His Korea, our Korea

It's funny how life can have little twists through the years. Funny, odd, I mean.

Take our adoption. We are ecstatic to adopt from South Korea. We feel a part of our hearts is there somewhere.

But for my Grandpa Walt, Korea represented something different. He fought in the Korean war. For him Korea likely represented a place that many of his friends died.

We never talked about Korea. That wasn't something my grandfather would talk about with his granddaughters. I'm not sure he ever talked about it with my Dad. After Grandpa died a few years back, we found a small book he kept while out to sea in the Navy and it was there that we learned about some of Grandpa's experiences.

From stories I've heard, Grandpa was quite a different guy in his younger days...tough and firm. A bit of a hellion and a very strict father. But to his three granddaughters, he was nothing but sweet and protective and always made us feel loved. He had big burly Popeye arms (complete with tattoos) and a big voice to match. And he gave the best damned bear hugs. I miss those.

This week marked the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, and as I look at the photos here, I can't help but wonder what my Grandpa saw during the war.

I wonder if he was scared. I wonder if he saw the pain in the people's eyes. Was he angry that he was there fighting a war for them? How did he feel about defending their country? And could he ever have possibly met one of the relatives of the child we'll one day adopt? That's a mind-blowing concept.

I have no doubt that Grandpa would have been ecstatic to watching The Man and I become parents. But I can't help but wonder how he would have felt about having one of those Asian faces in our family.

His Korea and our Korea are two very different places.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, powerful pictures. Makes me wonder what we'd see if the press was given as much access to our current wars.

    I really like this post because it is so funny/odd/interesting how things change throughout the years, and can be so different to people so close.

    Best wishes throughout your adoption process!


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