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Jae-Ha Kim » father

Sometimes you make the right choice; other times someone calls the police on you

I know I write a lot about my father, but this post is really about me and some of the (not-so-good) choices I’ve made. It took me a long time to get to where I am today. But I finally grew up enough to make some smart choices.

Memories

Like a lot of Koreans of their age, my parents survived war and led very difficult lives. Books were an escape. My dad used to joke that had he learned Russian instead of English, we may have immigrated to the (then) Soviet Union instead of America.

I Dreamed a Dream

The other night, I had a vivid dream. The only part I remember is the end, when my father was showing me his latest creation. He had always had a knack for crafting amazing things from odd scraps of whatever was around. In this dream, he was showing off what looked like two large tree trunks. But when you looked closer, the tops opened up to reveal compartments for trash cans and recycling bins. Ingenious!

My father’s death — and life

Our father’s goal in bringing his family from South Korea to the United States was to ensure that his children would receive a good education. He and our mother instilled in us the idea that studying hard would be our ticket to having a better life than they had. And they were right. But while the three of us are well educated, we lack our father’s endless thirst for knowledge.