Monday, October 1, 2012

Goodbye Harabagi~

     The stench of vomit, rotting food, and soggy cigarettes would linger in the air and slowly seep into our car  as we drove into Boston. I remember clenching my tiny fists over my nose so hard that when my family got to my grandparent's apartment, my nose was a tightly folded red ball. Alex, my parents, and myself would carry bags of clothes and food into a red-bricked apartment and enter into a golden-marble hall where an old elevator would creak down. Bumbling into it we would ride up until my brother and I would scramble out and slam our fists against my Halmuni and Harabagi's small two room apartment. My Halmuni would swing the door opens just as her tiny arms (usually hung with rubber gloves) would take us both in. My Harabagi wouldn't be there, he'd come in just after we all took off our shoes, holding two gallons of milk. He's have  wide-toothed grin, an ascot cap, yellow-tinted prescription glasses, and a tweed jacket.
     "Saranghai...I (aaah-I) Love (Lo-vuh) You!" 
     He'd pour us glasses of milk and give us each a giant bear hug, one so tight that I would be afraid to suffocate. He was always smiling silently, every so often booming "I love you" and patting/slapping us on the back.
     My Harabagi has had a fair share of adventures, he was hit by a car (and lived to tell the tale!), he's lived in Boston, Michigan, Seoul, and apartments that ranged from gorgeous to awful...but no matter where he was, he filled it with love. He and my Halmuni were such a team, both old and tired from the obstacles they faced, but the greatest grandparents you could ask for. There to give you a snuggle, a hug, to teach you how to cook, to jump on the bed with you, to play tag...they only knew love.

     Today, he died. The strongest man I know passed, horribly in pain too. He has been unconscious for two months, opening his eyes very rarely; mustering all his strength to open his eyes just to see his family.
     I just got this news, I will share more stories...

For now...thank you, for being such a brilliant man. Thanks for loving me...thank you for all the life you gave all of us~
way back in the day~ photo taken by Mamabeats

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