Happy 56th Anniversary to the Parents!
Happy 56th Anniversary to my parents! WOW! For those of you who know my dad, you know why the WOW is all caps! No really, I’m thankful that I have always had a great example of how to do marriage even as a small child. As a kid, I didn’t ask many questions, they were just mom and dad. It wasn’t until I was older did I hear the stories of how they came together, struggles they faced, challenges they overcame and the adventures they had before I came along. I was hesitant to write this post because I still do not know all about their love story, but I know enough! And a few of the reasons I started this blog is 1) I do not have a very good memory so this is like documentation for me and 2) is to reflect and embrace all the great moments that come our way in life and a tribute to my parents’ marriage, even if not complete, is still worthy!
My dad volunteered for the draft at 18 to get out of Deerlick KY to provide opportunities for his future and for free travel. Soon after basic training he was shipped to South Korea to guard the DMZ. Great free travel, huh? But it made it all worth it, when he met a pretty little Korean girl in the village. He went and got a Korean dictionary and struck up a conservation with her. The last thing on her mind was a Yankee solider, because her mom had died and she was tasked to take care of her siblings. But one great attribute of my father is persistence and he eventually won her over. Unfortunately, it was time for him to go back to the United States, but he told her he’d be back for her. She was skeptical.
As soon as he returned to Fort Knox, he immediately requested to go back to South Korea. Three months later, he was headed back to South Korea. The courting began again, but met much resistance from dad’s commanding officers. They wanted to get married but it wasn’t easy. Yet soon dad got a new commanding officer who was more supportive and their marriage papers were approved. August 7, 1961 they hopped on a train and headed to the American Embassy to get married. Dad had learned conversational Korean but mom couldn’t speak or understand English. Ceremony was in English so dad would tap her arm when she was supposed to say yes and they were married! When I think of they faith they had in each other, the institution of marriage and God almighty, I’m in awe.
My parents took the whole till death do you part very literally. They do everything together from going to the grocery to hobbies. The only time they have spent apart is Dad’s 3 tours of Vietnam and my Mom’s first trip back to Korea 10 years ago to visit family. It’s not always rainbows and rose petals with their relationship but it has always been constant, persistent and full of love. My kids and I are so lucky to have great examples right before our eyes! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.