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For everything there is a season....


arogers

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There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under Heaven. A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time too mourn, and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1-3

 

Mak Key Choe Rogers. November 3, 1953 - October 26, 2008

 

Choe Rogers was born in Korea. Her parents both died when she was a little girl and for the most part, although she had five siblings, her life was spent on the street. My brother-in-law, David, met her when he was stationed there with the Air Force. Choe was outside the air base selling pot to the GIs. She was about 19 years old, but didn't look her age because she was so tiny. I don't know much about the time between his meeting her and their marriage, except that Choe was David's first girlfriend. I also know that when he called home to tell his folks about Choe he was ready to stay in Korea if his folks could not accept this young lady into their family. Of course they would accept Choe as their daughter - that's the kind of people they are.

 

I met Choe seven years ago when I visited Bill's family for the first time. My first impressions of Choe were that she was so loving toward Mom Rogers. She welcomed me into the family and promptly announced that I would be her sister.

 

Choe was diagnosed October 20th with a brain tumor. David had taken her to the emergency room again because she had been nauseated and vomiting all week-end, complaining of a headache. She had been struggling for well over a year with headaches and had been prescribed medication for hypertension, depression, allergies and migraines. The interesting thing, though, is that she had never had a CT scan or and MRI to help determine the cause of her headaches. In August David, Choe and Mom Rogers came to our home for dinner. She became dizzy and at one point was leaning against the window in my kitchen when I called David to come help sit her down on a chair. I checked her blood pressure and it was elevated so I asked David to take her to ER to be checked out. He came back and announced she had vertigo. On Monday she went to her doctor and he confirmed the ER diagnosis of vertigo. Again, no studies to see if they could find a reason for the vertigo.

 

On the 20th when she went to ER the doctor recommended that a CT scan be performed to try to see if there might be anything going on that was causing her condition. Of course we were all shocked by the diagnosis. The doctor did have good news, and that is that the type tumor Choe had was rarely malignant. It wasn't a matter of making a decision about whether or not to have surgery to remove it, there was no choice. The only complication going in though was that her brain was swollen and that was probably the cause of those headaches. She was admitted to the hospital and they immediately began using medication to reduce the swelling. Surgery was scheduled for Thursday. Going in to the surgery they knew the tumor had grown to about the size of a tangerine. Of course there was always a chance for complications resulting from the surgery, but generally speaking it was expected to be successful.

 

The surgery was a little longer than had been expected because the doctor had to work around an artery. The surgery was uneventful, which, when discussing brain surgery 'uneventful' is a good thing to hear. She returned to Intensive Care on a ventilator, which isn't uncommon. What was uncommon was the swelling. The swelling continued after surgery and on Friday afternoon a tube was inserted in order to draw some fluid off the brain. Saturday a CT scan was performed and the news was not good because the swelling had not subsided, it had increased. The doctor prepared the family for the worse, telling them Choe' condition was grave, indeed. Sunday morning they performed a test to see how much blood flow she had to her brain. There was none. The family then knew that Choe was gone. The decision was made to allow those who wished to say good-bye to do so. Sunday evening David and his daughters and sons-in-law were with her when the life support was turned off.

 

 

Choe was not a woman of great power or wealth. She didn't belong to all the correct social clubs. She was not even known by all the important or influential people in Greensboro. Her wake was held Tuesday evening and for two and a half hours the family received condolences from friends and family. When I say two and one half hours, I mean the doors were open and there was a steady line of people. I heard one woman say how she had wanted to ask Choe some things - and maybe one of them could help her with her questions. She said she wondered... how was it that Choe showed such love and respect for everybody, how she could always have a smile, how it was that she always helped anybody do anything when she was asked - no, how it was she offered her help...how it was she never heard a negative word come out of her mouth. And that was Choe.

 

Of course David is incredibly sad. Choe really was the love of his life. The girls miss their mother. They have all said more than once how gracious God has been. The doctors clearly told them Choe could suffer a stroke or seizures at any time. She had cared for her granddaughter and grandson for two years though and other than the headaches nothing had happened. Choe was protected all the time, as well as her family. As a result, on Tuesday evening David told me five of her organs had been transplanted. The first three were her heart and both lungs. Grief turned into joy - for everything there is a season.

 

Yes, once again we can be sure it is true....God is still good.

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Ann,

 

What a wonderful blog entry and a tribute to Choe. We can only all wish to have someone like Choe in our lives. Fond memories will keep her forever alive in everyone's hearts.

 

Yes, God is good. Thank you for sharing Choe with us.

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Dear Ann,

I am so sorry for your sorrow at this time. Choe must have been a very special person. Recently though I was reading the Ecclesiastes passage. We often stop at the well known section 1-8. I was blessed by verse 11, "He has made every thng beautiful in his time:"

Ruth

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Ann, for sure there in another angel in heaven now. I am so sorry that this wonderful sister-in-law Choe has passed out of the visible section of your life. As we know no-one who is good is gone forever. I too wonder sometimes how some people, humble in themselves are yet such a powerful blessing to others.

 

Condolences to your brother and his family too.

 

(((Hugs))) from Sue.

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Anne,

As with you can pick your friends but cannot pick your family. Despite Choe being family her inner beauty,strength, and character you describe make it clear that you lost a cherished friend, whom you would have carefully chosen. I am truly sorrow for your loss. I know what a rare treasure she must have been.

 

Although her physical organs were donated in death, what she gave of herself in life through her warmth and love will continue to live on as it is clearly alive and evident in your words.

Love you,

Maria

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Ann and family, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Choe will be remembered with love and "honor" what a wonderful & delightful person.. it's wonderful her organs could be used in transplant. to make others happy.

 

sending hugs and warm wishes to you all. Bonnie

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ann,

a wonderful tribute to choe. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. it is beautiful that your family could give the gift of life to others through organ donation and add even more to her lovely memory. kathy

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Ann,

 

I can't add anything to what has been said except to say what a beautiful eulogy this is to Choe. Thank you for sharing and may God bless you and your family during this time of sorrow.

 

Vi

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ann, i too offer my condolences to you and your family for your loss of choe. i was praying the surgery would have fixed her problem but i guess god had other plans for this kind and sweet woman. she will now be watching over all of her family. we never know the amount of time we have on this earth but the time she had, she was loved by many and a friend to many as well. she left her mark on so many others while she was with you. keep your memories alive in your heart, she will always be with you. i pray your family finds comfort in the many days ahead to get through, that she is now with god.

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