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!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life Sustainers Part Tres

Charlotte. Ah, Charlotte. How I love my Charlotte friends.

The Married Ladies Small group that surrounded me and supported me through all of this. I've written of how incredible they are before, and I can't say it enough. They amaze me.

My work peeps. They get why I have to leave sometimes to go cry at a cemetary. They also let me laugh and distract me as much as I need.

My motorcycle gang. What, you didn't know I was in a gang? Well, not really. But some of the riders who rode with HeeJun, some that didn't even know him, but still care; they have adopted me into their family. And they are pretty fabulous. The matriarch of the family is even hosting a Memorial Event for HeeJun.

Whose drinking soda? It's me! The neighbors. Once they were just those crazy neighbors. Now they are wonderful friends.

I'm going to say it, and you may be shocked. I'm shocked that I'm about to say it. BUT I have been blessed.