A tribute to my mumsy
June 12, 2009 § 1 Comment
It’s nice coming to Korea and learning so much about my mom. I like asking her relatives what she was like when she was younger and hearing their stories. Their stories make me realize how incredibly hard my mom had to work to come to America. Unlike many other families, it was my mom’s perseverance and hard work that brought us to America, not my dad’s. She came over as a nurse during a time when America was importing nurses up the wazoo. She had the dream of going to America ever since she was a little girl and studied English during all her spare moments. Apparently she stuck the English alphabet on her ceiling so she would see it when she woke up and went to sleep every night. She was the sixth out of seven children, and the fourth girl, so her parents did not expect much out of her and did not give her the support she thought she deserved. Rather than praising my mom for getting accepted and attending nursing college, she was chastised for not getting a regular job to help support the rest of her siblings. Her dreams were bigger than what was allowed for girls during her time and she had to overcome so much to accomplish what she did.
I can’t imagine going to a foreign country by myself during that time and attempting to start a life there. The world was not nearly as globalized and the internet hadn’t even been invented! She met my father, got married, and left for America, all within six months. I can’t even imagine how hard it must have been for both of them to adapt to a new marriage, culture, and atmosphere all at the same time. I don’t think second generation kids really realize how hard it was for our parents. Recently I had dinner with my mom and one of her friends who went to English school with her while they were in Korea. Currently in Korea its the norm to find students speaking and learning English. However, back then it was very uncommon and they did not have the audio learning tools, imported foreign teachers, or foreign entertainment to teach the the language.
Even though we have our disagreements, I’m so proud of my mom and I hope that one day I can display the courage she did so many years ago to truly make a difference in people’s lives.