I’m not sure how long Aunt K had lived at our uncles’ house then, but I don’t think she had been there for a year. Maybe for some months. More than 15 years later, our cousins had told us about how they had so complained to their parents about Aunt K’s poor housekeeping habits. Her not ever washing the dishes that she had used, was one of the things that had irked them the most. That was one of the reasons that their Dad had later asked Aunt K to please move out of their home.
When I had heard that from our cousins, I thought that was so interesting. Because when Aunt K had moved into our home again for a 2nd time years later, she was real good at washing her dishes. The only problem was, she only washed her own dishes. Not any of the other dishes that were in the sink. Just the ones she had used.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. More about her 2nd move into our home later.
When I had ended part 1 of this post story, I was mentioning about the church where she had first worked, and which was from where she had later resigned from because of an argument she had with the church’s pastor. But she had apparently stayed on to attend the church anyhow, because it was from there, that she had adopted 2 teenagers.
To everyone who didn’t know our Aunt K very well, they probably would have thought that she had a heart of a saint because of how she had taken in those 2 kids. But to those of us who knew her well, we sincerely hoped that those 2 children’s lives wouldn’t be as terrible as we had imagined it might be.
Aunt K had at that time, a particular job in which she could just about make up her own hours. But her income was certainly not enough to sufficiently feed 2 more almost-grown adults also. She had lived in a trailer-like home then. Although it was quite clean, it was quite small for the 3 of them to live in. I had never been inside of it before, but had heard from the sis, that there was a type of dividing wall somewhere inside of it.
It had been at least over a year’s time since Aunt K had adopted those 2 kids, before any one of us family members here had ever set foot into her trailer home, and had seen the kids. The older one was a boy about the age of 16. The younger was a girl, who was about 14 years old. It was the sis and our Mom who had gone there to see Aunt K for some reason. I wonder what that reason had been, considering that we would not normally visit Aunt K, unless she had sort of “demanded” or pressured us to do so because she needed our help again in some manner.
The sis had later filled me in about their visit to there. She said that there was one point when Aunt K’s daughter was in the other side of the trailer. Although the sis and Mom weren’t in the same “room”, they could hear everything that was said on the other side. The sis said that the daughter was asking with Aunt K for some new clothes to wear to school because the other children were making fun of her always wearing the same clothes to school. She was at that time, attending one of the local public high schools.
As soon as the daughter had finished pleading with Aunt K for some new clothes, the sis said that she was absolutely shocked when she had heard what she had heard. It was slapping sounds coming from the other side of the wall. Aunt K was slapping the girl here and there on her body, and yelling at her to stop listening to what other people are saying about her. When she was done whacking the girl, the sis said that she had turned to look at the girl’s older brother. But he just stayed where he was and did nothing, as his younger sister was crying. The sis said it seemed to be like it was their usual daily occurrence in that trailer.
The sis and I aren’t usually “uncomfortable” when it comes to physical abuse, considering that we had gotten whacked, slapped, and beaten in our home, all the way until we became adults, and had left our home. So we weren’t new to seeing and being within that kind of “violent” environment ourselves. But the reason why were were surprised about the way Aunt K was treating those 2 kids, was because they weren’t “hers” at all. They were kids she had adopted, with the responsibility of taking care of.
But as we had sadly expected, it was all a ruse of hers again. She had had a plan, which had actually eventually worked for her – but for a temporary time.
Then a big typhoon had struck. The Pops was living with me in a 1-bedroom home at that time. So we definitely had no room to take on 3 more adults. But even still, on they came into our abode, with Aunt K leading the way. Their trailer home had been so badly damaged, that they had to move out, they said. The typhoon had been such a big one, that we had no electricity for about a month. Thank God our water was still running.
Aunt K and the 2 teens slept in our livingroom floor. The girl appeared to be overjoyed to be able to be with me and to talk with me. When she spoke about music, she was stunned to find out I hardly knew any Korean Christian singers’ names. She told me about so and so, “who was also a Christian music singer”… And told me about how she only liked Korean snacks, rather than any other kinds, if she had a choice to pick from. She seemed to be a little bright light in our dark world, the way she had a sweet hopeful spirit about her, as she talked happily in our dark home, with the heat being hotter from the lit candles and mosquito coils lit around the house.
Then one day, Aunt K took the both of them to go check out their trailer home’s wreckage, in order to go see if they could salvage anything there. When they returned, they came back with some pairs of shoes. “Wash them good!”, she had ordered them, as she asked me if I had any Clorox. I told her “No”, without checking. I didn’t need to check because I never use bleach. Because I get so bugged whenever there’s a white mark on my clothing from someone having used bleach in our washing machine, I never ever use bleach for our laundry, period. So if there was a container of Clorox in our laundry area, I was unaware of it, and it was probably collecting a whole lot of dust.
Aunt K passed by me and went straight to our washing machine area to go check if we had Clorox herself. And whaddya know, she found one. She opened the dusty container’s cap and sniffed it. She said that it didn’t smell like bleach anymore. But even still, she took the bottle, and poured it all out into a bucket outside, where her daughter was trying to wash their shoes as best as she could with our water hose. Aunt K grabbed a soap dish that we had out there, and gave her daughter the bar of soap that was inside of it. Then a brush that had been sitting next to that soap dish. “Wash them good!”, she repeated. Her poor daughter was scrubbing their shoes as cleanly as she could. But how clean could old worn-out shoes get?
I don’t know where they had moved to, but they had moved out before our electricity had come back on about a month later. Maybe Aunt K had found a place that had electricity.
It was years later, when I had seen her kids again. Aunt K’s son was now running his own business. She helped him out occasionally, but he was practically running it himself. His business was so successful, that they were then living in a condominium. Aunt K was no longer working and was driving a Lexus. Everything seemed to be working for her “according to her plan”.
Because I had never been on a “chatty” relationship with her son, I had never asked him about his sister. He appeared to have made it in life with his successful business achievement, that I was like part of his past that he’d like to forget.
Sometime later, a co-worker had let me know that she had met my female cousin at a restaurant that she had gone to the other evening. I told her that I didn’t have a female cousin. All of my cousins who lived here locally had moved to the Stateside, in fact. That person said, “Really? Because she was so happy to know that we worked together, and was so happy to tell me that she was your cousin.” As soon as I had heard how happy the gal was to let someone know that she was my cousin, I immediately realized that it must have been Aunt K’s daughter. Ah, her daughter was now working at a restaurant.
Then soon after, I had bumped into the gal herself. I asked her about her life and restaurant job. She said that a family she had met at church had let her move into their home, and had let her earn some income by working in their restaurant too. So she was a totally blessed happy camper about the wonderful household she now lived in, and couldn’t wait until she could go to college soon. I hadn’t seen her again after that, but am sure she is doing even greater things in her sweet, light-filled life.
It was our other cousins (the ones who lived Stateside) and their Mom, who had told us about how Aunt K used to beat her daughter in an odd area on her body: she would hit her daughter on her inner thighs, where the welts wouldn’t show. But show them to others she did, which was how she was later able to get out of her abusive home.
During the time when Aunt K’s son was running his businesses (he had later opened up a 2nd one), it seemed like she was living in such an unfair blissful life. Ah, how those Bible verses about not being jealous of one’s neighbor had appeared to my eyes continually. As she drove her Lexus, she shopped at Macy’s. It was unreal how much she was living the high life on top of the shoulders of a son whom she had adopted and had probably also abused.
Then, although her high life period had seemed to go on for quite a number of years, it had suddenly ended at an abrupt halt.
To be continued.