Feeling useless

I’m feeling sort of useless over at my aunt’s house, but at the same time I feel guilty if I try to work or read or do anything else and it’s only because she’s resting in her bedroom now that I feel comfortable blogging. She has her ups and downs. Today’s the wake so I know she’s not feeling either emotionally or physically well. When I first saw her yesterday she immediately reminded me of my mom and I started bawling.

I wish I could be a little more comforting to her, but it’s hard to do that with anything other than my presence and what little help I can offer around the house (and that’s not much since the daughter-in-law takes care of that). I don’t speak Korean fluently and she doesn’t speak English fluently. I’m starting to feel like time is starting to chip away at my family and I’ll lose them for good and lose their stories and I’ll never know them. I should really learn Korean.

I missed the night where they told stories about my uncle, but I heard one of them yesterday. He came from a well to do, established family in North Korea and just before the demarcation and closing of the DMZ between the South and North, he left home and went to South Korea all on his own. He was completely penniless, but he studied and worked and established himself as a reputable pharmacist. I didn’t know he had such strength! He always just seemed sweet and quiet and gentle to me. And he was that, too. My cousin says his dad was the steady one, that he married his father — his wife is gentle and steadfast in the same way.

Not being able to do much and sitting around I feel a weird boredom combined with guilt. I’m watching a lot of Korean TV though. And eating enough pickled vegetables to last me the next six months. I need some industrial mouth wash to get the kimchi off my breath, but at least it’s yummy!

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