My Father’s Son

March 3rd, 2012 § Leave a Comment

I bear his likeness. I am my Father’s Son. The narrow face, the creased brow, sunken eyes, the gaunt cheeks. He had the same protruding Adam’s Apple on that feeble, bird neck. Slight of build. And even the same shoulder that pops out of socket. Oh, and the hands, I have his hands. The weekend of his funeral, one of his friends, Mr. Moe grabbed me by the wrist as I walked past. Staring at my hands he marveled in Korean, “Ah, aren’t these exactly your Father’s hands?”

He gave me his shrewd mind. His penmanship. His athleticism. The deep voice. And for sure his palate. Keep your fried foods; hold the potato. Just give me some kind of Korean soup – myuk gook(seaweed soup), kong nam mul gook (bean sprout soup) – rice and some kimchee, and I’m good. I am my Father’s Son.

And yeah, I’ve struggled with that temper. Like it used to with him, far too often, it has gotten the better of me. Once my Mom told of his passive-aggressive, seven day silent treatment in the hearing of my wife. My Mom was laughing; my wife was not. She turned to me, her gaping look said, “Oh my God. That is you!” Yes, guilty. I am my Father’s Son.

He passed on his genes. And some stuff I could’ve done without. But he did more. My Dad showed me the importance of loyalty. He never sat me down for a lesson; I saw it in his friends. He taught me that a man ought to be generous. He abhorred lies. And had a particular disdain reserved for the disrespectful. From how I bowed, to how I sat, to how I spoke; my Dad taught me to be a respectful boy. These values he so deeply ingrained in me, they’ve become more who I am than the color of my hair. I do bear his likeness. Yeah, I am. I am my Father’s Son.

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