Photos by the talented Lizzyography
It’s 1 am as I’m writing this and exactly 24 hours ago, I called 911 for the 1st time in my life. It seems like it was 4 days ago but it’s only been 24 hours! My sister and I had just gone on a walk for 2 hours just an hour prior and I was eating a snack and about to go to bed when I got a call from her. She was in such shock that all she could mutter after heavy breathing and whimpers was, “Dad…” I frantically asked her, “What happened to dad? Do you want me to call 9-1-1? Do you want me to call 9-1-1???” She finally stuttered, “Yes.” I immediately got in the car and started to drive to my parents’ house while I dialed the number. “What is the address?” She immediately asked. I gave her the address and then she asked, “What is your phone number?” After giving her my number she asked me how she could help. I was freaking out but was trying to sound as calm as possible and told her I had no idea what had happened but something bad happened to my dad and he needed help. How my sister called and told me to call but didn’t tell me what had happened. She asked me if she should send the paramedics, the fire truck or something else, maybe the Police? So I said paramedics and she told me she was sending one immediately.
When I got to the house, I found my mom and sister huddled over my dad who was sitting on the bottom of the stairs, unresponsive and groaning. They told me they were sleeping but mom woke up due to the loud tumbling sound and found dad at the bottom of the stairs. We tried to talk to him and get him to open his eyes but he was unresponsive. Soon, the paramedics came and assisted him and took him in the ambulance to our local hospital.
We hurriedly packed his socks, extra clothes, I drove back to my house to wake Jay up and our 3 year old, so they could go to my parents’ house to sleep there since the rest of the kids were having a sleepover there. I grabbed a few books and water and went to the hospital. It was 1:50 am by then.
His blood spot in the brain from a stroke he had 4 yrs. ago, had ruptured which prob. caused a stroke, hence the fall. He was transferred from the ER to the ICU since his blood was spreading. They took him off the blood thinners they were giving him so the blood wouldn’t keep spreading. They said they had to choose the lesser of two evils, to risk getting another stroke or for the blog spot to spread.
This all happened at 1:00 am on the 4th of July.
My dad’s an immigrant from Korea & his love and respect for America is immense. He grew up in a wealthy family but when he was 12, his dad’s best friend ran away with all their money, leaving them broke. His parents couldn’t afford to send him to school anymore but determined to get his education, he went to live with his oldest brother’s family. He met the LDS missionaries in HS & was baptized. Every Sunday in College, he woke up at 4:30 am, drank barley tea(the dorm cafeteria wasn’t open), took a train & the bus to a different city to attend Church. To keep the Sabbath Day holy, he didn’t buy food but instead ate the crusts of the leftover sacrament bread, then commuted the long way back to arrive home at 9 pm. Since the cafeteria was closed by then, he couldn’t eat. He did this every Sunday. He believed if he kept all of God’s commandments w/ exactness, his future children will be greatly blessed.
He read in the scriptures that America is the chosen land and wanted to find out why. So after marrying my mom, they came to America with money to pay just one month’s rent, one semester of tuition & one month of living expenses. My mom, who grew up in a very wealthy family and had her own seamstress to make her clothes, woke up at 5 a.m every morning with my dad, shared one bike with my mom sitting on the seat and my dad riding while standing, to the gas station to clean the bathrooms. Their only possession was one bike and one radio. He received his Ph.D in Linguistics & started the Korean language program at Brigham Young University & taught as a highly respected and well loved professor until he retired.
My dad’s conclusion as to why America is the chosen land? He concluded that “America is great because the people are great.”
I’m grateful for my dad for his unwavering faith, strength, & sacrifice so I could live in the land that I love. I love you daddy.🇺🇸