Welcome to my home on the World Wide Web.
As you can probably guess, my name is Dan Kim, and this is my home on the Internet. I've set this website up to let people know more about me, my family and my friends. So come on in, and take a look around. Most of the small photos you see on this site are linked to a larger version, which will appear if you click on the smaller version. If anything I’ve said on my site touches, moves, inspires, infuriates or affects you—or if you have any questions for me—please feel free to contact me via the e-mail link at the top of every page.
It’s March 2005, and it’s been seven and a half years since I moved to Northern Virgnia. I am in the process of moving back to New England—the place I grew up. Leaving Northern Virginia is not easy for me. When I bought this house, back in 1997, it was with the intention of getting married and raising a family here. I had carefully researched the area—in terms of the quality of life, the quality of the schools, the access to Korean culture, the location of hospitals, fire stations and police stations, the ease of travel to and from the house, access to airports and to major highways. When I moved here, I had been planning on staying for the long term.
It all seemed to be going according to plan. In 1999, when I met Gee, and then in 2000, when she moved back from Seattle to be with me in Northern Virginia. Then her illness struck. Gee and I made the most of the little time we had together. We kept our hopes and dreams—but faced the possibility that she would lose her fight with cancer, as she eventually did.
Last October, I decided to move back to New England. The reasons for doing so are many. The strongest may be that this house, this area, hold too many memories for me of my Life with Gee, and for me to move on in my life, I need to move from here, where the memories are so strong. A second reason for me to move is Yoon. I’m not sure that she is still a reason for me to move, as she has gone back to Korea, and our relationship has had its share of problems. Another reason for me to move is my family—my sister, my parents, my nephews, and many of my cousins live in New England. Another reason I am moving, is my sister-in-law, Michelle, is about to get married. She’s getting married in September. I’ve met her fiancé and I both like and trust him—and I feel comfortable knowing that he will be there for her and her family when I leave this area I’ve called home.
Moving has presented its share of problems for me. I never realized how difficult it would be to move—how hard leaving my life in Northern Virginia would be. I have built a network of friends and family that I am finding difficult to leave. My friends here, my in-laws, Gee’s parents and her sister, Michelle, are people I care very much about and it is hard to think I will be so far from them. It is also hard for me to think that I will be so far from where my Gee rests—on a hillside that faces east and has a beautiful view of the sunrise over the trees.
I know that even if I leave Northern Virginia—where I met Gee, and we got married, and we lived our life together—she will always be a part of my life...that my Life with Gee goes on. The 23 months we were together changed who I am so completely, and yet I feel like I have known Gee all my life. I still am often confused by the brevity of the time we had together—like there are memories I should have but have somehow lost. For three years, I lived in this house, but it was never really a home until Gee arrived. Again, it seems that it has become just a house I live in... but I am now preparing to leave it behind.
It is strange to think that the New England I am returning to is not the New England I grew up in, but the New England where I met Yoon. The house there, where my sister now lives, was our family home growing up, but it is no longer the same place. The apartment I will be living in, is where I met Yoon. In many ways, I am going from a place with strong memories of Gee and Yoon, to a place that is filled with memories of just Yoon. In many ways, I see Yoon as my future, and I see Gee as my past. I see moving from Northern Virginia to New England, as a major step into the future.
Yoon is in Korea. I hope she realizes what she has come to mean to me, and that she is one of the reasons I am able to move on. She helped me realize how much grieving I had left to do for Gee, and helped me realize how empty my life had become after Gee died. I still hope that Yoon will decide to come back to the United States, to start the family we had talked about.
Alice in Wonderland
She has sold her car and packed her bags and gotten on a plane for a trip across the pond. As part of her engagement, she has just left for England, where her fiancé is attending Oxford University.
I wish her well. She and her music will be missed.
Blogging with WordPress 1.5
I don't know if you’ve noticed the changes here on dankim.com. In the past two months, I’ve changed hosting companies, as the mail service on my previous hosting company had several problems that were driving me crazy. The new hosting company has more webspace, more features and more bandwidth. I’ll be moving some other sites I work with over to the new webspace soon.
One major change I’ve made to dankim.com is I’ve started a web log, which is powered by WordPress 1.5. The theme I’m using is one I developed myself, loosely based on a theme I downloaded from the WordPress site, but optimized for SVGA (800x600) and higher resolution screens. If you’re using VGA, it won't look very good.
I have a backlog of entries that I need to post to the main website, as it has been a busy year. I hope to get most of the backlog posted by the Tax Day.
Yoon Joo Lee has returned to Korea. She is someone I care a great deal about and I will miss her. Although I’ve only known Yoon since January, she has come to mean a great deal to me. In fact, earlier this year I had asked her to marry me, but that didn't work out.
The reasons for her moving back to Korea are complex. Some have to do with her family, and her being apart from them for almost seven years, while she was living in the United States. Some have to do with our relationship and the complications of it.
Yoon has, in the time I’ve known her, become the woman I love most. She is the one I want to see as I fall asleep, and the one I want to wake up to every morning. She is the person I see when I think of my future, and she is the woman I want to start a family with. She has made me realize how barren and empty my life had become. Since I met Yoon, I have learned much about myself and had new experiences that I probably would not have had with out her in my life. I have become a much better person for having met her.
Relationships are difficult— and ours was more so complicated by the fact that I'm a widower. I was married back in 2000, and my late wife died from pancreatic cancer in 2001. I never realized how much this was going to complicate my relationship with Yoon. She and I never realized how much more difficult things would be. We are learning, but I don't know if it is a matter of learning too little, too late. I never thought I could love a person so much... until I met Yoon.
At first, I had some doubts about Yoon’s feelings for me and whether she really wanted to marry me for me being me. A few weeks ago, I realized how much Yoon loves me... and how she wanted to marry me for who I am. The last three months have been difficult, but we have had our share of good times...and the good times have been really good... but the difficult parts were really tough.
I still hope that she and I can work things out. I don't blame her, as much of this is my fault. We’ve both made some mistakes and neither of us realized what difficulties we would be facing. I’m just hoping that she can forgive me and that what we have built together and shared is worth saving. I don’t know if she will ever realize how much she has come to mean to me, or how much I love her— I can only hope that someday she will understand.
No matter what else happens, Yoon will be someone I love and care about. In the brief time we have known each other, she has helped me realize how much I had yet to grieve for Gee. More importantly, she has taught me that there are other women I will love since Gee has gone. Yoon is one of those rare women.
For those of you out there who are widowers like myself, or dating someone who has lost a spouse, I highly recommend a book by Julie Donner Andersen. The book is titled, “Past: Perfect! Present: Tense!: Insights From One Woman’s Journey As The Wife of A Widower.” It is a pretty short book, but I wish we had read it when I first met Yoon. Many of the difficulties that we encountered would not have surprised us.