It’s either a case of I don’t take enough pictures, I take pictures and don’t bother sorting at all and/or take pictures of places or people and don’t bother to note on them where or who the picture is of. That seems to be the case as I look through the pictures from my 3 trips to korea and look for pictures of my father in law. My wife just calls my parents mom and dad but in korea I’m not sure what the custom exactly is for my case but it doesn’t really matter. I just called my father in law – 아버지 and he seemed to like it.
Pictures of 아버지 aren’t that many. Every trip we went to korea we went to his office many times and spent time with him but it seems we were light on the picture taking. I’m going through the folder dump of pictures from korea and can’t find as many pictures of the person as I would have liked.
A few weeks ago 아버지 collapsed in his kitchen and was taken to the emergency room. It’s been very hard on the wife and probably more so being thousands of miles away keeping up to date on 아버지’s condition. We received news this past Saturday night that he had passed away Sunday morning (korea time). I can’t say that I’m any good trying to put into words what a great man 아버지 was. I found him to be a very kind, caring, and thoughtful individual. He would always call to check on us when we traveled around korea and he always tried to make me feel comfortable.
In family get togethers he would go out of his way to make me feel included and now that I reflect back I’m sad that I didn’t put enough effort to learn korean in time to be able to talk to him personally(without my ever present translator). He survived the north korean push down the korean penisula having a sibling killed and 아버지 with bullet and metal fragments in various parts of his body. He escaped to Japan and found my wifes mother there and brought her back to korea after the war and started a large family. He had so many stories of himself and korea I find it very difficult I won’t be hearing them first hand on our next trip to korea.
This is by no means an adequate tribute to the man but in my little world of korean language web blogging and my limited skills to express myself it’s the best I can do. He will be remembered fondly and will be greatly missed! I am proud to have shared a small piece of this life with him and I hope, as I believe he did, that he was happy to have gained a amercian born son in his later years. I for one know that I am proud and honored to have gained a father from korea.
In his small real estate office.
The wife’s parents getting married. I scanned this one into my computer from a photo the wife got in korea. Photo looks like it’s from the 1930’s or something but this pic must have been taken in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s(ok so I don’t know the exact date my wife’s parents got married – I barely remember my own anniversary)
아버지 outside his house. Taking a stroll around the neighborhood.
아버지 – 1930 – 2012