With my mother Margaret
I wrote the following letter to my Mom in 2009 on Mother's Day. The letter was published in a Christian magazine in Korea, and also translated in Korean as well. As we celebrate the Mother's Day, I thought I'd share with my readers the letter I wrote to my Mom and to remember the influence she had in my life. I hope you will all be blessed by my letter, and hope the letter will encourage all of us to relfect on our mothers as we celebrate Mother's Day this Sunday.
It has been three years since Dad passed away. How lonely you must have been during those years. Whenever I think of you and Dad, the first thought that comes to my mind is that of yearning to see you both, and also a swelling heart of gratitude.
Kids are also full of praise for you, and constantly ask me when they could visit their Grandma in Colorado. Thankfully we plan to visit you this summer, and the kids are already excited and they are counting the days.
Mom, do you remember Dad’s funeral service three years ago? Remember that I gave a tribute in Dad’s memory? Do you remember me stating how proud I was to wear the name of Morrison, and how happy I was to be a part of the family? And I also said that being your son was such a great privilege as well.
Mom, do you remember? I had a second birth in May 28, 1970 as the new 14 years old Morrison. That was a special birthday for me. That day as I arrived home, you came out to greet me as I was getting out of the car. I still remember your warm embrace and your loving welcome even to this day. I still remember your warm smiles, but the best part was that you kept that warm smiles everyday. So whenever I think of you, I always have the image of you smiling at me.
Do you remember the day when I first arrived? I cannot forget the Kimchi you made. It was the most interesting Kimchi I have ever tasted. You said that you had the opportunity to taste the Kimchi a few months before I came. So you went to work to make me feel at home by making the Kimchi. To be frank with you, I really had a hard time eating that Kimchi because it was very different. Instead of using Chinese cabbage you used a regular cabbage, instead of putting garlic you put lots of onions. You remembered that Kimchi being a bit sour, so you put some strong smelling salad vinegar (Kimchi is naturally sour when aging). To make it spicy you sprinkled black peppers instead of chili peppers. But the moment you opened the lid, I knew it was not the real Kimchi. However, I was 14 and old enough to know and appreciate the fact that you were trying very hard to please me. That experience has permanently imprinted in my heart your thoughtful and your warm hearted spirit.
Because of your love, I had a new sense of purpose to work hard at school, and do my best. While in Korea, I was treated like a second class citizen because of the “orphan” label that I carried with me, and heard a lot of discouraging remarks. Thus I didn’t want to study, and consequently I wasn’t a good student in Korea. In America, I had a new family, a new hope and a new dream for my future, and that helped me to do well at school.
Mom, do you remember the day when I brought home a straight-A report card? You were so proud of me. Dad was especially proud of me, and for each A he would give us one dollar. Dad gave me $7 for seven A’s and he was very proud of me, while at the same time he felt his wallet becoming a lot lighter. But he was still very happy about it.
I can never forget the way Dad loved you. Every day as Dad left the house to go to work he would hug you and kiss you, and say “Have a good day, honey.” And at the end of the day when Dad walked into the house he would hug you and kiss you and say, “How was your day, honey?” Dad was such a gentleman and I remember how I admired him. The way Dad loved you has taught me that I should also love my wife the same way.
Mom, do you remember teaching me English when I first came home? I was 14 years old boy, and you made me to watch the Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Good Neighborhood. I remember Ernie and Bert, the Big Bird, and the Cookie Monster. Do you remember sitting down with me and teaching me everyday? It was largely due to your help that I was able to communicate reasonably well only three months after my arrival.
Another fond memory I have as a family was the meal-time prayers. We took turns in saying the grace. We didn’t pray individually, but waited until everyone sat down to pray. We lived as “A family that prays together stays together.”
Not a day goes by when I am not grateful for you. It is because of you I have become what I am. Especially I thank God everyday for having brought you into my life. If God didn’t have a plan and grace for me, I would not be able to become a son of Morrison.
It was largely due to your warm love that I have become a space systems engineer with a good job, a good family that is based on the unshakable foundation that Jesus has established. I have a beautiful wife and four great kids. Also, if it wasn’t for your love, I would not have adopted my son Joseph. I will love Joseph as you have loved me. However, I am only an imitator of your love and I don’t think I can ever love like you loved me.
You are the source of inspiration in my founding a nonprofit organization called Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea (MPAK) ten years ago. MPAK has brought a positive change to the Korean adoption culture in Korea. What I am most grateful is that through MPAK I have met so many wonderful families and exceeding joy as I have witnessed so many children finding homes because of my effort. I fondly remember two years ago when I had the privilege to take you to the land of my birth and meet many MPAK families. They thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and the sharing you had with them.
For 54 long years you have stood by Dad being a true helpmate that God intended. You have always respected him, and elevated him always, while at the same time acknowledging his headship in the family. Out of love you submitted yourself to Dad. You have also done your best to raise us five children, and your ultimate desire and emphasis has always been that we have the right relationship with the Lord. For that I will always be grateful.
Lastly Mom, your son Steve would like to express one more thoughts of love for you. If God gave me another chance to start my life all over again, I would choose the same path. I would choose the life of being homeless, go hungry, be cold, and become an orphan all over again and live in an orphanage. Why? The answer is simple. It is so that I could meet you and Dad again. You mean that much to me.
Mom, be healthy and I hope you live forever. I love you very much. I can’t wait till summer to be with you again.
With lots of love,
Your son Steve