Natalie Lim Cheatham is Henry and Sunny’s eldest granddaughter, and daughter to Carol and Thomas.

It has been difficult to comprehend the loss of my grandparents during this time in isolation. It had been over a year since our last trip to visit them in Irvine, and it still seems like once travel is safer we’ll be able to visit their home near UCI and see them once more. I have dreams about them all the time and my memories of them are so fresh (I still use the face masks Halmonee had sent to me during the lockdown), it still feels like they are such a prominent part of my life.

I already miss the weekly Facetimes I would have with them, where Halmonee would hold the camera too close to her face so all you saw was her forehead. Harabojee was always trying to correct her, but she didn’t care. She would always tell me how beautiful I looked, that I should run for Miss Utah. “Yeppeuda!” she would say to me, meaning beautiful in Korean.

When we visited, they would bring balloons to the airport. My sister and I always knew to look for the balloons as our welcome. They really went out of their way to make us feel loved, to give us everything we wanted. I used to think that Harabojee didn’t know the word “no” since he was always agreeing to buy us toys, treats, or take us places. We used to go to the mall and they would buy us outfits, then when we came home we would model for them and they would act like paparazzi taking pictures of celebrities.

They were exceedingly generous. They paid for my car when I turned 16 because when I was 8 years old I told them I wanted a Volkswagen Beetle, so they began saving for one (unfortunately, no VW Beetles would make it in the Utah snow, so I settled on a Toyota RAV4). They helped pay for my schooling, so that I wouldn’t have to stress about working to pay for it. Even when they could not visit, they sent us care packages that included masks, soap, and sanitizing wipes so that we would not have to go out during the pandemic.

When I sought out to make this memorial, I simply wanted a place where we could reflect on our shared memories of my Halmonee and Harabojee. What I received exceeded my expectations, as I received an outpouring of support from family, their colleagues, former students, and friends.

To me, they were my grandparents. I did not know them as anything else, did not recognize their vast academic accomplishments, or even realize how much they meant to so many people. I hope that you can learn something about my grandparents, and how they influenced the lives of all those around them. They are loved by many, and their legacy will live on in our family.