I've always wanted to thank my parents, and for all they have done for me. Mom and Dad immigrated to the United States in their youth, carrying me in their arms. Possessing only a couple hundred dollars, they slaved away during their remaining twenties in order to send me to school. Mom worked as a waitress at a bustling Korean restaurant, serving drinks and boiling pots of stew with her bare hands. I remember that every so often, she would come home with layers of ugly, brown burns on her arms. Dad worked as a painter, inhaling paint fumes all day, scarfing down the little food we could provide him for lunch, driving hours and hours to paint the luxurious houses he thought we could never have. At night, I remember that my parents would seat me next to them while they would take the community English class. Looking back, I can't help but imagine how heavy of a burden I must have been to them. My heart breaks when I think about the time I demanded a full kitchen play set for Christmas, only now realizing how hard it must have been for my parents to provide it for me. As I grew older, Mom juggled her restaurant shifts to go back to school in hopes of becoming a teacher, and Dad took the big risk of quitting his painting job to pursue sound editing. Now, I'm 15 years old, and my parents and I live in one of the places that my dad had once thought we would never get to settle in. Mom opened her own school, and Dad has branched off to film production and editing animations. I, now more than ever, feel disconnected and suffocated by my parents. I can't even tell you how many times my mom and I fight in a week. But at the strangest moments, like when I catch a glimpse of Mom's faded scars she still wears on her arms or of Dad's calloused hands, I'm reminded of our start in America. I'm reminded of my parent's love. And I'm reminded of why I should tell my parents everyday "Thank you, Mom and Dad."
Dear Mom and Dad
December 4, 2011