One year ago at this very moment, Kevin, Bryan and I were in a plane somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.
We flew out on the morning of November 19, 2009 bound for Seoul, South Korea and in the process completely lost November 20th because when we landed it was late evening of November 21st. Poor Bryan lost his nineteenth birthday someplace over the ocean a last year.
Does that mean he actually will only be turning 19 tomorrow instead of 20? Hmmm, I’ll have to give that some thought…
That trip with my sons was one of the all-time favorite things I’ve ever done in my life. We had such adventures in Korea and felt Kevin’s love of the country and its people as he worked so hard to make sure we got to see, hear, taste and touch all the things he remembered so fondly from his two years there. We weren’t there long enough to do that; a lifetime may not be long enough, but I will always remember the way Kevin was so intent upon every scene, word, tree, street, sign, restaurant, and person we saw. The most poignant of my memories of him was our last day in Guanju. We rode in a taxi, to take a bus, to ride a train, to pick up the subway, to catch the ferry that took us to Fukuoka, Japan. The whole day, Kevin was looking out the windows of all our transportation and just soaking in Korea.
Our adventure in Japan started with not being allowed into the country when we arrived, missing the bullet train and riding a bus all through the night across the country. The next day when we pulled into Tokyo and Mark found us, everything started looking better.
We spent five days seeing amazing and wondrous sights including the Imperial Palace, Shogun Castles, Buddhist Temples and gardens which were beyond compare. We will be forever grateful for the incredible hospitality Mark and Nana extended to us while we were there.
Of all the memories that stick in my mind, every one of them is combined with astounding autumn colors. Everywhere we went fall was at its height of glory. I gathered leaves each place we visited. A few of them are in a glass and wood frame hanging in my bedroom.
I’m so thankful we had this opportunity and a year later it is still as brilliant in my memory as the leaves of Korea and Japan in November 2009.