The Words the Hose Family
July 16th 1995, I headed for the ocean with Young Kook Yoo and Fred Park for a CARP outing with only one thing on my mind, "who." "Who" had echoed in my head ever since I had found out that the matching had begun in Kodiac, Alaska. It took over my every thought, dream, etc... Love songs on the radio took on an entirely different meaning to me, I was in love but with "who?" We had heard that other BC's had been matched from a small stream of rumors coming down out of Kodiac but still had no clue about our own.
That night we stopped of at a Mc Donalds for dinner and it was there that Young Kook and I had a conversation that I will always remember. Almost everyone we knew was matched so it made it a bit easier to guess "who" I may be blessed to. Young Kook threw a name my way, he mentioned Johanna and I just smiled; I didn't think I would be blessed to her because I thought for sure my wife would be Korean.
We arrived at my house and decided to relax in front of the TV after a very full day. Young Kook decided to call his sister to check and see if she knew of any other matchings (she was the information pipeline during our blessing). He asked about me and walked off into the furthest corner of the room and started to jump up and down, then he hung up the phone and walked up the couch I was sitting on with a big smile on his face and said, "the one that I guessed." "Who = Johanna vander Stok" It was unreal, here I was finding out my eternal partner on the couch watching ER or something. Her name filled my being. I went through my memory bank in matter of seconds recalling every transation I had had with her in the past: Korea 1985 (one year), Alaska 1994 (a couple weeks), that's it.
I knew Johanna was at Camp Sunrise but I decided that I would call in the morning because of the 3 hour time difference. Okay, I lied, I was very nervous, I wanted to think through the conversation and say the "right" things. Well, I didn't get the chance. The next afternoon Matt Jones called and we talked for a while, little did I know Johanna was standing right next to him. Matt stopped the conversation abruptly and said, Dave, she's right here, I'm gonna give her the phone. I lost everything at that moment, if I had planned anything to say it was lost in a sea of confusion as I heard her voice for the first time, "hello." I replied with a big, "ummmm, hi." From that point on we communicated via email, snail mail, phone, you name it we used it. She won my heart and all I could think about was seeing her in Korea August 23rd, two days before the blessing, when my plane was scheduled to touch down in Kimpo Airport.
Kimpo: I had stayed up the entire flight from Seattle to Korea thinking about our first meeting as a matched couple, what would I do: 1. say HI (no, that would be lame), 2. give her a hug (ummm, could I do that or was that against the rules), 3. maybe stick to a good hand shake. In the end, I decided that I would let my heart dictate my actions, I knew God would be smiling whatever I did.
Customs in Korea was such a hassle. I spent an hour looking at those custom doors open and close hoping to catch a glimpse of Johanna while waiting through numerous custom checks. Okay, everything checked out fine and now it was time for me to walk through those doors. It was very much a metaphor of life. I walked through to see Johanna jumping up over the people in front of her. I was filled with an unexplainable joy, I started moving through the crowd and found her doing the same until we met, I dropped my luggage and gave her a warm hug, mushy I know...
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