2016 One Photo & One Story
This will be about my second daughter, Sophia. After finishing her studies at the University of Toronto, she got a job and wanted to live in a condo of her own. She told me she had made up her mind and that she was going to move out. At first, I was against the idea and told her that she can't afford living out, like the food and rent. She told me that it's time for her to be on her own and I can't keep her here at home forever. She still has her student loans to worry about. I tried to explain to her to save up money and take things slowly. I told her about my thoughts and was trying to make a plan for her. In the end, she still decided to move out, wanting to be more independent. We discussed a lot and learned that our mindsets were very different. My daughter and me have an age difference of 30 years. I lived around the Korean culture and she lived around the Canadian culture. My culture is to live with my parents before marriage. My daughter told me “I understand mom, but this time is very important for me.” I lived 10 years in Canada, and little by little, it has changed my mind. I told my daughter, “It's up to you.” I want everything for my daughter to be happy, and a good life.
“F I A T”
It means “Let it be done” in Latin. In the Bible, Virgin Mary found that she was pregnant through an angel’s announcement, Jesus told himself on the cross, at the last minute before His death, “Let it be done.”
“CIRCUMSTANCE....Yes, it already happens, My name is Helena. I am 46 years old and I have 2 daughters. This picture shows “9 months pregnant woman” It is very natural with nice and fresh nature. At that time, I was 28 years old. First baby, first husband. I was beginning to take a very first step into motherhood. One bright side is excitement and happiness. The other side is responsibility and support. I start to learn about the real life. It was fresh and innocent. Now 20 years passed with sudden circumstance. I am not fresh, I am not innocent anymore, I was happy with my family, That only gave me happiness, Now, my children are going out from me to finding their own life,, So... I am trying to find 2nd step for myself.. Now I recognize that I need to find the right happiness. I made a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan and I made plan with menopause. I start to join a strange!!?? And good group like volunteering, Or wise woman group!!?? Like church pray club, Or at least I start to talk to stranger like I am a generous woman. It is sure and big step out of ordinary myself, but... Several experiences taught me some place is not fit for me. So.... I believe in me, I’ll find happiness like that picture. Even it has a heavy duty... So... it comes to me. And I am ready like “F I A T” “Let it be done.”
Elyott, my Son... We are a so-called "Hockey family". My son, Elyott, joined a Hockey team when he was 5 years old, and he was a natural from the start. He even got picked for the Single A team by the coach before the tryout and selected for the all-star game. He loved the game and my husband, Paul, and I became big fans. But, soon, this created some problems for our family. We enjoyed watching my son play at the beginning, but, as time passed, Paul started to tell Elyott what to do and scold him more and more, even in the change room, as if he were the coach. I noticed that Elyott did not enjoy playing as much as before, so I told Paul that I wanted him to enjoy hockey and we should not coach him. Unfortunately, Paul couldn't accept that, so we started arguing hard right after most of the games. It took a long time, but eventually, Paul recognized what Elyott and I were saying and tried not to give him negative comments or be rough on him. We are still working on this matter, but Elyott seems to be himself and enjoys hockey again. This picture is when Paul and Elyott went on the ice just before the tryout. The reason why this photo is so special to me is because it was a moment when they could bond as father and son doing the thing they love the most: playing hockey. I cried a little while I watched them practice because that moment reminded me of the previous season and all that we had gone through... all the arguments, the fights, our tight budget, taking him here and there, taking care of my daughter during the games and so on. But moments like this made all that worthwhile. I will never forget that moment.
Writing 4 This card is painted by a mouth painter. I now know their painstaking efforts. Our house was big, and my husband and I decided we wanted to downsize. Our children had moved out and we were living a normal life, a retired person's life. I was very busy to move out. I had to pack and renovated my new house. During moving my packed boxes, I fell down on the stairs in my house. My left ankle was broken. I became a temporarily disabled person. I couldn't walk, cook, clean, and go up to second floor. Without my husband's help, I couldn't do anything. In a second, my life was changed very badly. After my accident, I deeply thought about the life of disabled people. It was difficult for me to live every day. I regretted I didn't concern about their life before. Coincidentally that month, I received 10 pieces of cards painted by disabled painters. They wanted me to buy theirs cards. I was very impressed by them. I didn't hesitate to get them and sent my check to them. Last year, For You Telecare Family Service held an event for disabled persons, but I didn't join because I was busy preparing to move out. After that accident, if I have a chance, I will always support and help people with disabilities.
I was born in Korea 74 years ago. At that time, Korea was a very poor country. It was very difficult to find food for surviving. As I entered high school, I understood the meaning of the word “Volunteer”. But I didn't understand really its meaning at that time. Since I had immigrated to Canada 45 years ago, I have been working so hard 7 days per week year around without any days off in order to feed my family. Now I am semi-retired and financially secure. Since 4 years ago, I had a chance to reflect my life in last 45 years why and what for so hard work up to now. It was for only my family and me not theirs. While I used to watch TV programs, I saw volunteers devote their times, share, caring, passion and talents; always with a graceful and happy smile on their faces like children. They are the volunteer what I learnt at the high school. Usually, ordinal people had been shown their face unhappy and tired after working so hard. Now I am working as a volunteer one day per week and have real happiness in mind as volunteers I had seen volunteers on TV program. If more people join volunteer works, our communities will be established better living environmental. I believe whenever we give, we will take more than we give. It proved in our sing along program. When we singing together in senior residence, we realized what real happiness is. I can tell you whenever you give, you will get and taste real happiness. Can you take challenge like me?
I have mother who lived in South Korea by herself since my father passed away in March 1988. Now my mother is 96. Her 2nd brother who is 93 years old and his wife is not well as of whole body paralysed for a long time, she was not able to talk, walk, and having trouble with eating. Mom's brother has been helping his wife with great love and caring since 1995, now she is 90 years old but getting better to talk bit and walking as time goes by with loving care. My mom is showing her mind depressed and worry of everything. Surrounding is lonely and not much care for her. I live so far away in Canada and my younger brother lives some distance. Once a week most he visit her. My mother lives in small town and neighbours often say ageing people should die, they are bothering younger generations, and they cannot hear well and walk so slowly, only obstacles to younger people. My mother is hearing it often times and it got into her mind. Each time I visit her, she talked different from before. Now I can feel my mother is getting old. She says that she should die, live long is not good. I had hard time to convince her, no I am your daughter I love to see you living long, so I can meet you and visit to Korea. But she said, “no" there are some people wish me to die. Getting old is hard but I don't know why younger people can spit out what they can talk easy, not concern for others. Some people will get really damage in their mental health. The older generations should be living healthy and happiness with us, no matter even they are getting older!
My life changed when I moved to Canada. I met my husband when I was a freshman and I never departed from him ever since we met. I lived a rather sheltered and reserved life. But 5 months ago, I moved to Canada with my 3 children to help my elder son pursue his hockey dream while my husband stayed in Korea. I had to do things I had never done before. For example, I have to drive downtown to take my son to hockey practice almost every night. During the practice, I felt alone because all the players came with their fathers and they mingled without me. I graduated middle school, high school, and university in all female schools in Korea, so I was unfamiliar with interacting with a group of men who happened to be all white. I understood the situation -1 am a mom, Asian and English isn't my first language. But still, I was a little sad. Everyday, I watched the games alone in the stand and stood alone while waiting my son after the games. One day, during practice, one of the fathers started yelling at my son while I stood right next to him. I could not understand his behavior, and he made my son and me feel invisible. I told the coach, team manager and my husband about the incident and they require apology to the dad. Especially my husband sent email that he will prepare to put the legal method. The dad apologized me, my son and the team. After the incident, the team atmosphere changed a lot. Team dads consoled me and regarded me as team member. Now some dads and me made a new team Toronto Royal we have had great relationship as parents and team members.
Before my accident I always took my life for granted. Every morning, I used to wake up thinking I'll always have my health. Even though I encountered many people that were sick or had arthritis I never related with them. Because I was never sick like them. I never really thought about how much time God had given me to live, and always assumed I would live a long and healthy life. One day as I was rushing I got into a car accident I was rushing to cross the street and I neglected to see the car behind me, I was hit and it ran over my leg. For 2 months after the accident, I couldn't walk and someone had to take care of me. Suddenly I realized how short life was and could end in a second. I also realized how God had kept me safe this whole time and was thankful for it. I also remembered my family and how much I love them and what they mean to me. As a mother, I want to protect our family and the love we share. To avoid making mistakes from now on I have made a promise to myself to not be too hasty in life, no matter how frustrated I might become.
So far, my family and I have enjoyed a lot about Canada culture and environments as much as I have wished. As a matter of fact, it’s my second time visiting Canada. I came when I was a university student in order to study English. I was alone then that time. During my stay in those days, I happened to have a chance to travel to Lake Louise. I was captivated with the view of Lake Louise, surrounded by those awesome natural environments. I made up my mind coming here again with my future wife and children. Whenever I felt tired of and bothered by something and someone, I always thought about myself standing with my family in Lake Louise over making smiles like this picture. One year ago, I came to Canada as a researcher supported by the Korea Government. I am living in my dream. However, my family must go back to Korea at the end of this year. I know it would be hard time for them as they think of the day of going back to Korea. Recently, my kids kept asking me to immigrate to Canada. I promised my government to come back to my job after two years. If I break the promise, I must pay the whole money supported by Korea Government back. I have kept saying to my children that they would have a chance to come back to Canada in the future if they want. I know that they will have some hard time in Korea when they go back. But they will get over any problems when they think about the days they enjoyed in Canada such as camping, trails, fruit pickings. Whenever they are confronted with a hard time in Korea such as studying and relationship with their peer group, they will encourage themselves and overcome for the hope that they will be here in Canada sometime someday as I did.