Moon’s Zen Moment…
This is a picture of my parents on their wedding day in 1956 in Korea. I love it so much because they look like Korean royalty (as they’re wearing traditional Korean robes), even though they both came from poor families. They met during the Korean War on a military base where my mother was working as a typist and my father a translator. They went on dates to see American Hollywood movies that played on the base.
When my parents got married, my mother never received a diamond ring because they were so poor. My mother told me that she married my father for love, which was unique and romantic, because, in those days, arranged marriages were very common place. She loved my father because she thought he was a man of action, and indeed he was.
As a man of action, my father built a successful stone-cutting business in Korea. After 9 years later when my father’s business thrived, my mother finally received a 3 carrot diamond ring. Due to the Korean government cracking down on businesses, and, again, as a man of action, my father left his successful business in Korea to start scratch in America. How daring and courageous. I know he also wanted to give his children a better life by educating us in America.
With very little English, my father landed alone in NY working in local fast food restaurants before starting his own small business. With money he saved, he bought a house, and we came 4 years later to America to join him. There were only 3 bedrooms in the house, so my 4 sisters and I shared one bedroom with bunk beds. It was a crowded house. My mother still lives in the same house we grew up in.
In America, both my parents worked very hard to provide a better life for us. My father worked almost 7 days a week, while my mother would come home from work and cook Korean food until midnight, so we would have nutritious meals. She was tireless. They made sure that we always had a roof over our heads and food on the table.
What this picture reminds me is that all young couples who fall in love and marry do so in the hopes of a brighter and better future, and they sacrifice for their children to provide a better life than what they had for themselves.
I truly admire my parents for having such aspirations and working hard to achieve these goals for themselves and their children. We should all be thankful to our parents for doing the best they knew how — albeit imperfect — in raising us to be the best people we can be, so that we can pass on these values to our own children.
As a newly married couple in this picture, my parents truly looked hopeful about their future — like a King with his Queen ready to rule the world.