Thursday, July 9, 2015

We Are All Made of Stars

Life's funny. Been having a pretty good week so far and just got word that an uncle who had been a favorite of mine when I was little just passed away. Not a blood relative (he was married to one of my mother's cousins), but he was instrumental in making it possible for my mother to immigrate to the U.S. and settle in Chicago. We had gotten distant as I grew up, but in my childhood he was an ever-present jokester at family Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's gatherings (quite contrary to the stern image of most Korean men of his generation). He always made an effort to play with the little kids, and had me convinced that every night a spaceman landed in his backyard and someday I might get to meet him (a tall tale he concocted based on my obsession with the Apollo 11 moon landing). He did get to meet Czerina when we were dating (and trotted out a single line of Tagalog he knew), but sadly never met Jack. I go to sleep imagining I'm six years old, standing in the backyard of his then-home in Hyde Park under a starry sky, and that spaceship (which I never saw but had lovingly detailed in my imagination) is descending slowly. Uncle Peter is standing next to me, holding my hand, waiting to introduce me to his friend.

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