Monday, October 27, 2008

Pay It Forward Potluck

Thank You Very Much

Last Wednesday, I invited the couples from the small group over for a Pay It Forward Potluck. My intentions with the party were to show them how thankful I was for their friendship and for the amazing compassion they have shown me during this nightmarish time. What amazing people they all are! HeeJun and I attended West Cabarrus church for several years and were involved in a small group of about 8 couples, give or take a few. The ladies group I went to was filled with such loving and Godly women. We have all gone separate ways, different churches, but I think the friendships and bonds we made while at WCC have only grown stronger. Some of them I hadn't seen in months before all this. Some have had babies I had not even met. But they were there immediately with comfort, prayers and love. I am so thankful.

During the potluck, I looked over and half of the guys were standing in my cramped bathroom trying to fix my toilet. "Hey, Erica, you got a flashlight?" These are good people.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Drained and then...Kellie Pickler

Apparently even though I was named beneficiary of accounts and insurance, without a will, there can be arguments and trust issues. Without going into too much detail, what a pain in the butt. It has only been two months and I am not ready to deal with financial issues or to make any decisions about the money yet. I was heartbroken that I felt I wasn't being trusted. I was mad at HeeJun for leaving everything like this; for not being clear about what he wanted people to do with his money. I was drained from having to talk about these kind of horrible things. I still can not believe he is gone. At times, when I remember that he is gone, it takes my breath away literally. My whole body tenses up and it feels like all the air in being sucked out of me. It is hard to wrap my brain around the fact that he is not here to handle these issues. He is not here to make these decisions; even the little decisions are draining to me. I had to try to mow the lawn yesterday and I couldn't get the mower started. Just another reminder. The hardest part of saying goodbye, is having to say it over and over again.

It was an emotionally and physically draining weekend. My whole body felt like jello. My shoulders desperately need a massage. My heart aches and I just miss my love. But God and HeeJun have a great sense of humor. As I am driving back to Charlotte from this horrible weekend, crying and being pitiful, a Kellie Pickler song came on. It starts off very sad and slow :When my time comes to an end. Don't be sad. Don't you shed one tear. Take me back to the place I love the most. All my best memories were made in my time here... Then suddenly it picks up and BOOM "Don't be sad or broken hearted, Spread my ashes in the shoe department...Everybody knows that's where I want be...Jimmy choo choo, saks fifth avenue for all eternity." I was laughing out loud. It just reminded me that although I am sad and missing HeeJun, he is CHILLING WITH LEMONADE, joyful and glorious. All these little nuisances like insurance and lawn mowers are nothing compared to the joy HeeJun has now. It comforts me a bit. Just a little bit.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another 7% of HeeJun

I received a letter in the mail from one of HeeJun's co-workers. While reading it I was bursting with pride for HeeJun. The author described beautifully HeeJun's character.

"...some friendships are built on a common outlook on life. People who have little in common in their personalities can still forge a friendship because they see life in the same way...Our personalities weren't particularly alike, but we saw the world the same way. I think that is why I liked him so much. He and I viewed life so similarly, from the mundane to the profound. As for the mundane- we both loved to eat..."(This is Erica talking...HeeJun enjoyed food, especially fast food and cafeteria food. The only stipulation at our wedding, and the only thing he cared about was that he would be able to eat GOOD food at the reception. He remembers being annoyed that people were coming up to him to congratulate him and he just wanted to chow down)

"We also had similar minds for technology...I had no idea he would turn out so good at it (when he was hired). He soaked it all up like a sponge. I sincerely believe he was the sharpest technical mind in our organization. The quality that really differentiated him as a technician was his understanding of how things worked as opposed to how to do things. The best technicians genuinely understand why things happen. "
"Every lunch together would usually feature at least on classic HeeJun rant against stupidity or injustice or something else that wasn't right with the world (Slow drivers). I always found that he had an uncannily accurate sense of what was happening in our organization. HeeJun had the unique ability to see things as they really are. In a corporate culture where we spend all of our time cheer leading, trying to convince ourselves how great we are, he never bought it. Not in a cynical way, he just had a realistic view of people's faults and limitations. And he called people on it. Not in the way of those who draw attention to the faults of others, in an attempt to conceal their own, but in the spirit of a friend who slaps you in he face to get your attention when you're doing something stupid. He hated that people went through life so deluded about themselves. "

"I think this was a part of his natural personality, but I have to think there was a spiritual aspect to it as well. Isn't self deception the biggest problem with the world today? People do not realize or refuse to accept that they are "dead men walking" before God. HeeJun understood this. He understood that just as people suppress the truth about their spiritual conditions they suppress the truth about other aspects of their life. And he saw right through it. He was the ultimate realist. Yet, there was no sense of arrogance. He knew that "there but for the grace of God, go I". His mind stripped away everything extraneous to get to the heart of the matter. The world needs more people like that."

"It could have hindered his career...Now I wonder if he was right all along. If telling the truth, hinders ones career, then let it be hindered. It is said that good leaders always keep someone around who is willing to tell them the unvarnished truth when they are getting off track. I always thought HeeJun that he was the perfect person for that job. I hoped maybe he could be that for me as we advanced in our careers. "

"My life is enriched for having know HeeJun. He was not one of my closest friends, but he was one of my favorite people. I miss him".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Night time is the hardest time for me. Lying in bed alone. I have my moments. Yesterday was a rough day all together. And that is okay. I am able to have these falling apart moments and then pull myself back together. I have no idea how. I do not need to be rescued during these moments and I hate to tell people that I am having these moments, because it makes others worry, and then they try to fix me. I don't need fixing, though. Just someone who will listen. I have been surrounded by such wonderful people who truly care and are allowing me to lose it.

Tragedy like this teaches people a lot about themselves. I did not know I had the strength to get out of bed. I did not know I had to strength to laugh and be joyful for others. I feel guilty at times when people ask me how am I not curled up in a ball, weeping. It makes me feel like because I am not doing that all the time, it takes away from how much I loved HeeJun. And man, do I love HeeJun. Every breath literally aches. This strength is not from me. It comes from the Hope that HeeJun and I both knew deeply! (and I can only lay in bed for so long...there is no other choice for me, but to keep holding on, keep pressing on)

I will stumble, I will fall down But I will not be moved I will make mistakes, I will face heartache, But I will not be moved On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand, I will not be moved Bitterness has plagued my heart, many times before, My life has been a broken glass, and I have kept the score, of all my shattered dreams, and though it seemed, that I was far too gone, my brokenness helped me to see, it's grace I'm standing on.

I had this lie in my head and these doubts about what Heaven was. The lie crossed my mind that maybe Heaven was just a fairy tale that we told each other, like Santa or the Easter Bunny. I wasn't sure if Heaven happened immediately after death, or was HeeJun just waiting for the day when Christ comes back. Oh, I hoped not. I hoped he was with Jesus, glorious and joyful. He wrote in his journal that his favorite verse was" Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewere". So I went to The Truth and found these verses incredibly comforting.

JOhn 14: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.

2 Corinthians 5 "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. ... Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. ... We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. ...I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Phillipians 3:20-21 "But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body".

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

Birthday weekend.

HeeJun was so good with birthdays. He would leave cards and notes everywhere. In high school, he always brought these huge balloons for me. He always wanted to be unique and tried to get special flowers and original gifts. I have been trying to remember each birthday I have had with him. I want to remember every moment. Last year we went to Boston Market because I was craving their mashed potatoes and corn. That memory is vivid in my mind. I have started a journal, along with this one and my prayer journal, where I write down all my memories I have with HeeJun.

The kids at work (and staff) threw me a birthday party. They are so stealth. I knew it was going to happen so I had time to compose myself. It was sweet and kind of them to think to celebrate for me. I think it is probably good for them and for the staff to see me "going on". Truthfully, though it gets really tiring putting on this shell. I feel like I have this outer armour on that smiles when it is supposed to, laughs when it is supposed to, pretends to care...and if that shell breaks a tiny bit, I'll crumble into tiny pieces. It would be so much easier to just crawl into a ball and just get lost in the darkness. But I am holding onto the Hope and Promise of Christ. Just have to keep reminding myself of that. I have been doing a study on Heaven. I will save that for another day.

The problem with this shell armour is that because I know I am supposed to be smiling or laughing, but my insides don't match that feeling, my expresssions and responses come out inappropriately strong. I screamed extremely LOUDLY when the staff presented me with a dozen Mocha Frappachinos I knew I was supposed to be excited, but the brain responses are all messed up. I laughed incredibly loudly when told a somewhat silly story. I freaked out when a homeless man yelled at me while trying to find a place to eat with my sister. I probably would have beaten him up if Brittany hadn't been there. I lost my temper at the 911 dispatcher when I was reporting a crazy driver on the highway. I cried hysterically at work when a kid threw a pepper. Inappropriate responses. And any emotion I have; fear, excitement, joy, sadness all gets messed up and comes out super strong.

This weekend my parents came to visit. Brittany has been here since Wednesday. Her birthday was October 2nd. We watched lots of movies and tv, went out to eat and have been playing with the crazy dogs. We have been mistaken for twins three times already. We never looked alike as kids, but now we are morphing into eachother. My whole family and the crazy three dogs drove up to Jonas Ridge, to the crash site, yesterday. The cross that HeeJun's motorcycle friend put at the spot is touching and beautiful. There is a trail leading to a waterfall right near the spot, so we went hiking. It was a nice way to make the trip a positive experience.

All these things have been nice. It has been sweet to have friends take me out to eat. It has been comforting to have my family around. Wonderful to be near my sister. Fun to watch to dogs play. He is on my mind, in my thoughts, in my every breath constantly. It feels ungrateful for me to say, but I wish all these comforting and kind things didn't have to happen. I wish people didn't have to take care of me on my birthday. Because then he would still be with me.