Aunt Kathryn's Memorial Service
I've been stuck in Seoul for most of this summer, aside from a brief couple of days in Chuncheon, which is only about an hour and a half from Seoul if one catches a Chuncheon train at the nearby Mangu Subway Station, so I couldn't attend my Aunt Kathryn's memorial service this past Saturday (August 13, 2011), but I've received several photographs from some of my relatives who did attend.
In the photo above, taken by my Uncle Cran, you see from left to right Larry Young, David Young, and Steve Young, the three sons of my Aunt Kathryn and first cousins of mine. I've spoken of them before, but seeing them as adults together is an odd sensation. I recall them far better as cousins a bit older than I was at five years of age when I stayed with them in Kansas City, my best time in that urban place. In those days, the eldest was tallest and the youngest smallest, but those two are now switched, though David is still in the middle.
Anyway, you can see on the table before them a photograph of their mother, my Aunt Kathryn, when she was young and lovely. Perhaps if you click on the image, the size will increase enough for better viewing. A number of eulogies were given, I suspect, but I have only my own, adapted from this blog, and read aloud in my absence by one of those present:
After Aunt Kathryn had passed away, I told my wife and children, and when my daughter asked if I were sad, I suddenly couldn't speak. But if I'd been able, I'd have said how much Aunt Kathryn meant to me.I wish that I could have been there, but unexpected expenses prevented a trip home to the Ozarks this summer, else I would have attended that memorial last Saturday in the tiny community of Elizabeth, Arkansas.
I especially remember her when she was young and pretty, with green eyes that she claimed made her a 'witch' (though she smiled to show that she was joking). She took care of me in Kansas City when I was five, telling me tall tales of wrestling bears back down on the farm in Arkansas. That was about the only time that I was happy in the city during those days when I had to stay in that place. I remember happy times playing with her three boys -- Larry, David, and Steve -- and listening to them in naive belief as they convinced me that if I'd just eat enough clam chowder, I could be as strong as Popeye!
I tried it and believed myself stronger, but somehow still couldn't defeat them in arm wrestling.
After six months with Kathryn, her husband, and boys, I returned to Arkansas, where I remained until I finished school and again left the Ozarks for the big wide world. I didn't get to see Aunt Kathryn much after those six months in the city, but the time with her and her family remained a precious memory.
She did manage to come to my wedding and meet Sun-Ae. She would have liked to see our children, but the timing never worked out, and she passed away without getting to meet them in person, so there are no more opportunities on this earth.
But I hope we all meet as family in Beulah Land.
Until then, good-bye, Aunt Kathryn . . .
I would also have treasured the brief reunion with Larry, David, and Steve.