Above is the Christmas Card that my parent are sending to everyone who sends them Christmas cards, and a few who might not. I was quite proud that Maxine had the biggest grin of all the grandkids, as well as the fewest teeth. You may even recognize the Maxine picture, as my Dad downloaded it from this very blog to use in his card.
So our Christmas is just about over, and for most of you it is just beginning, assuming you read this as soon as I finish writing it. It's just before midnight, Maxine is off to bed. She had her bath, and was fed, then went to sleep with little resistance. This on top of a solid three hour nap earlier this evening. Apparently, Christmas tired her out real good.
We went to Horyon's former church today, with the in-laws, and Maxine was baptized. Before any of you get your theological feathers ruffled, Korean Presbyterians don't consider this to be a guarantee of salvation, more like an infant dedication ceremony. And they like to do it on Christmas, so five or six other babies also got dripped on. I wasn't really paying close attention, because Maxine was so much cuter than they were. I mean, they were cute babies and everything, but we were the last down the aisle, and the congregation actually made "Oooh!" and "Ah!" noises as we walked. From left to right, Young-hwan, Horyon's father Young-soo, Horyon's mother, Myung-hee, holding Maxine, Horyon and myself. This is the front of the sanctuary of their church.
I hope that you take a close look at this picture, as I know some of my Uncle's do. Horyon made the dress and the hat for Maxine, back when Maxine was inside Horyon's tummy, causing nausea and discomfort to only one of us.
For Christmas Eve, we went to a party at our church. Horyon and I wore festive hats, and Maxine wore a cute little pink number that I believe was a present from someone back in the States. Sorry, I don't keep good track of these things.
I would like to point out here that Horyon is looking good, and it's not just the Santa hat. We had a good time at the party, though one incidence shook things up. I had held Maxine while Horyon got her food and started eating. By the time I went back to get my traditional Christmas Eve meal of pizza, fried chicken, chips and salsa, and kim-bap (a.k.a. California rolls), there weren't many people back in the buffet line room, and there was no pizza. So I meandered a bit. I was half-listening to the conversation between a foreign friend of mine and a Korean man, when my friend collapsed on the floor and started thrashing around.
I've only known him for a short time. He comes across as a tough guy sometimes, and at first I thought he was pulling a stunt to make the Korean man leave him alone. Harsh as that sounds, I've actually met a foreigner who used that tactic.
However, it quickly became apparent that he was not faking it. We moved the buffet table out of the way, and I got down on my knees next to him. One of our church members is a doctor, and he came in and helped. I held my friend's hand, to keep him from beating it against the floor or the wall. It was a scary experience. I was reminded of my Boy Scout first aid training, and how long ago it was, and how very much of it I have forgotten.
I'm not sure how long the seizure/fit lasted, but he did come out of it by the time the EMTs arrived. Pastor Benjamin and the church member who is a doctor went with my friend to the hospital, and I haven't heard anything else, since we didn't go to our usual church today. I'm leaving out my friend's name, as I'm not sure what the proper blogger etiquette is in situations like this. Horyon suggested that I think about it before I write, and I'm trying, but sometimes I seriously misjudge how people will react to this sort of thing.
I thought about leaving it completely out, but that would be wrong. It would be like describing a Thanksgiving dinner and not mentioning the mashed potatoes. Yes, the mashed potatoes are not the center of the meal, but it wouldn't be complete without them.
Yikes. That's the lousiest simile in the room. I apologize for it, and hope it will leave quietly.
It shook me up quite a bit. When I got back to my table with my cold food, I found myself coming down from a severe adrenaline rush. And like most perspective-altering experiences, no one around me had noticed it. They had sort of noticed that I took a long time to get my food, but didn't know that anything had happened. When I told them what I had experienced, the first reply was from someone saying, "Yeah, I saw something like that..." And the next thing I knew, the conversation had moved on.
And so I am left wondering, how many times have I completely brushed off someone else's life-changing experience? If you are reading this and you think I have done it to you, please let me know! Because I owe you a big apology. (Unless, of course, you are one of my loser friends who I blow off on purpose. You know who you are.)
I have also taken this experience as a reminder that it is nothing short of a miracle that you and I continue to function, day after day. The body is a very complex chemical juggling act, one in which small mistakes can lead to big problems. Don't worry, I won't tell you to keep track of your balls.
Since I don't like to finish a post with the kind of humor that gets me smacked by my mother, I will close with a gratuitously cute picture of Maxine with a lame bunny rabbit toy. Not only does it have only two legs, but those legs are pinned to its body. Only the F.S.M. knows how he got that green shirt on.