stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

I’m surprised I haven’t blogged in depth about one of the funniest moments in my marriage.  I just checked, and it’s not there.  I mentioned it once in passing, but that does not do the moment justice.  The moment happened in the opening minutes of our marriage.  But first, the prologue.

On March 5, 1982, Park, Sun Hwa was born in Seoul, South Korea.  She was a cute baby.  She’s still cute.  On July 14, 1982, she was adopted by Jerry and Judy Van Solkema, and her name was changed to Sarah Joy.  She’s been Korean all of her life.  Her birth certificate and her naturalization papers both attest to this fact.  There is video evidence to the contrary, though.

We were sitting on our cool first couch – a futon that was incredibly uncomfortable but, by the grace of God, fell apart in just under a year – in our first apartment, and we were watching our wedding tape.  The tape was started about 15 minutes before the service, and it captured people being ushered in and sitting down.  It was a boring static shot of the auditorium.  It was boring, but it was accurate.  I guess the camera guy was bored, too, because he started panning around the auditorium.  He was getting side aisles where people were sneaking in, zooming in and out on the stage decor, and then something else caught his eye: flags.  I grew up in a Baptist church that is really big on supporting missionaries.  For every country that has a missionary supported by the church in it, there is a flag for that country around the top of the auditorium.  It really is cool to see how many countries are represented.  One country they have a missionary in is Korea.  I guess a shot of a Korean flag would have been pretty cool, since Sarah was born there.

You know what’s more awesome than a shot of a Korean flag on the wedding video of a lady born in Korea?  You guessed it: a shot of a Japanese flag.  I remember watching the video for the first time.  I saw the flag, and I smirked a little bit, but I was cautious to show how funny I thought it was.  I worried that Sarah would be really upset.  Maybe she’d cry.  I looked over at her, and I saw the fiery look of an angry Athena staring holes in our TV.  I learned at that moment that when most women would get teared up, choked up, and sniffly, Sarah wanted to go to war.  I was more amused by her reaction, but I dared not show it for a couple of years.

I waited almost a year to bring it up.  She was high on morphine (in the hospital, mind you).  She laughed.  It’s been funny ever since.  She’ll never hear the end of it, either.  It’s a running joke that she cannot outrun.  The only way for her to forget would be for me to die, but if Charles is still alive, he’ll surely remind her at my funeral.  That reminds me.  Could someone be sure to get a shot of a Canadian flag at my funeral?  You know, cause Americans and Canadians are pretty much the same thing.


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