Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lost in Translation...

In my recent reconnection with my family in Korea and locating my younger brother in the Netherlands, I learned I have a nephew in Seoul, Korea. He is my eldest sister’s son. In 2004, during our first reunion, I was told by a translator that my sister did not have a son or did not have a son while I was still in her care. My mind was blown away, thinking all my thoughts and memories of this little baby that I had cared for prior to leaving my sister were perhaps not the memories I believed they were.

From 2004 to just last week, I had come to accept this news and tried to place this child into some image in my thoughts hoping that I would encounter another time and place for him. Like going back into time, I was again listening to my sister talk in Hangeul while my translator tried to keep up with all the messages that were being said to her.

I am told that our nephew will be our point of contact in Korea. Upon hearing this, I asked when my sister had her son, our nephew. My translator explained to me that he was born while I was under my sister’s care back in the late ‘70s. She tells me that I cared for him every day while my sister worked. She explains that I had carried him around on a sling that held him close to my body.

I could not believe what I was hearing. No, I could believe what I was hearing! Why not! Since 2004, I had heard a couple versions of what might have happened during my last year in Korea and thereafter, but no one could really tell me for sure what had really occurred, or perhaps it was lost in translation. And now, I hear from my sister, from my translator, that my memories of my little nephew were TRUE. I wondered if my memories of the little baby I had told to remember me during our farewells was my nephew or perhaps my little baby brother. My memories do not allow time to be accountable; it only allows images to overlap and bring forth visions that remain intact and vivid within my mind. For me, this memory was always very special because of how I remember leaving there; Leaving my family, my sister, and my nephew behind.


Yoli said...

What an amazing story. I am so glad you connected again.

kyungmee said...

Thank you Yoli. Reunions are complicated and can take some time to form bonds and relationships if that is all possible. As in my case, I had made contact in 2004 and lost it in 2007 to find it once again today. And new relations as well. And some that has not recovered. Not an easy path but as I told one of my brothers..I want to establish some connection rather than be disconnected completely from each other. Don't get me is not easy. Between langauge barriers, the distance, personal life differences, and all stands between us and how we deal with these obstacles...And this has nothing to do with my blog or your comment, BUT I love Gabriel Garcia Marques like you!!!

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