Daughters head to hawaii to see mother after 39 years – akron news-reporter

I took a breath and told her it was ok, I was okay. Afterward, I knew that at some point I would need to go see her, to forgive her in person so that she could see I meant it. I never made it to Hawaii, as is often the case with life, when there was money there was no time and when there was time, there was no money. I tried to call her through the years, and it would always ring and ring. Until last week, when it rang a few times and I got the message that the number was disconnected.

I was terrified. I thought to myself, that it happened. She died, alone, without ever knowing about Tina and I and our families and grandchildren, that we broke the cycle and survived horrors that even she never knew about, that could have broken or killed us and yet here we are.


As close to whole as we could be, even after years of joking between us that we were orphans with living parents. Finally reaching that point in our lives where the fear of rejection and violence and shame could be put to bed, with the door to those memories firmly shut, still there but quieter now. Periodically, Tina and I discuss some of it, and we do it with the relief that we survived.

It took me a while to figure out what to do. I looked for an obituary. No record. I looked up her contact information. Same address, same phone number. Maybe I dialed it wrong? I looked at my phone. No, I dialed the right number. I remembered she had talked to me at length on that last call, after her confession, about how she loved God and Jesus, and how she loved to worship. I looked for churches in her neighborhood. So many and I had no idea which one to call. So, I called the Korean church. Major language barrier. Now what?

I looked at the page with her address. About four rows down, I saw an ad for a rental in her building. I called the management company and spoke to an angel named Monica, who was obviously rattled when I introduced myself and told her I was looking for my mother who had rented the same apartment for over 20 years. I could hear her typing, and then she said, so quietly I had to really concentrate on her voice, "We didn’t know she had children."

She was crying so much. She sounded tired and a little lost. She remembered me, asked if I was okay, was I happy? How is Tina? She asked me how old we were and when I told her I was going to be 50 this year, she seemed a little taken aback. "That’s getting old Kimberley." I laughed. I told her about her grandchildren, now all grown, and about her great-grandchildren. She cried even harder.

Unbeknownst to me, she had checked flights, as had I. We talked about trying to see her in a few months, when prices were more manageable. This is Hawaii, after all, even though we will not be going as tourists. We think four days will be financially manageable. We will have to pack a lifetime into those days. We’ll be saying hello and good bye all in one trip. We agree we need to do this. I’ve had a couple of people ask me why? Why would you want to see someone who hurt you, who abandoned you?

The answer is far less complicated than the history behind it. We are her children. She has always loved us. She has carried her shame and guilt long enough. We will lift those burdens off her heart. We hope it gives her peace. And we will thank her. She carried us, nourished us, gave us life and by doing so, my sister and I have five beautiful children between us, and five extraordinary grandchildren between us. Those blessings would not exist if we didn’t exist.