cranium.

You certainly are a blessed woman!! May they increase in 2009!

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