Happy Birthday Mom!

Dear Mom,

I’ve been watching a lot of Korean dramas recently and getting more familiar with Korean culture.  It’s made me realize how unfamiliar I am with many aspects of traditional Korean culture.

For one thing, there is always been a scene showing ancestral rites (memorial for relatives/parents who have died).  Every time I see one, I think I’m such a bad daughter that I haven’t done one for you.  I didn’t even get to visit you on your birthday this weekend.

Then, I realize that you wouldn’t have wanted it anyway.  There’s a reason why I’m not personally familiar with the rites.  You were never very attached to the past and the old traditions.

93.365 Mom

My brother loves this photo of you.  But when I look at this photo, I think “traditional” serious mom and really you weren’t  Yes, you could be serious and yes, you could be traditional, but really I think of you as this.


Someone who didn’t take herself and life too seriously. Who could get silly and goofy. Who really lived life, and who didn’t allow fear, self-consciousness or even lack of knowledge get in the way of living.

It’s been really hard the past year, thinking of you that way. Now when I think of you, I always think of the final days. The picture that pops in my head is of you sick, suffering from pain. And it’s so hard to think about, it’s so hard to even breath when I think of that, that I’ve been trying to not think at all.

But, now it’s been over a year since you’ve been gone. This is the second birthday you’re celebrating up in heaven. I think I’m finally ready to let go of the grief and stop dwelling on the loss and start celebrating again the life you’ve led.

So, I wish you the happiest of birthday. I hope you’re happy and proud that we’re living life well. Your granddaughters are growing into two smart little punks. Your son is about to get married and starting a new phase in life. Please continue to watch over all of us.

I love you Mom and miss you very much.




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