Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gloria's Memorial Service- Part 2

After Chad's eulogy, 3 people also shared about Gloria: Sora Yoon (one of Gloria's good friends from church), Steve Hsu (Gloria's oldest brother), and April Clark (Gloria's best friend).  Sora talked about how she and Gloria were restaurant buddies, enjoying places all over town, especially Bob Chinn's (since Gloria LOVED crab).  They would talk about Lost (which I agree is THE best TV series of all time), they shared perspectives on marriage, and they texted each other constantly.

Steve shared stories as Gloria's brother, explaining her tomboyish tendencies as a result of the fact that he and Simon always played basketball, soccer, baseball, and every other outdoorsy sport with their younger sister.  Gloria told Steve that she appreciated when he would come over to tickle Kelissa or wrestle around with her since she couldn't do it with her RA.  One of Steve's vivid memories of Gloria in her final days was watching her play with Kelissa, pretending to run away from her while she dragged her oxygen tank along.  Gloria was so dedicated to her girls, trying to do everything she possibly could with them, despite her physical limitations.

April's eulogy was an inspiration; hearing her friendship with Gloria made me laugh, cry, and mourn her loss even more.  You can read April's eulogy here:

Next, her brother Simon Hsu read from John 11:17-44, and the pastor of their church NCPC (New Community Presbyterian Church), Brad Paik, gave a message about hope after death.  I was expecting a typical sermon on the theology of the resurrection, but what surprised me is that Pastor Brad began by confessing he was angry at God.  He shared that he hadn't really cried when Gloria passed because of his anger towards God for taking her.  He didn't want Gloria to die; he wanted God to heal her.  Pastor Brad admitted though, that after hearing Chad talk in his eulogy about trusting God and worshipping Him simply because He is God, no matter what our circumstances, he began to weep uncontrollably.  He was humbled by the faith of both Chad and Gloria in their trials, and said that he was standing there speaking that night not as someone who knows how to comfort us in dealing with Gloria's death, but as someone who is struggling to let Gloria go just as much as each of us are, asking God to comfort him as well.  

One of my favorite stories that Pastor Brad shared was Gloria's process of joining the staff at NCPC.  She was working part-time at the church and also teaching at Walter Payton College Prep, but she felt that God was asking her to join the church full-time as a worship pastor.  She was still single, and her mom had said that it was possible if she decided to work for the church, that she may never get married.  This didn't sit well with her because she had always dreamed of getting married and having children, so she didn't want to give that up.  She also loved her job teaching high school and found great joy interacting with her students.  She and Pastor Brad prayed and talked over her conflict, and he said that during that whole conversation, they both had no idea that her future husband was literally 6 feet away working on staff as the Community pastor at the church!  Gloria joined staff in faith that God would provide a husband for her, and He did!


Simon said...

Tammy, thanks so much for the recap of the service. I know that as my family sat through the funeral service (and even participated in a bit of it), it was a bit surreal, still hard to process, and very difficult to return back to normalcy. So thank you again for your post. We will continue to revisit the events of this past week. Your summary serves our memory of Gloria and the last week of her life here on earth very well.

Tammy Meinershagen said...

Simon, I am so thankful that this has served you a little bit in this very difficult time. I want you to know too that your sister has made a huge impact on people that she's never even met; I've had so many friends write to me and say that they are inspired by her character and encouraged to live their faith more boldly because of her example!