Personal / Won chong · June 13, 2013

Won’s 49th birthday is today

최원종 요보

Won in OkinawaToday Won would have been 49 years old. I can’t believe I almost forgot her birthday.

I’ve been so busy these last few months. Wendy and I bought a house! I’ve never owned a house before, and we keep re-realizing this astonishing fact all over again.

But there’s so much to do to this house. We’ve been working VERY hard to put in a new fence all around it – and without my brother-in-law I wouldn’t be near completing it. Next is to get my woodshop in order, build a deck, and then next year (or the year after) put on a new roof. After that, I’ve got plans to add central heat / AC, and get the fireplace repaired. And then….

Well you can see where my head’s been.

Won and I never owned a house because we were a single income family and she had lots of medical bills and student loans. In 2007 we were just barely keeping above water from our debt, and I cut back our expenses to the bone, while paying off one creditor after another. After Won died, her student loans were forgiven and I finally paid off the last of our credit card and medical bills. And I worked to live way below my means. And it paid off. My credit finally recovered and I easily qualified for and negotiated a VA loan.

Won would have hated this house. It was built in 1933 and is a cross between a Craftsman and a Pueblo style house, with a huge wrap around porch, stucco walls, and graceful curves. Won wanted a modern house, preferable one that was big and recently built. I really did try to make for us the life that she wanted, but as she got sick I circled the wagons and concentrated on helping her.

Since she died, I have become a member of several grief groups. Grief Beyond Belief has been a big help to me.  Sometimes I write about her there.

Support groups, counseling, and even some antidepressants have been how I’ve come to here.  I am very happy with my life now, and only occasionally feel melancholic. Sometimes I still talk to Won… although as an atheist I know I’m merely talking to my memory of her.