In a previous post, I had first briefly mentioned about my Aunt K, who is the Pops’ younger sister. She had used to live with us in our home twice in the past.
Among the Pops’ old black and white photos, there’s one of her in it. She had been 19 years old at the time the photo had been taken, but her facial features seem to look just like she does today, although she’s in her mid-60s now. It’s a family group photo, in which she’s standing at the far right end. The sun is bright and appears to be too bright, that she’s having to squint to keep her eyes open, with an expression of being a non-too-happy camper to have to be a part of the group photo. How could a person look so similar as today, although more than 40 years had passed? I have been told several times that I hadn’t changed in 20 years. So we may be in the same non-changing-appearance boat, it seems.
Aunt K had been briefly married to an American man. They had 1 son together. I don’t know if they had actually gotten a divorce, but her husband had returned back to Virginia, where his parents lived. Aunt K then moved into our home with her son, who was the same age as me.
In our family photos, her son was often in ’em as well, since he had lived in our home. Although he was half-Korean, he looked like he was fully Caucasian because of his large eyes and multi-brown-colored hair. He always had a big grin on his face.
Years go by and he’s about 6 or 7 years old. That’s when Aunt K decides to move to Japan in order to attend some kind of seminary institute there. She takes her son to go live with his Dad and grandparents in Virginia, and then takes another plane to go live in Japan for a few years.
[Later, I will write about how I had found Aunt K’s son for her, when he was in his 30s.]
The next time our family had seen her was at my grandmother’s funeral, which was held in Korea. After the funeral, she returned back to Japan.
Then some years later, she moves back to here again, because she’s now graduated from the seminary that she had gone to attend. She preached about God to everyone she met, with her family members (near and far) being “burdened” the most by her constant preaching.
I had no opinion about her back then. She was just another aunt in our family, who pretty much ignored me and the sis whenever she came into our home.
On one of her first visits to our home upon her return, Aunt K had begun her preaching routine to Pops, as they were both sitting on our livingroom floor. As she was sitting on the left and he on the right, the Pops was smoking heavily as usual, and our livingroom was full of swirling smoke. Pops just looked at her face seriously as he smoked and Aunt K tried to give him the message that she appeared to have practiced and learned many a-times in saying.
After Aunt K seemed to have reached a pause in her preaching, the Pops set his cigarette down, and said something in answer to her. He said, “What about your son? Why don’t you go get your son?”
Til that time, several years had passed, and her son was still living in Virginia with his grandparents. Her son’s Dad had passed away from an accident, we had been told. So her son was without both parents, although his Mom (Aunt K) was alive and well, sitting in our home.
In answer to the Pops’ question about if she was going to ever go get her son, Aunt K told him that her son was being well-taken cared of by his grandparents. Then she continued to preach again to Pops.
Again, Pops asked her, “What about your son?! Aren’t you going to go get your son?!” Aunt K told him that God would take care of him.
Now, the Pops was pissed with frustration and said to her, “If you really believe in ‘forgiveness’, then why don’t you tell your church people that you had given a fake High School Diploma in order to attend your college seminary, and see if they’ll actually forgive you?”
I can’t remember her reply, but she had left our house soon after.
I don’t know what exactly her title is within the churches that she’s worked for in the past, but I believe she usually holds the role of “Associate Pastor” in them. There have been times when folks have referred to her with her church title (in a high, reverential manner), instead of her name, when they were talking to me about her. Since having come back from Japan, she had probably changed churches more than 5 times.
Her first job as an “Associate Pastor” type of role was at a pretty large-sized church. She was provided free housing to live in adjacent to the church, where the church’s lead Pastor was also living in. I’m not sure how long it was that she had been employed there, but her time had been brief.
Before we knew it, she had resigned, and moved out. She was then living alone in an apartment, where the Pops had brought to her one of the mattresses in our home because he had noticed that she didn’t have a bed to sleep in.
Aunt K explained to Pops about why she had left her employment at that church. She told him about how she had lived in the same residential accommodations with the church’s lead pastor, who was on a somewhat male-like power trip, she said. Reason is because that lead Pastor had actually expected for her to cook his meals for him, like as is often expected by many patriarchal men in Korea (one of them being an uncle of mine, whom I will write about later).
Because she was not even that Pastor’s wife and they were pretty much working in a somewhat “same-level” capacity at the church, Aunt K explained that she was definitely not going to cook meals for that Pastor. So they had had a big argument over it, and she had left her job there.
Because she was struggling to make ends meet financially while living alone in her apartment, their older brother (coupla years older than Pops) had allowed for her to move into his family’s home.
To be continued.