It Was My Dad Who Showed Me How To Be Strong

It Was My Dad Who Showed Me How To Be Strong

How my viewpoint of being "strong" changed.

My dad has always been my best friend, even when I was little. Now the school has never been my strong suit, especially when you have every single learning disability that exists on the planet, it's definitely harder. What I did not know was that my dad was the exact same way when he was growing up.

For years my dad would encourage me to keep trying even when I wanted to give up. I remember one time my dad was in charge of me getting my permit. Now the permit test in Georgia might be the hardest test you will ever have to take, seriously. You actually have to study and I don't mean just skim through and say a few keywords and tell your self you can pass, cause you won't. Now I'm not embarrassed to tell you that I failed the permit test THREE times, but every time I failed my dad knew how to make me feel better.

Whether it was driving me to get Chick-fil-A or blaring Old rock music and pretending to know the words, it always worked. A few years ago my dad became quite ill, which made him physically weak and spending long days and nights for months in the hospital. What most people don't understand is that when this was going on, this showed me how strong he is and how strong I can be.

Being ill and having to change your whole lifestyle in a year is extremely hard, and most people would just give up and call it a day. Yet, my dad never gave up, I could tell he was hurting and wanted to be able to play golf with his buddies or even just drive two minutes to Publix.

So, my dad and I changed roles, I became him and he became me.

What I mean is that I kept encouraging him to keep going on, even on the worst days in the hospital. When my dad was able to come home for good, was the day that I knew my dad was the strongest person. Even today, my dad has so many struggles yet he never gives up. My dad showed me how to be strong. To never give up on something you want, or know you need to do. To make hard decisions into a fun game, or to talk it out. My dad is my role model for one simple reason: he is strong.

Cover Image Credit: Forsyth Latham

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Thank you, Mom and Dad.

To the ones who were always there from day one (literally).

A “parent” is defined as a person who is a caretaker of a child. But, you guys were so much more than that. Since it’s hard for me to verbally tell you, here is my “thank you” and “I love you” in writing.

First, thank you for choosing to sacrifice your life, family, and friends in Korea by coming to America to provide me with a higher standard of living and education.

Thank you for encouraging me to accept my Korean heritage and for not cringing when you heard my Americanized accent when I spoke Korean.

Looking back, I honestly did so many things that I can’t believe you patiently took and dealt with. I’m sorry for being angry with you for so many trivial, petty things. Thank you for being there to deal with my cranky attitude in the morning. Thank you for calling me out for being a brat, and I’m sorry for my stubbornness. When we got into fights, thank you for remembering how stubborn I am, for reaching out to me first, and for fixing our relationship again.

Thank you for taking care of me when I was sick, and I’m sorry for getting both of you sick in the process.

Thank you for all the late-night shifts you took to provide more for me. As I get older, I’m realizing how important money is, and I’m sorry for complaining when I didn’t get what I wanted (basically, sorry for being a brat, again).

It’s easy to believe that you guys will be here for the rest of my life, but as I see the wrinkles and the white hair, I am reminded that life on this earth is temporary and fleeting. I am reminded that there are not many more years left like this. However, I rest easy knowing that a better, pain-free life exists for us after this earthly life comes to an end.

Thank you, umma and appa. Thank you for being such amazing parents and for showing me what unconditional love looks like.
Cover Image Credit: Lauren Yu

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Yes, I Know I Don't Say It Enough, So Here's A Huge 'Thank You' To My Parents

Thank you for showing me unconditional love.

Thank you.

If there is a word that describes more gratitude than just a simple “thank you,” I would express that 100 times. I know I do not say it enough, and I know that I never will, but thank you for everything.

Thank you for giving me life.

Thank you for being the most loving people.

Thank you for supporting me.

Thank you for the countless hours you spent driving from different activities, having to sit through sporting events, and supporting my variety of different career paths. Never once did you let me know that I was terrible at a single thing, even though I was.

Thank you for always giving me the best piece of advice, “when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

Thank you for allowing me to spread my wings and go to school over 1,500 miles away to Texas that gave me a need for traveling. My anxious feet could not thank you enough for shipping me off to Europe for an entire semester to let me travel the world, considering I have now been to over 10 countries.

Thank you for letting me learn from my failures. Or when I would never listen to you guys, even though you have always been right from the beginning.

Thank you for showing me that nobody's perfect, but with hard work, dedication and love… you can come close.

Thank you for always being there when I need it the most.

Thank you always picking up the phone whenever I call.

Thank you for knowing that all the times I say “I hate you,” “You’re annoying,” or any other negative words, it is just code for “I love you.”

Thank you for showing me unconditional love.

Most importantly, thank you for giving me a voice to allow me to become the person that I am supposed to be.

P.S. Amanda and Zack, try topping that to be the favorite child ;)

Cover Image Credit: Zoe Wright

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