Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

New blog

New blog

Don't forget to go to my new blog!


See you there!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I've moved!!!

Guess what! A certain, McSmarty showed me how to be brilliant and made me a beautiful blog! I've moved to my own domain name! I'm serious now! One of the best things I did for my healing in those first few days after HeeJun's accident was to ask Amanda B. to hook me up on a blog. It has been one of the best comforts and supports for me.

Go to http://www.chillinwithlemonade.com for the new blog and you can find out all about my birthday!

You can go to http://chillinwithlemonade.com/?page_id=243 to subscribe to email alerts when I post something new.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Father, HEAL!

"When I lay my questions before God I get no answer. But rather a special sort of No answer. It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but in waiving the question. Like, "Peace, my child, you don't understand."- C.S. Lewis

I do not understand why another friend in my life sustainers circle is hurting. I do not understand why her husband, at the age of 29, with a 2 year old and 5 week old, became so ill that he is on life support. I do not understand why things like this keep happening to this group. Should we break up? Are we bad luck for each other? NO! God knew when he put us together 7 years ago that we would need each other. Because I do understand my friend's weeping. I do understand her struggle to find a breath. I do understand the numbness and pain, not being able to sleep, not wanting to be alone, having to be reminded to eat.

I also understand true rejoicing. I know that this group will be together and support each other, bring food, spend the night, love on each other through the pain. Yet, we will also REJOICE when the babies are born after years of struggling, the parents are brought home after being displaced, the joy returns after a brother dies, the cancer is gone, a widow elopes, and BRIAN is healed! We will Hope and trust in His faithfulness. We will rejoice.

Brian- We are not accepting new members into this club. Liz is not allowed to join. Keep fighting. You are being prayed for continually. We love you all lots!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Forever - Rascal Flatts [HD][Lyrics]


i had a memory today at church.

A few years ago, HeeJun and I were at church and during the altar call, two of our friends went up. they were struggling to get pregnant. i remember watching them praying and crying for them. my heart broke for them. HeeJun turned to me, so calmly, so confident, so faithful and said "they'll be ok". He had such a faith. He knew God would be faithful to them.

They now have two incredible, awesome, fun and adorable boys.

The motorcycle talk

Ah, yes. The motorcycle talk. It's not fair that I hate them so much now. It's not fair that my body cringes when I see one or see a helmet or even hear one. It's not fair that tears stream down my face when I just imagine my boyfriend riding one now. Just imagining him in a helmet sends me into a wave of panic. It's not fair that just hearing about my friends riding makes me sick to my stomach. I hear it and immediately put up a wall. "Don't get close, Erica. You might get hurt. They might die". It's not fair that when I make future plans, I think
"unless we die". It's not fair that when my boyfriend says "that always reminds me of you", I say "good. if I die, you'll have something to always think of me". It's not fair that everytime I see a motorcycle I see HeeJun in the casket, his neck all swollen and makeup cracked. Dead. Dead. Dead.

I hear the arguments, "you can't live your life in fear" or "you could get hit by a bus tomorrow and die" or "at least he died happy" and I cry BULLSHIT! Motorcycles are dangerous, but also I have a valid excuse to be terrified of them. Trauma can mess you up. And I know, I know, I know HeeJun would have much rather lived, then "died happy". If we had known...if he had known...

It's not fair, but such is my life.

A post from a rider

A rider who was there that day posted this on a bike forum. It's nice to hear about the smile...

"It was good to see some familiar faces again, it's been way too long.It's been over 2 years since Heejun died on a ride I organized and can honestly say a day hasn't passed that I don't think about it. It was a spectacular day in early August, not a cloud to be seen and surprisingly cool for that time of year. The trip up old 18 was fast and effortless, I could easily imagine everyone smiling in their helmets as we made our way north. In Morganton while waiting at a stoplight, Heejun put his kick stand down and adjusts the shock. I've seen him do stuff like that before and found it amusing, always adjusting and tweaking. The ride up 181 was one of the best in memory, almost no traffic with lots of knee dragging fun. Fast, but controlled, not crazy in any way. I recall the look on his face while pulling his helmet off, it was one of those smiles you couldn't suppress if your life depended on it. He said that was the best run up the mountain ever!The trip down started out as usual but oddly I didn't see Heejun in my mirror, Jay was behind me and Brian behind him. As we made our way down the mountain the pace picked up and soon we were engrossed in the task at hand. Jay and I made it all the way down before realizing we were alone and headed back up and got the grim news. When Rob told me what had happened my first reaction was disbelief, nothing seemed real. I called Kirk (another of our riding friends) to tell him what happened and asked if he could get over their house before the police show up. While nothing can prepare you for news like that, getting it from a total stranger is especially cruel. I'm glad Kirk made it there to help soften the blow.I've ridden with Heejun many times and we did a number of track days together in the 2 years I've known him. There were times when he pissed me off, and of course there were plenty of times I returned the favor He was stubborn and opinionated and in many ways a carbon copy of my personality so conversational sparks would fly occasionally. The Heejun I knew was a huge advocate of wearing proper gear but was an even bigger advocate of riding fast, and controlled with a knee firmly planted whenever possible. And THAT is why we rode together, it was just so damn much fun. Godspeed my friend... "

Friday, September 3, 2010

Memorial Ride

Check out these pictures:



Last Saturday several incredible people went on a memorial ride to visit the accident site. I was able to go this year. The past two years, it was just too hard. This year, though, I know these people. Do you know the movie Varsity Blues? There is a moment where the crazy little brother says "these are my people". I feel that way with these guys. They have adopted me and I adore them.

My sister, Brittany, arrived at the meeting spot first. She texted me and said, "take a deep breath before you see everyone. I almost threw up". This was the first time I think that she got to see everyone in all their gear and all their bikes. It can be overwhelming. For me, it's what I know. This used to be my life.

It was actually fun to see everyone. I brought Moorea for comic relief and something to hold onto as we approached mile marker 22. At the spot, some shared memories of HeeJun. We took pictures and cleaned up the spot. The beautiful cross is still there, and I think will always be there. My little dinky red cross has seen better days. One day, I will bring a hammer up and take it down. I took the picture down this time. It was getting so tattered and faded.

I asked Doug if there was anyone on the ride that was there on That Day. I wanted to hear their stories. I find comfort in hearing how other people found out or what happened on that day. I like to hear that I wasn't the only one who got the crap kicked out of them on that day. That Day changed many people's lives forever, not just mine.

It was getting a little too emotional and hard for me to hold it together, so when everyone else went for lunch, the boyfriend and I went for a hike. Note to self: the waterfall trail is not below the mile marker 22. That trail is ridiculously hard! But a good way to focus on trying not to pass out while going up a steep slope, instead of thinking about HeeJun's tear.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meeting the Parents

A few weekends ago my boyfriend came home with me to meet the parents. I am used to intertwining HeeJun and the boyfriend into my home here, but I did not expect the emotions that came up to happen at my parents house. It was a weird feeling. It was the first time I have felt like I was cheating on HeeJun. My parents house is where HeeJun and I pretty much grew up together. I was able to acknowledge these feelings and talk about them with Thee Boyfriend.

There was a moment, though, that I was up in my old bedroom and Thee Boyfriend was downstairs. In that bedroom is a picture of me and HeeJun on our wedding day. There was a moment where I wanted to take that picture and just lie on my old bed all day and cry. It would have been so easy. To just lie there and remember and be swallowed up in my grief forever. Instead I looked at the picture of HeeJun and said out loud, "I love you. I will always love you and miss you. But you left me. I have this incredible man downstairs who I love, too. My heart is big enough. And I am strong enough to walk downstairs and embrace this life while holding onto the life I had with you, too". I had to say it and I had to push myself to take those steps downstairs.

Not easy but you gotta fight for Joy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A World Opened

One of the best things I did for myself after HeeJun passed was calling Amanda B and asking her to show me how to blog. At first, I only wrote to get my feelings out, to process my grief. Thn I starting finding other widow bloggers. Bloggers who understood the pain. Women who understood the ache. Women who got the loneliness. Who were moving forward. Reading their posts reminded me that I was not alone. I am not the only young widow out there. They reminded me that there is hope. They reminded me that sometimes it's ok to just have a goal to at least take a shower today. And if I don't reach that goal, it's ok. They reminded me it's ok to laugh. And to scream. And to sob hysterically at the butcher who just told you to have a great day.

Blogging opened a whole world to me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Before that day

I found the piece of paper where I wrote everything HeeJun and I did before that day.

"Thursday, August 7th- Watched SYTYCD. Sad that Katee wasn't the winner.
Friday, August 8th- I woke up 1st and showered. HeeJ was still sleeping. I rubbed his toes and went to work. I called him at 4:00 to tell him I was going to the library and going to pick up our Alaska pictures. Came home. He was sitting on the couch. He looked at the Alaska pictures and said they were bright. I started cooking spaghetti. He told me to come sit down when he saw that I was tired. We ate spaghetti and watched Friends. He went to play on the computer upstairs. I called him down to go for a walk. He wore his silver pants and white t-shirt with a hole in it. We walked around the block. We counted how many houses were for sale. I held his arm and commented on how soft it was. He said, "i use soap." We returned and I went to chat with neighbors. He went in to watch the Olympics. He loved the drumming and fiber optics during the opening ceremony. I fell asleep on the couch. He woke me up around 11pm and we walked upstairs to bed. He smacked my bootie as we walked up the stairs. I fell asleep immediately."

Then that day happened.


Grief comes in waves. Crashing waves. I crashed yesterday. I have never felt such panic and anxiety. I couldn't make it stop. Going to the doctor tomorrow because this is getting ridiculous.

My life sustainers came over for ice cream last night. It is always so wonderful to be around them. They have no idea how much it means to me to have them around and caring.

They were there for me on that day and have surrounded themselves around me ever since. It's great to have that. I get a glimpse of what it's like to not have support when I go to work. Everyone has forgotten. Nobody even mentions it or cares. If I show even the slightest bit of "losing it" I'm seen as incapable. Not a great feeling. I could focus all my energy on that bitterness and anger towards them. Instead I will focus on those life sustainers who show such love and compassion towards me!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8th

Two years ago on this date, at this time I was watching the Olympics with HeeJun. In a few short hours, the troopers would come knock on my door and my world, my faith, my life , my family would be shaken to the core. Everything would change.

This weekend I have been struggling with the balance between joy and sorrow. I have had lots of flashbacks of that day. Why did he shed a tear? What was he thinking? What if I had been there? What if....

I have felt this weight on my chest all weekend. Brit and I went to the beach and relaxed and got burned to a crisp. It was perfect, but I woke up early in the mornings feeling heavy and panicky. The ride back to Charlotte today, I had to take lots of deep, meditative breaths. Thank goodness, Brit offered to drive the whole way home. She's so incredible!

I wrote a whole paragraph about being grateful and all that positive mumbo jumbo, but honestly, for right now, I'm just missing him and that's ok.

I miss you and love you always.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Sound of Weeping and Laughing

"...so that the people could not distinguish between the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people."- Ezra 3:13.

"On this side of the resurrection of Jesus, on this side of the final fulfillment of the promise to work it all for good (Romans 8:28-32), there will still be grief. Yet as Paul says in 1 Thes 4:13, not as those who have no hope. Our weeping will be weeping on the rock on hope.
My prayer for myself and all of you is that our weeping might be deep but not prolonged. And while it lasts, let us weep with those who weep. And when joy comes in the morning, let us rejoice with those who rejoice (Psalm 30:5, Romans 12:15)"- John Piper, Taste and See.

This devotion meant so much to me. I held on to a copy of it and read it over and over again. Why did the people weep and shout for joy? The wept because of what they lost. They shouted for joy because they knew what they had lost and how far they had come. The wept because they knew what they had lost and how far they had come. They shouted for joy because of the hope they had for the future. They wept because of the hope they had for the future. Weeping and shouting for joy. It so defines my life right now.

For example:

This is the spot where I first came home and wept. This is the spot where my mom and dad had to hold me up. This is the spot where I fell on the floor and sobbed loudly the first time I was alone in the house.

This is also the spot where my wonderful sister stands and talks to me about her day. She cooks a rocking mac and cheese. This is the spot my sister cares for me and encourages me and loves me.

This is the spot where I hug my boyfriend as he sweeps me off my feet. This is the spot where I kiss my boyfriend and weep for the hope I have after what I have lost and shout for joy for the hope I have knowing what I have lost.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Soul Widows Retreat

My dear, courageous friend Elizabeth planned a retreat for her organization Soul Widows.

4 widows met and enjoyed time together talking, crying, laughing, and relaxing while Marvelous Mandy led us in discussions on grief and society & the paradox of finding joy while grieving.

Spending this time with these beautiful women who are not even a year to this grief strengthened me. and also scared me. I was able to be "that girl" who can tell them there is hope. One day you may laugh again and really laugh from your belly, so hard that you might pee your pants. I used to listen to "that girl" and call BULLSHIT. Now I am that girl. I'm the one laughing and being silly. It also scared me because I saw the pain on their faces and didn't want to go back to that pain. I knew I was going to have to share my story and that terrified me. I haven't shared the story in a while. I haven't gone back to that place and that day in a long time. I was scared those feelings of being lost would return. I would like to say I dealt with it, but honestly I pushed them away and focused on helping the newbies get through the weekend. Helping others helps me. I know I'll have to deal with it sometime soon, but not this weekend. Tonight, maybe.

It was a very intense weekend. Even eating pizza was intense.

Being there with these amazing woman was powerful. Seeing how far I have come was overwhelming.
Overwhelmed with gratitude.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How to Date a Widow

(Did you know there is an ehow for this type of thing? That makes me laugh. )
Or more appropriately titled; How I learned to Date. Or How Erica Got Her Groove Back. Or God Has A Sense of Humor.
1st Guy: The sign
1. Meet a guy on an airplane on valentines day. Flirt a little.
2. Not impressed with his pictures of rocket ships and his impulse to say we are soulmates within 5 minutes of meeting.
3. Acknowledged that he was an answer to the prayers if I was ready to date.
4. High fived anyone nearby after getting off the plane! I flirted! I talked to a guy for 90 minutes without freaking out!

2nd dude:

1. Realized that I am not ready since I talked about HeeJun the whole time and might have witnessed the faster runner on earth after he dropped me off.
2. Acknowledged that this was not it, since I went home and just missed HeeJun. I missed the comfort. I cried after each date.

3rd guy: The Weather Man
1. Enjoyed the flirting.
2. Didn't about HeeJun at all. The poor guy has no clue.
3. Just talked about the weather.
4. Missed HeeJun every minute I spent with him.
5. Freaked out when God uses his humor and has us seated right next to my sister-in-law at a restaurant! Really? Really?!
The Gift
1. The Gift needs a post all his own. There are not steps for him. I'm not even sure where to begin. He lets me talk about HeeJun all I want. He says he loves how I love HeeJun and he wants to honor HeeJun by taking care of me. Who says that?
I feel like God has been preparing me for this. Preparing my heart to be ready for this. The Gift understood that my heart was guarded. He respected that. He simply gets me. He sent me flowers. He opens doors for me. I think HeeJun and him would have been great friends. HeeJun would scoff that he opens door for me, but they would have been friends. I like having my door opened for me. I deserve it!
God, again, has a sense of humor. Guess what The Gift enjoys...motorcycles. Crap! You can see why my heart was so guarded. That was number one NO WAY JOSE on the list. But God said, "Erica, you ain't got no control over this. Trust in me." The Gift understands my trauma and anxiety and panic when I see, hear or think about motorcycles. He gets the reason why I just can't deal with that. We will cross that bridge when we get there...
He loves Jesus. He had me at "Dear God". I stand amazed daily that God has brought me here. I constantly say to him "how did this happen?" Where did this smile come from?
Even a few months ago, I wrote in my journal how much I hated my life. I just wrote, " i hate my life" over and over again. It wasn't in a "kill myself" kind of way, but I just longed for this life to be over. For Heaven to come. I couldn't see joy ahead or any happy days. When you know what Heaven holds, why wouldn't you yearn for it? I liked my life okay, I just really hated that it would go on for so long. I woke up every morning and yelled FUCK while getting out of bed. I can still feel the slow crawl of dread going up my spine.
Now I see Hope. I see Joy. It doesn't all rest on this guy. I never want to be that type of girl that is only happy with a guy. But he has shown me that God does love. God does care. He cared enough to send me this gift. So there is Hope for Joy in my future.

Monday, July 26, 2010

HeeJun Kim Memorial Event

For a while now I have wanted to host some kind of event in HeeJun's honor to help support Campus Outreach. Specifically, I wanted to raise money to send a student to Christmas Conference. I had the big idea, but not the planning skills. Caroleen to the rescue!! Caroleen and the "family" helped plan and organize the HeeJun Kim Memorial Event to Benefit Campus Outreach! I was amazed and overwhelmed at how many people came and donated! We raised more $1050 so far! That's incredible. HeeJun would be so excited!

There was a moment that I looked through the crowd and realized these are all the people that were at the funeral. Biker friends, neighbors, church friends, childhood friends, college friends. Together again, but this time we actually had FUN!!
Brittany and I before/ after the rain!

Everyone hanging on the patio! Caroleen looking through the scrapbook.

FirePerry grilling some burgers!

The neighbors! I adore them!!!

Ali and Daniel from Christ Community looking through the scrapbook.

Carrie and Brittany on the patio.

Brandon and April

The party lasted into the wee hours!
Best quote of the night: "You have a brightness and joy you didn't have the first time I met you or even a few months ago."
Most heard quote of the night: "It's so hot!"
A big, gigantic thank you to Caroleen, Jason B and L, Fran and Perry, Chad and Brittany for organizing, planning, setting up the Pay Pal account, setting up the corn hole boards, grilling, inviting people, and making it such a fun and successful event!! I loved every minute of it!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy 32nd Birthday

Today would have been HeeJun's 32nd birthday.

I can't remember what I did last year for his birthday. This year I see how far I have come. the healing has begun, I guess.

This year I spent it going to see Eclipse with great friends.
I spent the morning with my Sarah and her precious miracle.

I had lunch with Matt, Amanda and the adorable kiddos. They made a cake for HeeJun. My God-daughter told me I could have a piece of the purple cake.

I went to the ridiculous grave site and gave HeeJun an orange smiley face balloon.

I think he would have really liked today. He probably would have gone for a ride while I visited friends. He would have loved spending time with Matt. His sister would have made him a cake. I would have bought a balloon and three cards.

32. sigh.
I wrote last year, " wonder if someone had told you at your birthday last year that you only had 23 more days on Earth, would you have seen it as a gift to be with your Savior in 23 days?" wow! That's some deep stuff, Erica!


HeeJun would be appalled. I got a tattoo. I have heard that getting a tattoo is something lots of grieving people do as a way to remember. I knew I wanted one right after the funeral, but I wanted to make sure it wasn't the grief talking. It wasn't.

I went Tuesday and told JB at Tattoo Bills my story. I brought a letter HeeJun wrote to me that had the words "Love never dies" written in it. He used HeeJun's handwriting. He designed it. It's the Christian symbol if the Fish with the letter Love Never Dies written in HeeJ's handwriting and his initials HJK underneath.

I love it. It didn't really hurt at all. It felt like a dog scratching me. I actually almost fell asleep and I promise I wasn't on any medication. That might be how my body copes with stress, though. During the whole process and anticipation before, I kept telling myself, "I have been through worse. Geez. I saw my husband laying in a casket. I can at least get a tattoo."
And I did!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Life Sustainer IV


I remember Mom worried about me shaking on the couch on that day.

I remember waking up and crying the day after. Mom and Brittany held me while I sobbed.

I remember Dad telling me stories of a hawk and a dog while I laid in bed trying to find my footing in the world. He kept me grounded.

I remember Dad making files upon files and helping me call every stupid company to figure out my life.

I remember Dad handing his credit card to the funeral director as the man asked me "and how are you going to pay for this".

I remember driving back and forth from Raleigh to Charlotte every weekend with them.

I remember Mom helping me pick out Juneau, because I couldn't make any decisions. Best dog ever!

They helped me gather my life together. They helped me sustain my life. They let me hurt, but also allowed me to laugh and play.

They were there for me the first few months. They are here for me now. As I am starting to "heal" and become a healthier and happier daughter and sister, they are still here for me, loving me, encouraging me, supporting me. Goodness, my sister even was brave enough to come move into this mess of my life!

I love them!!!!

I love them!!