Who From, Where Going?

We all know what a naturally gifted writer Julia was, but she also used poetry as a medium to express herself.  She was fearless in this, as well as in blogging, but she often kept the poetry very private.  It came to my attention that she had written drafts of poems in a copy of Lee Herrick’s newly published work of poetry, This Many Miles from Desire (WordTech Editions, 2007), that he had sent her.  I thought I’d share one here today, I’ve been less than creative in titling the work myself.

Who from, where going?

– Julia Mendelson

What does Buddhist blood look like?

Does it look like mine?

Or is it my soul? Have you seen my soul?

Could you see it when you scanned me, poked me, opened me?

Jewish? Christian? Buddhist?

Where did I come from and where will I go?

You walk into my room, spew out all of this information about me,

meaningful numbers and codes, indications of what’s up inside,

but is there a blood test, a scan, that can tell us from whom I came,

where I am going, and what I’m made of?

I don’t care about the levels of acids and treatments anymore,

I don’t want to hear another blast count or pulse rate,

just tell me, who I came from…

… and where I’m going from here.


August 1, 2008 at 7:40 pm 3 comments

I’ve Remembered

I remember. I watched your memorial service, 2-months to the day, later. And I hurt, and I remember.

…”I don’t know what to think, and I don’t know what to do, so I do nothing, as if in doing nothing, hope will blossom in its emptiness.”…


July 31, 2008 at 6:43 pm 6 comments

Julia’s Memorial Service – KoRoot House, Seoul, South Korea

June 6th, 2008

Jane Trenka, KoRoot House proprietor, Reverend Kim, and Daewon Wenger organized a service for Julia held at the adoptee house – KoRoot – in the northern section of Seoul.  None ever met her, but they were still driven to hold the memorial as they would for someone of their own, our own family.  As fractured as we may envision our community life, Julia somehow managed to create a shared experience, as sad and tragic as it was.  She would’ve completely hid from the spotlight, shunned being held up as some iconoclast, and I hoped the service would reflect that sense of humility, anonymity, yet show her enduring affect on people as individuals, and on people as a family/community.

She was born in Korea, raised in America, treated in Israel, and remembered again in Korea.

I have not yet watched the video, but I realized that shouldn’t mean those who knew and loved her shouldn’t watch either.



July 29, 2008 at 7:46 am 3 comments


너무나 이쁜지혜를 통해서 당신을 존경 하게되었습니다. 언제가 될진 모르겠지만 이 글을 읽으셨으면 좋겠습니다.
어머님이 언제,어떻게 이 사이트를 찾으실진 모르겠지만,
아마도 우리의 인연이 닿는다면 이 블로그에 언젠가 한번 꼭 오시겠지요.
만약에 이글을 통해서 어머님과 연락이 닿게 된다면, 지혜가 어떻게 컸고, 어떻게 예쁘게 자랐는지 들려드리고 싶네요.
그리고 이렇게라도 연락을 계속 하게 된다면, 이렇게 예쁘고 고운 지혜를 낳아주셔서 어머님께 진심으로 감사하다고 전하고 싶어요.
지혜가 여태껏 성장했던 생활이나 세세한 이야기들도 들려드리고 싶네요. 만약 지혜에 관한 이야기를 다른누군가 땜에 꺼려하신다면,
비밀이나 어머님의사생활은 지켜드릴테니 너무 걱정마세요.
갓난 아기였던 지혜를 처음 본 순간부터 항상 어머님이 생각 났어요. 언제나 어머님과 어머님의 가족 행복하기를 빌요.
저의 한가지 바램이 있다면, 어머님과 연락이 되서 제 마음의 치유가 됐음 좋겠습니다.
이렇게 예쁜 딸을 저에게 인생의 큰 선물로 주셔서 항상 고맙게 생각합니다.
제 글에 대해 너무 부담은 갖지마시고, 지혜에 대해 궁금하시다면 언제든지 연락 주세요.

To The Mother of Ku, Ji-Hye,

I wanted to tell you that through loving your beautiful daughter I have great honor and respect for you. I hope you are reading this. Maybe you have found this blog in reading about Ji-Hye in Korea? I would love the chance to be able to share with you who your daughter had become. I would love to connect with you and thank you personally for creating such an amazing and beautiful woman. I promise to respect your privacy, always.

Since the first day I met your daughter, when she was just a small infant, my thoughts have turned to you. I wish you the best and I have great respect for you and your family. I hope you will contact me and allow me some healing through finding you and thanking you for giving me and my family the gift of your daughter.

Much Love,


July 16, 2008 at 1:21 pm 2 comments

…a letter

April 10, 2008

Habibi John,

Still today I imagine giving you this letter on our wedding day, explaining to you that I once wrote it in a hospital room on the other side of the sea from you. I wrote it because I wanted to record at some point what you mean to me. But, I think I know today under which more likely circumstances you may read this letter. And just the thought that your fingers where mine are right now makes my heart skip a beat…

…If I am anything of yours still – I hope I am not your hurt or pain. I hope you can find me in your smile, your laugh, your love. I hope you will share yourself more with others, because you are a gift. The best gift I was ever given.
Without a doubt I have survived because of you. I’d like to think that will be the case forever.
You are my life, my love, my soul…

Love you Always,



and I cry…torn raw once again, as if this world has not had enough of my tears and pain.

June 30, 2008 at 5:26 pm 15 comments

A Letter

Julia wrote me a letter.

It was found among her things and sent to me.

I’m nervous about what’s inside.

It just arrived:

June 26, 2008 at 9:33 am 7 comments


It’s been weeks, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping.  Even when I do fall asleep, I wake up consistently around 3:30am EST.  I feather between dreams and thoughts, until my quadruple alarm goes off at 6.  I’m tired.

I mentioned it to Leila today.  She said, “maybe it’s because that’s when Julia passed away?”.  To be honest, I had no idea what her exact time of death was; it just hadn’t really crossed my mind to ask.  So I asked.

10:27am Jerusalem time.

3:27am EST.

My soul misses her.

June 24, 2008 at 4:13 pm 8 comments

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Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

Glimpse of Julia

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