June 15, 2014

fathers.

i saw my pops cry once.

it was right before college. i was home alone because my mama had packed her stuff up one day and announced that she was leaving for korea. my brother was in college in georgia and my pops was already living in korea {he was transferred back there for work during my freshman year of high school - the rest of us stayed in the u.s. so that i could finish high school and attend college here}. 

my mama had up and left because her illness had flared up. i took it in stride but felt horribly lonely and scared at the prospect of getting ready to go to college alone.

about a week before i was to leave for school, my pops flew in from korea and helped me pack up. he couldn't take me to school but he wanted to make sure that i was all set. that night he told me about the illness that had taken over mom. and i saw a tear fall. 

my pops {and mom} missed a lot of moments in my life - not because they wanted to, but because they just had a lot of other things going on at the time. my high school graduation, college graduation, first time i moved into my post-college apartment, etc. my pops always felt so bad that i had to go through these moments - moments when i should've been surrounded by family - alone. 

my mama missed my wedding day. it was yet another time when her illness flared up. right before my pops was going to walk me down the aisle he said "thanks for growing up to be a good kid. you turned out ok." i told him "thanks for being such a great pop. i turned out ok because of you." 
i never met yangkyu's dad. he passed away in 2001, just a few months before i first met yangkyu. but i have since heard lots of stories about him. there is one in particular that i really love and i asked yangkyu to tell it to me again while we were running errands today. 

yangkyu didn't get into the college of his choice the first time around. so he took about a year or so at another school and studied hard so that he could transfer. yangkyu came to the states when he was in junior high school, and not to feed into the stereotype of the model minority myth but while he excelled in math, english always got the better of him. but he tried. really hard. 

right around the time when acceptance letters were expected in the mail, yangkyu came home to his dad who looked at yangkyu with apologetic eyes and said, "sorry son, but i don't think it was the news you had expected." 

devastated, yangkyu began to open up the already torn envelope and expected to read that he had yet again been rejected to the school he had wanted to go. but instead of a rejection letter he read words that said that he had been accepted. when yangkyu looked up he said "my dad had the most proudest smile on his face."

his dad then took him for a ride to the school campus and showed him the best directions to get there - which roads to take to avoid traffic, etc. i looked at yangkyu and he had the happiest smile on his face when he was telling me this story again. 

for some reason i had a big lump in my throat as i was writing this post. i guess it's because maybe i'm a daddy's girl for sure, but i just think of the sacrifices our dads made and also the unknown hardships they must've endured to make sure that we were all ok and taken care of. i am so thankful of our fathers. 

happy father's day. 

33 comments

  1. Thank goodness for fathers and for those who wear the roles of father so well in our lives

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  2. This post absolutely moved me. Thank you for sharing your experiences as I have no idea how you managed all of these things on your own. Your Pop sounds like a wonderful man. And your husband's father sounded lovely as well! You are so right...we are blessed to have such great dad's out there in this world who make sacrifices for our families! Wishing you all good things this week! Nicole xo

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  3. How lovely are the Dads :) Sorry you have gone through tough times - I always remember this quote "adversity builds character". Some of the best people I know have been built through the challenges they've faced. I'm glad to see you smiling on the other side :)

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    1. this is so touching to reach fiona. thank you so much!

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  4. Hello Jane,

    What a charming and touching tribute this is to your fathers. Clearly, they have been great influences in both of your lives and it is so lovely to give thanks on this special day.

    You have overcome many challenges in your life through your own resources and self will. That does make one very strong as a person. But, knowing that the love of family is behind you, no matter how far away physically, is a wonderful thing.

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    1. thank you so very much for this. family is such a wonderful thing... :)

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  5. This was very beautiful...had me teared up. Such sweet memories...my father passed away when I was three, so I don't really have memories of him, just pictures. I never celebrated Father's day until I got married, my Father in law is awesome & my husband is an awesome father now too. So in a way, I get to catch up and enjoy Father's day now too :)) I hope you have a wonderful week doll xx

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    1. i'm so sorry to hear about your father passing when you were just a toddler. and that's so great how you get to celebrate them with your husband and father in law <3 much love to you kizzy~

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  6. Thank you for sharing this post, Jane. ((((hugs))) My sisters and I were all Daddy's little girls, so when he passed away, there's that void that will be always be there forever.

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    1. so sorry that he passed emmy. i'm sure his memory lives on in your hearts! <3<3

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  7. What an amazing and beautiful retrospective of what sounds like two amazing men. This was the best Father's Day post I read this year :)

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  8. Both of your parents look so stylish in these photos! That's probably where you guys get your great sense of style. Thanks for sharing such personal stories of your fathers in this post. Happy belated father's day.

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  9. thank you for sharing this stories Jane. i'm speechless. here's to all awesome dads in the world :)

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  10. Sniff. Thank you for sharing. Both your dads sound like sweet and caring men. You're very lucky.

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  11. Love, love, love this, Jane! We were lucky to have Father's who gave so much to us. I have to remind myself of that as much as I can. -Jess L

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  12. Me also, I realize the importance and blessings of having the loving parents not through all the fancy moments we share together (which are cherished as well) but more through all the hard times we went together and all the sacrifies they went through never forget to show their love. I felt it many times in my life and that's find I find ur storry very beautiful. (And I don't know if I am right but u look like ur mother:)) xx

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    1. thank you so much~ as a child i was always told how much i looked like my dad. as i grew older my aunts told me how i looked like "little mija". mija is my moms name :)

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  13. I bawled. This was so so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing ♥

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    1. thank you marla~ thank you for reading. :)

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  14. Jane, I had a lump in my throat, just reading this. Thank you for sharing these stories about two very wonderful men.

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    1. thanks so much for reading trishie~

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  15. Awww, you made me cry too! What wonderful dads! Certainly they've both made such sacrifices and certainly made us the people we are today.

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  16. So touching reading (you made me burst into tears) that at the same time shows the love and respect you have for both your dads. Both of you guys have big beautiful hearts! :) - oh! have to mention, love the old pics of your parents!

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  17. Jane, both of your dad's were amazing! The stories are so touching. They just touched my heart. Exemplary! You two are truly blessed.

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  18. I feel the tears coming on reading this. fathers are amazing, and unfortunately I took way too long to start realizing that my dad is awesome.

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  19. Guess I caught up with your post a little late. I can't help but had tears in my eyes when reading your post too. I can't help but to think of my dad for a while. I'm very blessed to still be around my dad and we still laugh a lot. It is a different story when my sister and I was younger. He seemed like a very serious man to me. Always very rigid but he turned 180 degrees when I went to college. There's no more midnight curfew, ok with sleepover at friends house and had my hair permed and buy makeup. I only had my own makeup till I was 17! Yup, he's that rigid but we love him to pieces now knowing that he is only trying to teach us to be responsible for our own decision and be a good kid. Till today, I'm always very thankful to know that he worked hard with his own 2 hands and raised a family. Put my sister and I through college and had our undergrads and able to have a chance to study abroad. He helped us to be someone capable, kind-hearted and be thankful for what we are blessed with. I'm truly blessed to have my dad. Even though you go through many incidents in life alone, I'm sure you will love your dad just as much and Yangkyu will be a great father figure when you guys have kids.

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