Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Ho Chang "Big Henry" Kwon
On September 14th, hubby Hansoo and I received an early-morning call from the Rehabilitation Center in which both Mom--Demetra Allender, and Hansoo's Dad--Ho Chang Kwon, have been living. Mom has been there for over two months; "Appa Kwon" for only eight days. I remember fearing for both my husband, and for myself, and I admit to--with great shame-- feeling a prayer forming in my heart "Please don't let it be Mom." When I heard my husband say "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God." I knew that meant that my wonderful father-in-law, tiny Mr. Kwon, had passed away. "Appa K" was a funny, smart fellow with a quick smile, and an even quicker wit. Although he fought valiantly in the South Korean Army during the Korean War, it was the war of both prostate and bladder cancer, which took him. I was honored to have he and "Omma Kwon" come live with us, way back in September of 2010. I used to tread cautiously, because I knew there were generational, and cultural differences, and I knew that could (possibly) be a problem. I needn't have worried. "Appa K." treated me as if I were one of his own brood, and that means he held me accountable if he didn't like something, and he heaped generous praise on me if he loved something. What he hated: my "way" with our pampered doggies, "You're spoiling those dogs," he would say... What he loved: my cooking: soups, stews, and especially, my Greek Potatoes, and my Sour Cream Pound Cake... What I'll miss: His bright smile, inquisitive nature, political and spiritual discussions (we often disagreed, but he was always respectful), and his deep love for his family. My prayer is that "Omma K"--my sweet mother-in-law is able to find peace amongst all this grief. I'm so grateful to have had both of them, in my life. I plan on talking "Omma K" into taking a course with me, at Jo-Anne's or Michael's, as soon as she is able. Give the older adults in your life a hug today. And any older person you see today, give them a smile, and a kind word. Do it in honor of "Appa K". Peace, kids.