Archive for the ‘Remembrances’ Category

Remembering So Young: Four Years
February 28, 2017

This year, So Young will miss the first time that the Gage household will be occupied by three teenagers simultaneously. She’ll miss Lindsay’s sweet 16 and Audrey turning 13. She’ll miss Shannon graduating from high school and Audrey from elementary school. In the fall, she’ll miss Shannon going to college, Lindsay starting her junior year, and Audrey starting middle school. She’ll miss countless other milestones, and she’ll be missed as each one passes.

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February 27, 2017

 

So much has changed since February 28, 2013. A new marriage, a new mom, a new house, new jobs, new friends, a new school… So Young’s loss is a constancy for all of us — one that didn’t make much sense at the time and still doesn’t, one that changed everything then and affects everything now. But our sense of who So Young (“Mommy,” “Ruby”) was as a person is just as much a constancy — and a challenge.

So Young was far from perfect. I know this, because I was married to her. (Note that she would say without hesitation that I am much more imperfect!) But her faith was one of the simplest and purest faiths I’ve seen. The innocence and certainty of her relationship with Christ, the realness of her experience of his love, healing, and forgiveness… I hope that those aspects of who So Young was will continue to haunt us just as much as her absence.

So when we remember her, let’s not just remember the way that she died or the fact that she isn’t here (but is somewhere else) or even the life she lived. Let’s remember who she was. Mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister So Young. Remembering you until we see you again.

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October 30, 2009

Remembrance-athon
February 23, 2016

Short version: Will you take a minute, either on Facebook or this blog, to post a memory about So Young, even if it’s just a memory about a character or personality trait or quirk?

Long version: I’ve been poking around the blog over the past few weeks, reading old posts and thinking about what I’ll write about this coming Sunday, February 28, which will be the three-year anniversary since So Young passed away. The blog can be pretty sad and hard to read, because it ends a certain way. But the overall theme is a joyful one — the hope we have in God and that God loves us.

Tonight I read the “Remembrances” page, and it really touched me (https://mynewmarathon.wordpress.com/remembrances/). I was struck by the number of people whose lives were touched by her. I thought it might be good to try that idea again. This is a great way to remember her.

If you have a moment and can think of something to write, will you post a memory of So Young that you have?

Here’s mine.

I remember So Young playing the guitar in the living room. She would sit on the floor with sheet music spread around her, strumming either the purple electric/acoustic I gave her or the old guitar that she got from her brother Josh. She would sing as  she played. It was one of the ways she would worship God.  One of her favorite songs — and one of my favorites to hear — was “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.”  That was a common theme among her favorites: God’s love for us.

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A Hope that Fills the Vastness of the Sea
February 28, 2014

From James:

Today marks one year after So Young went to heaven. She is much happier now than she was here with us, but her time on earth was punctuated with sweet moments of joy, whether it was hours spent enjoying her girls or solitary moments of gratitude for what God had done for her. Here’s a journal entry So Young wrote that I found recently. It was written after her brain tumor diagnosis. It shows so many things about the So Young we knew for the short time she was here: her love of God and understanding of his character, her gratitude despite suffering, and her persistent heart for people who don’t know Jesus.

This year, So Young is going to miss some important birthdays: Audrey’s 10th, Lindsay’s 13th, Shannon’s 16th, and my 40th. Loss isn’t a single event but many lifetimes of reminders of absence, all of us missing, all of us grieving, all of us remembering. We’ll never forget you, So Young. Until we see you again… 

Overcome with emotions this morning. It’s 4:30 a.m., and you’ve called me downstairs to pray — prayers of intercession, prayers of thanksgiving. Overwhelmed at the kind of God I serve and love, who loves me. So thankful that my family sleeps peacefully upstairs, but more than anything, grateful that we are all saved. A household of true believers. It’s something to cry about. Lord, you are too good to me, to us!

Praying especially for the lost. Anyone of us could lose our physical lives at any moment, but if Jesus has saved us, we live with an immeasurable hope, a hope that fills the vastness of the sea. No — more!

Praise God I could read what I’ve written and was able to see the song list on the iPod. Amazed!

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So Young with a very tiny Audrey

Celebrating So Young Gage: A Eulogy
May 8, 2013

Today is the birthday of So Young’s best friend, Kim. So Young had a lot of people she would call her best friend, but Kim was close to So Young for nearly 30 years. Kim delivered this eulogy with great poise and eloquence during So Young’s funeral on March 2, 2013. To me, it so fittingly represents So Young and her life that I don’t know if anymore words need to be said. Thanks, Kim, for loving my wife all those years, in good times and bad. I hope you know that you brought great joy to her life. This was clear even when So Young was diminished to the point that she could only listen but couldn’t talk. It makes me so sad to remember how sick she was, to the point she couldn’t talk to you. Still, you had this underlying connection so deep that for her, it didn’t really seem to matter. You were her best friend Kim. Your reunion on the other side will be so sweet, Kim. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to talk about, and you won’t have to get of the phone…

Every few years, So Young and I would stop and count how long we’ve known each other. In the end, the Lord gave us just over 28 years of friendship.  Her first memory of me is my rainbow suspenders (which are due to come back in style in about five years!). My first memory of her is hearing her reply to a classmate who asked about her longer hair: tossing her hair and saying, “Yeah, I’m letting it grow.” That was sixth grade. Over these past 28 years, the Lord brought several precious friends into our lives, many of whom are in this room. And yet I realize that there is something unique about our relationship, and I think it goes beyond the fact that we’ve known each other for so long. Ours is a friendship that God Himself preserved through the infamous 8th grade silent treatment, protected from time and distance, and ultimately used to help shape the women we became.

Kim and SY

First, the silly stuff! We used to talk on the phone ALL the time! We’d talk and talk for hours and hours. And we enjoyed a lot of great meals together. During the brief season when we were both working, before the kids came along, we would meet for lunch. So we talked all the time, and we ate, and sometimes we would do both at the same time. Like if she was eating lasagna…

“I’m eating lasagna.”

“Ooh, that sounds yummy!”

Can you smell it over the phone?”

“Yeah!”

“Here, want to taste some?”

“Oohh, that IS good!”

So we did this when we were girls, and when we grew up we did it every now and then for old times’ sake, but only when no one else was around.

We went shopping together, and on each trip we would eat, and we would buy matching things. The first things I remember were matching gray leggings from Paul Harris at Fair Oaks Mall, which I wore until they had holes and had to be thrown away. Once, we bought matching earrings… Our last outing was to Potomac Mills in a wheelchair (those ramps are steeper than they look!) where we bought matching lotion. We had picked out some things for our husbands, but we ended up putting those back and buying ourselves more stuff, and we bought matching glitter body spray. I asked her, “Where do you want to be sparkly?” She said, “My face.” So I sprayed her face.

And then we got Auntie Annie’s cinnamon sugar pretzels! This was our last indulgence together. We sat in Starbucks, eating Annie’s pretzels, and they were sooo good, and we got cinnamon sugar all over ourselves. Now she was having trouble using both hands by then, but we were both just covered. I was blessed with a chance to enjoy those same pretzels with the girls a couple of months ago.

Our friendship was also marked by unconditional love. Now, I know this is a eulogy, and I’m only supposed to be saying good things about So Young, but she wasn’t always all smiling and peaceful like in her picture! And Lord knows I’m not. But that’s where unconditional love comes in. So Young knew the best things about me and the worst things about me, and she loved me. She knew my secrets, and carried them with her to the grave. Unconditional love comes in when you’ve made a bad decision, or when you’ve loved Jesus for years but you’re having trouble following Him. Unconditional love is there to say, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” And speaking of Him, So Young was the first person under 30 who I’d ever heard talk about Jesus. When we met, she was already a Christian, but I wasn’t. So she’d ask me, “What do you think about God? Where will you go when you die?” I became a Christian a few years later.

We would also bear one another’s burdens. When I consider the major milestones of my life, and the major milestones of So Young’s life, there is always a memory of celebrating together, or crying together. And remember: for So Young and I, “together” could happen even when we were miles apart. I remember happiness when she met her James, and it didn’t take long to discover that he would be the first — and ultimately the last love of her life.  I remember falling to my knees and bawling when her mother died. There was the brief shared joy of being pregnant together, and So Young crying all the way home when I lost my baby. I remember rejoicing when God worked a miracle to give So Young her dream job (Stay-at-Home Mom!) and sharing the joys of watching her three girls and my two boys grow. I remember bawling over So Young’s diagnosis and the thought that someday, this day may come far sooner than any of us had ever imagined. At every milestone, every turning point, So Young and I laughed together or wept together.

Except for this one.

Now I’m down here drowning in tears, and she’s up there all happy with Jesus! But I must say: she expects us to be celebrating, too. When James shared her funeral wishes with me I was thinking, “What is this supposed to be, a party or something?!” I mean, I’ve spent the last few days wondering if I should be buying balloons and streamers!

And yet, my dear friend wasn’t crazy to suggest such a thing. In fact, it’s the stuff of the New Testament: to live is Christ and to die is gain…” “hard pressed between the two…”  “Consider it all joy…” In fact, So Young’s faithful God challenges and even commands us to have such an attitude, because it is characteristic of a spiritual maturity that knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that God is real, His word is truth, His love is unfailing, His promises are guaranteed, and His heaven is filled with all sorts of phenomenal things that our eyes haven’t seen, our ears haven’t heard — things that haven’t even entered into the heart of man! And better yet, the key to gaining all these treasures is as simple as recognizing that you are a sinner and surrendering to the One who has the power to wash away that sin: Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us.

So Young possessed that key. She knew for certain that when our good God saw fit to call her home, He would welcome her into His heaven and sustain her James and Shannon and Lindsay and Audrey all the days of their life as well. And if we know him and trust Him this way, then surely we would find this day worth celebrating So Young’s restored vision, her freedom to walk and run… and not just her renewal from the sickness that overtook her body, but in fact her deliverance from the fleshly, sin-sick bodies that we all have.

And I too believe in Jesus. Completely. Despite my questions, my pains, my sadness and my fears. I know Him and I love Him. So I can celebrate today for what God has done for So Young Gage, my truest and dearest friend. But I also mourn. Not as those who have no hope, but mourning nonetheless for the two glasses of lemonade that we never got to share on my front porch, and for the loss of all the moments we thought we’d share before we knew how soon her time would run out.

In these seasons of mourning, I am thankful for the memories: 28 years of everything from insignificant chats to life-changing experiences with So Young. And I am thankful for the three treasures that she has left behind, and that I can see So Young’s creative brilliance in Shannon, her undying passions in Lindsay, and her sweet, carefree spunkiness in Audrey. And to God be the glory for the hope of salvation, which guarantees that if we confess our sin and trust Him as Savior, then we will see So Young again, and we’ll all be happy with Jesus forever and ever. Amen!

One Month Later: So Young’s Message to You
March 28, 2013

So Young died one month ago today. It was actually at roughly 1 a.m. on February 28, 2013. I have been meaning for some time to write a description of her visitation and funeral to complete the story, but I haven’t had (or taken?) the time. I think perhaps I am daunted by the task. For me, they exceeded words. I know many people who attended feel the same way. For me, there was a realization that the grief at her death was bigger than me — that many mourn her passing — and also that the difference she had made while on this earth and even in her sickness and death was so much broader than I had imagined.

To commemorate one month after her passing, I’m posting the sermon that Kenji Adachi preached on the day of her funeral. Kenji is a close friend of mine and understood the situation intimately. It was strange planning So Young’s funeral with him, because it was actually kind of fun hanging out for that time. Anyway, here it is, a fitting and moving tribute to So Young. Please read it for the message. As Kenji said, this is the message that So Young wants you to hear today. 

There are many parallels with the death of Lazarus and So Young.

Both were sick with a mysterious illness and both had entered into a deep sleep. Many had turned to Jesus for help. In So Young’s case, people from all over the world reading her blog and were praying for her healing.

The Bible is clear how Jesus felt about Lazarus and his sisters. V.5 of John chapter 11 states, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.”

And I want to be clear that Jesus loves So Young and her family with the same affections.

But the next verse is a paradox. Let me read it together with v.5, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.”

Jesus stayed in Jerusalem another 48 hours while Lazarus lay dying in nearby Bethany. All of us could’ve make the two mile journey to Bethany. It’s not a marathon.

So why did Jesus stay? Didn’t he understand Mary and Martha’s urgency and agony? Didn’t he hear their cries? Didn’t Jesus know that So Young was dying? Didn’t he love her?

Like many of you, I’ve witnessed so many of you pour out your love on the Gages: bringing meals, being with So Young, taking her out on lunch dates, bringing gifts for the kids, giving financial gifts. Doris Gage, Jame’s mother, calls them the hands and feet of Jesus.

I was at their home on Friday morning when someone brought the family a grand fruit platter, a large veggie tray, a sandwich tray fit for Samson and his family. So in order to make room in the fridge, we cleaned out the fridge full of home made meals. I’ve never seen that many mismatched Tupperware in my life.

I’ve witnessed Mark and Doris Gage go above and beyond their call as parents and grandparents supporting this family in unbelievable ways; always there for them – in many ways as the primary hospice nurse.

When So Young went home to be with the LORD, the first person James called was his dad. Mark came over immediately at 1am. (You have to understand Mark goes to bed right after dinner at 5pm Or is it 4:45pm?) A member of the Hospice Care team called James letting him know that she’s never seen this kind of love and care before.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing up close how much James has sacrificially loved his wife and cared for her night and day – sleeping in the same bed, feeding her, taking her to the bathroom, taking her in her on wheelchair dates to the Thai restaurant, putting Chap Stick on her lips, giving her medication every two hours, and sweet talking her and kissing her on the cheek.

It’s not out of the ordinary for him, because I’ve seen him love her like this for a good decade before her sickness – lavishing her with gifts, taking her on weekend getaways, writing love letters. James would write her a love note and leave it on the kitchen table for her to read before he left for work. That’s love.

Three weeks ago, So Young could barely mumble a word, but her girls were able to make out her words and put together a Valentine’s card for James. It reads, “Dear Hubby, Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you and the girls very much. Thank you for always taking care of me and protecting me. Always pray to God and love your Majesty in Heaven forever. XOXO Love, So Young”

That’s love.

Martha and Mary said, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

Everyone knew Jesus loved Lazarus. Why did he let him die?

Because in his love, Jesus had something better for Lazarus, something better than a healing; something better than life on this earth. Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

God is made to look great not only in miraculous healings, but in death.

So Young did not suffer and die in vain.

James kept reiterating during her sickness, during her chemo treatment, in her coma, and even in her death that God has a special purpose for So Young, whether in living or in death – God wants to glorify Himself.

So Young said she cannot remember a day of not believing in Jesus Christ as the Lord of her life and Savior. She grew up a pastor’s daughter in a Christian home where she heard the Gospel. Because of this, she said she had a boring testimony – no gut wrenching story of redemption where Jesus rescues her from a life of rebellion and sin.

It bothered her, so she began to pray privately that God would give her a better testimony for Him. She writes, “I told God that I wanted my life to have a higher purpose and that I wanted to live out this life for Him. I didn’t want to come to God and say I did nothing with the life I was given. My highest hopes are to hear God say, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’ I desire to be salt and light in this world that is darkness.”

God has used her suffering as a powerful example of true hope and true strength to all of us. She was on fire for the LORD, preaching the Gospel to anyone and everyone like she was the Korean-American Billy Graham – always talking about Jesus. She had a close friend visit her from another state and she shared the Gospel to her and led her to Christ. This friend flew back last week telling James that she is now on fire for Jesus, plugged into a church because of So Young.

So Young was an avid runner. She ran in 4 marathons and 4 half marathons. (For non-runners, a marathon is 26.2 miles; it’s like running from here to Krispy Kreme in Washington DC).

I was in their bedroom Friday morning looking at her marathon medals (James thinks I was snooping around…)

I looked on the back of the medals and there was an inscription that said “Finisher.” Because there are some who run the race and there are those who finish. So Young was a Finisher for the Kingdom of God.

This past Christmas, James gave her a special display rack to hang all her marathon medals. It’s two feet wide and says, “Always Earned Never Given.”

So Young was a wonderful and godly woman, but she knew was a sinner, who could never earn her salvation. It had to be given, out of grace.

Every religion and every worldview operates under a merit system that says if you do good, you earn a medal – except Christianity.

God’s standard of righteousness is too much. It’s like trying to run a marathon of 26.2 billion miles. Any misstep of sin would disqualify us, and it would also merit death. No one can finish the race of righteousness that God requires; not one.

So God in His great mercy and kindness sent someone who could perfectly run this race for us; He sent His Son Jesus and he finished the race for us. But his race did not end on a traditional victory stand, to be crowned the victor; it ended on the cross to pay our penalty for our sins for we failed to finish our race. So God took His only begotten Son and exchanged His perfect record and His perfect life and exchanged it for ours. God took Christ’s medals that said “Righteous Finisher” and exchanged them for ours that said “Condemned Sinner,” so that we, who once sinners could be counted righteous victors because of Christ.

And this means that death would not be final for us; there would be a resurrection and a new life where there is no more running and striving; no more empty races to run to earn earthly medals to prove that you are someone important; no more trying to be more righteous than the other person. Heaven and a new life and the resurrection from the dead awaits for any sinner who places their faith in Christ’s work and not our own.

In 2010, So Young ran her last marathon and did not finish because her eyesight was too blurry. She stopped at the 18 mile mark. She did not earn a medal. But on her medal display hangs a Marine Corps Marathon from 2012. So Young didn’t run the race, someone else earned it and gave it to her as a gift of grace.

Three days ago on Wednesday, February 28, 2013 So Young Gage crossed the God’s finish line once and for all; it wasn’t earned; it was given freely. Christ finished it for her, because he loves her.

She has crossed the finish line – absent from the body and is present with the Lord – resting and rejoicing with Jesus on the Victory Stand in heaven; where there is no more tears and sorrows; no more blurred vision or brain tumors; and no more sin and death. Because So Young believed Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

If So Young was here, she would want you to believe in this wonderful news.

Do you believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life – that He has lived the perfect life that God requires from us?

Do you believe Jesus died for your sins to pay for the penalty of sin?

Do you believe Jesus rose again to prove that He was God and has the power over sin and death?

Have you placed your faith in Jesus’ work to finish the race you could not run?

Shannon, Lindsey, and Audrey – I want you to remember how much your mom loved you and the godly race your mother trained and ran like her marathons. I want you to know that finished well with Jesus. God used her life, her suffering, and her death to glorify His Son Jesus. May you continue this legacy.

James, may you never forgot the emotions behind your wife’s Valentine’s card.

“Hubby I love you and the girls very much. Thank you for always taking care of me and protecting me. Always pray to God and love your Majesty in Heaven forever. XOXO Love, So Young”

God exceeded your So Young’s prayers; he gave her not just a better testimony, but an incredible one. She has crossed the finish line in victory and God praised her saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

So Young Moments: Caught on Video!
March 27, 2013

Here is a longer compilation of home videos of So Young that Shannon put together. I’m playing it at home every once in a while so I can hear her voice.

Dear Om-Mah
March 24, 2013

So Young’s mom died in her 50’s, back in November 1999. There are similarities between So Young’s death and that of her mother. Both were too young. Both died of brain-related issues — So Young of a brain tumor and her mother of a series of strokes. Both were cared for by their husbands during their last days and gradually lost mental capacity and the ability to care for themselves.

A few nights ago, I found this in an undated diary entry that So Young wrote after her mom died.  I cried the entire time I was reading it, because I realized that how So Young dealt with the death of her mom was teaching me about how to cope with her own death. I also see reflections of my own regret, sadness, and hope in  So Young’s words. I can imagine my own girls saying some of these things about their mother when they are older. I hope that this is a blessing to you, as it was to me.

Mom I can’t believe that you’re gone. That I will have to wait before I can ever see you again. Will your hugs and kisses be the same as I remember? Will your embrace be as warm and soft and nurturing? I miss so many things about you. I miss calling you Om-mah. My soul aches that I didn’t visit you the day before you passed over to your eternal home. I should have come that day, that Wednesday, to wish you well, to tell you once more of my love for you. But somehow I know you knew all about it. You know how much I love you and that you love me and will miss me too. I shouldn’t have let my sore throat keep me away. I shouldn’t have let my denial of your deteriorating condition stop me.

This past year was incredibly heartbreaking. I felt that you weren’t the mom that I knew, that I remember. Dad did too. I wanted to preserve my memory of you by shielding myself from the truth of your illness. It was so mysterious and frustrating. I didn’t know what was wrong. I always suspected it was stroke. I sincerely apologize for my selfishness. I should have been there for you more regardless of how much it hurt to see you that way.

I thank God that I saw you on Saturday the 16th to celebrate Shannon’s tol (first birthday). It wasn’t the same without you. Although we never got to eat the meal that Dad cooked for us, I’m thankful that I got to see you and spend some time looking through Shannon’s tol pictures. I’m thankful that I sat and talked to you, held your hand. I’m glad that I got to kiss you and hug you and say goodbye that day. I never knew it would be the last.

Om-mah pray for me in paradise where you are, pray for Dad and your family. Help us release our guilt for all the things we should have done, but never took the time to do. Deep in my heart I feel that you did appreciate what we did do. Deep down I know that you simply appreciated who I was, your first-born daughter.

Did you feel the same sense of awe and wonderment holding me as a baby, as I do holding Shannon? I must have brought you such joy and peace. Mom, Shannon reassures me that everything is going to be OK. She smiles at me and has unceasingly hugged me the past few days. I almost feel you smiling at me in her smile. How comforting it is. Thank you.

I will raise your granddaughter in the ways of the Lord. I will always let her know that she means the world to me. I’m far from perfect. James is a little more than I can ever be. We will raise her in love, in discipline, according to God’s command. We will raise her up hearing stories about you, her grandmother. She will know that Grandma was an incredible woman, with a heart unlike any in all the earth.

I want to thank you for loving me all these years. It seemed so short. I can’t help but wish that we had more time. We will have all eternity to make up for the time we missed.

I especially thank you for being the answer to my prayers. I prayed for a long time that God would change my parents’ heart to receive James. Did you know that He used you to open up the door, to break down the barrier? Yes. This one prayer of mine was answered through you. Thank you for loving James from the very start. When Dad saw your love and acceptance for him, it was easy for Dad to be at peace with my decision to be with James. Without your help, I wouldn’t have sweet James by my side. He is the answer to your prayers and Dad’s. I know you prayed since the day I was born that I’d marry someone as wonderful as him. I know with all certainty that God brought us together through his will. We will do great things together. You challenge me to be a better wife. I want to be the kind of wife you were to Dad: loving, patient, kind, never boastful or self-seeking, always trusting and persevering.

Mom, can you tell God that I’m thankful for his love and for answering my prayer? God said that whatever I ask for in prayer, believe that I’ve already received it.

It was frustrating praying for you those months, because you only seemed to get worse. I never realized how God’s power was working to answer my prayers. People may say, “How did He answer your prayers when she never got better?” But I realized today that He has, and in a mighty way.

I prayed that God would restore you and give you perfect health. Now you have health more perfect than ever, and you are restored beyond what you once were. God said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8).

Celebrating Mommy
March 17, 2013

The kids stayed home from school for over a week after their mom died (February 28 – March 11). We did things that would help us remember Mommy in a positive light and celebrate her. We had a great time. I know that might sound strange, especially since it was the week after her passing, but it makes sense for us on a couple of levels. First, the kids needed time away to mourn, but sitting around the house looking at each other (or better still, fighting with each other) wasn’t much use. Second, So Young was sick for so long that we have been dealing with her ever-increasing absence for a while. So during the week following her death, we weren’t in the middle of some kind of shock phase. We weren’t surprised she’s gone. Instead, we were deeply sad that what we thought was coming finally happened.

There is something about physically being at a significant place that helps you connect with a person who is gone. Visiting places that had significance for Mommy brought up memories, stories, and family history. The joy of talking about her life and our memories of her was interspersed with moments of sadness in realizing she is gone.

On Tuesday we went to GMU, which is where So Young and I were college sweethearts.

GMU

Wednesday was a snow day. I’m not sure what happened to Thursday. The good thing was that Prince William County schools were closed both days, so the kids technically didn’t miss school on those days.

On Friday, we visited the National Gallery of Art. We had great memories of that place from a “stay-cation” we took a couple years back. When we got there, Lindsay immediately asked if we could see the Pre-Raphaelite painting Ophelia by Millais, because she had recently studied it in school. It is a darkly beautiful painting that depicts the death of Hamlet’s potential wife, Ophelia. Well, the truth is that the National Gallery doesn’t have that painting, but on that day it did, because a Pre-Raphaelite exhibit was in town with that very painting and many such beautiful paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites. We essentially spent all of our time at the museum in that exhibit. I remember that So Young and I visited a Pre-Raphaelite exhibit in Delaware during college as part of an assignment for one of my classes.

Here are the girls under the statue of Mercury at the museum.

Art Gallery -- Mercury

There is this another area with a fountain in the museum, this one less heavily trafficked and therefore more peaceful. We fantasized that we lived there and it was part of our house.

Peaceful Fountain at Art Museum

We love the walkway to the West Building. We always have gelato and coffee at the cafe there, and then we start going back and forth on the walkway and goofing around until the security folks yell at us. Here are the girls on the walkway on Friday.

Passageway Now

And here I am on the same walkway with So Young in September 2011. (Important: That is not my purse. It is a pink bag. Dads carry strange things.)

West Building Passageway

On Saturday, we drove to Reston and stayed at the Hyatt for one night. We left late Sunday afternoon. So Young grew up in Reston, we met at the Reston Regional Library there (where we worked), and our courtship took place at the town center. So Young had even worked at the Hyatt for a while. It was where we stayed on our wedding night.

I had never noticed that the figure on the Reston Town Center fountain is also Mercury.

Reston Mercury

The girls proved to be adept at shopping.

Shopping in Reston

Here is a picture of So Young with Shannon at a similar outing (just the two of them) last year.

Shopping at Town Center

On Saturday night, the girls and I watched a late night movie at the movie theater where So Young and I went on our first date. We didn’t watch the same movie, because they aren’t playing The Crying Game there at the moment for some reason. (Don’t ask me why that was the first movie we watched together…) We watched the new Oz movie instead, which traumatized Audrey a little.

We enjoyed the breakfast buffet at the Hyatt on Sunday. Breakfast was Mommy’s favorite meal, and she especially loved the buffet at the Hyatt. Things have changed, however, because they closed the Market Street Grill (where So Young and I had dinner the night we got engaged), so we ate in a different area they have set up.

Brunch

We goofed around in the pool on Saturday and at the gym on Sunday. Here is Shannon at the gym during the trip.

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And here is So Young goofing around at the same gym last year.

SY Also Goofing Around

We also went ice skating. It was the last day of skating for the season. This was a really hard shot to take given our ice skating skills.

Ice Skating

For lunch, we ate at the restaurant at which So Young and I had our first date (Uno’s) and ate some of the same food.  (Again, please no questions about why you would take a girl there on a first date…) We had coffee, shopped, and walked around looking at the cute dogs that people were walking everywhere, which made us miss our dog, kind of like how So Young and I missed the kids after being away from home for a day or so.

We picked up Reyna from Nanna’s house and drove back home.

Driving Home with Reyna

So Young on a Snow Day
March 7, 2013

Since it’s a snow day in Northern Virginia, I thought I would post a snowy video to remember So Young. She relished opportunities to run under almost any conditions, especially in the snow wearing her Yaktrax. This video was taken in the winter of 2009. She had just completed a 2-mile run in about 12″ of snow. It’s great to hear her voice and see her whole.