Happy Independence Day!
3 years ago today at midnight, my dad had a stroke and passed away a month later. So since then, this day is always a weird day for me but a part of me believes he perhaps wanted to celebrate the Country he loved and respected so deeply before his passing. So today, I celebrate in honor of my dad.
When my dad was 12 years old, his dad’s best friend/business partner ran away with all their money, leaving his wealthy parents broke. He could no longer afford to go to school but determined to get his education, he went to live with his oldest brother in the City.
Then when he was in High School, he met the missionaries & was baptized a Christian. He felt God promise him that if he kept all of God’s commandments, his future children would be greatly blessed.
So every Sunday in College, he woke up at 4:30 am, drank barley tea(since the dorm cafeteria wasn’t open yet), took a train and the bus for 2 hrs. 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 2 hrs. back to arrive home by 9 pm. The cafeteria was closed by then, so he went to bed hungry. He did this every Sunday without fail.
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 just enough money to pay one month’s rent, one month’s expenses, and one semester of tuition. My mom who grew up very wealthy, who even had her own seamstress to make all her custom designed clothes, woke up at 5 a.m 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 each morning.
For 4 years, they didn’t own a car, or even a telephone and their only possession was a radio and two used bikes. But he made sure they were never in debt. He eventually received his Ph.D in Linguistics and started the Korean language program at BYU & taught as a highly respected 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 and sacrifice so I could live in this Country that I love.❤️