Growing up, I never really thought about what kind of man my dad was. And now that I’m getting older, I reflect on the feelings and memories that the passing years have left on me.
So here’s a letter to you Dad (아빠).
You immigrated to Los Angeles by yourself with nothing but a dream to live a good life.
You lived with such a free spirit, not afraid to be yourself.
We were always hanging on to you, but you always kept your cool.
You may have looked intimidating to others, but you were always the "goofy" and "playful" dad to us.
Whether it's going on scary rides at the amusement park or swimming at the beach, we always left with ear-to-ear smiles.
You spoke English with an LA accent and always greeted everyone with a “Órale!, Que paso?”
You always had your own opinion and didn’t let others influence who you were, what you believed, or what you stood for.
You taught me and my sister how to swim, bike, and run (aka triathlon training). Also, to ski and skate (cross-country training).
Most importantly, you taught me to value people and always give without expecting anything in return. To be kind to others and to take care of the family.
You always asked me the question, “ Eric, who’s son are you?” And for the n^th time, I’d answer “Dad, I’m YOUR 아들 (son)”
I knew you tried to be the best dad and husband you could be, and now that I’m getting older, I empathize with the challenges of trying to live the life of a good man.
Although our family went thru some dark times in the shadows, the positive memories remain in the light now. The past was not perfect but I'm grateful that you were MY dad.
I wish I could talk to you now and ask you more questions about life, but I will have to simply hold onto the positive memories we had together.
They say as time passes, you miss them more. It's been 6 years and I can’t agree more. Miss you and love you 아빠.
From your 아들,