Friday, November 27, 2009

This isn't for you, it's for David & Jennifer Yang.

2009 Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for many things. I'm thankful for everything that has ever happened to me, good or bad because it has made me into the person I am today. I'm thankful for the failures and dissapointments I have experienced. For the pain I've endured. For the memories I have a made. The friendships I have formed. The teachers I have built strong bonds and trust with. I'm thankful for my life and health. I am thankful for all these things because without those experiences, I wouldn't have found the reason to work hard, and be positive in life.

This Thanksgiving, I would like to give credit to my wonderful, loving family. Specifically, my parents. I don't think I say these kinds of things enough. I think about them everyday, but for some reason, I guess I never really have the guts or the "heart" to tell them that I love them. Maybe it's because I'm asian, and I'm not used to getting sentimental and touchy with my family, because we all understand each other's emotions deep inside. But this year, in return for everything they've done, I felt like I should be mature and take the time to express my gratitude for their existence and support.

Mom and Dad, you've always been there for me. I don't ever remember a time where I felt alone, with no one to turn to. If things didn't work out with my friends and peers, I knew you'd be there to make me feel better. You took the time to deal with my complaining, fits, and immature behavior. Growing up, you always wanted the best for me. Regardless of how tired, busy, and stressed you were, you made the time to educate and discipline me with high expectations. You gave your best to raise both me and James.

There aren't a lot of parents like you in this world. I haven't met a lot of adults, who have the confidence to sacrifice and endure all things in this world, so they could provide the best education and future for their children. All my life, I have never seen you like the others. In my eyes, you were always ready to support, help, and listen if it was for your family. You always taught us to put God and family first, because that's what really mattered in this world.

You never regretted the money you put into my expensive violin you bought for me. You were the ones that pushed me to practice harder and continue on with my violin lessons and music competitions. Because of you, I was able to experience a lot of things many kids my age weren't able to. You name it; piano lessons, violin lessons, alto saxophone, bellevue youth symphony, church orchestra, cram school, private school, golf, softball, tennis, track, and even swimming (haha, shout-out to joanna even though you won't read this: I only swam in kindergarten/1st grade. I'm not as good as you at swimming :] !) And that wasn't even the complete list of what I did before high school. If I were to reflect my whole life up until now, the list of everything you guys encouraged me to join would be even longer. I remember so many things I did when looking back to my childhood, and I'm forever thankful for your pushing and unconditional support.

And then for James, he has done so much more than me starting from when he was only a kid. Piano lesson, violin lessons, saxaphone lessons, clarinet lessons, drum lessons, swimming lessons, tae-kwon-do lessons, cram school, and private school. At his younge age, what didn't he do? Sure, he had his complaints and ranting, but all in all, he always remained thankful for all your provisions. I know when he grows up into a young man, he's going to work even harder than me, to make you guys proud and pay off all your hard work.

Everyday, you sacrificed your hours to give rides for James and me, after coming home from work. You didn't waste a single minute to prepare food for us in the morning and after school, because you knew we'd be hungry. I admit, we were spoiled children. We weren't spoiled with money, but with love. I understand we aren't the richest or the poorest if we were to look at social rank. In society, we're middle class like most people. And at times, having to pay for all those activities and lessons excluding the monthly bills weren't easy, but never did you guys complain. Because you never complained, at one point, I took advantage of everything you provided. I didn't know how hard you guys had to work to support your children. And what hit me the most was knowing that the stress and trouble you guys went through didn't matter to you at all, because you would do anything for your children. Whenever I look back at that time, I I can't help but regret how selfish and self-centered I was. I'm sorry.

Unlike many (asian) parents, you guys didn't force James and me to be straight A students. Sure, we had lectures, pep-talks, and reminders about our future but you never punished us if we didn't bring home a perfect report card. Why? Because both of you trusted us. And I'm so thankful for that. I know so many of my friends with parents that caused them stress because they didn't feel good enough when they showed their report cards to their parents. But unlike their parents, you guys always wanted us to do our best, and never give up on whatever we started. And because of that mind-set, my goals in life weren't to get straight A's or place top in everything. Instead, my goals in life were to work hard and never stop until I felt satisfied. And because of those principals I lived by, I would bring home good grades, and all my efforts would be paid off. Those very principals were what gave me perserverance, and strength to carry on. Mom and Dad, thank you for teaching me and James such a valuable lesson.

I can't even picture how hard it was for you guys to leave your family in Korea, and start a new life. Both of you were successful in korea. You graduated from college, pursued in your careers, and got married. But you planned ahead for your childrens' futures, so you left everything behind to immigrate to America. I personally wouldn't have had the confidence, and strength to survive in such a foreign place with no one to turn to. But you guys did. You guys had faith in God, in each other, and in your families. It was the unbreakable trust, and faith you had in one another, that kept you going.

Mom and Dad, thank you so much for everything you've done. Words cannot even describe how much I love you. I know James feels the same way too. I just want to say, I understand how hard it was for you guys to manage everything within your busy lives. You guys were always positive. Infront of your children, you always wanted to set a good example. You didn't complain, and you always made the effort to ask how our day was, what we had for lunch, and how we did on the math test we took at school. I don't know how guys were able to be so consistent in being positive, giving your best, and putting yourselves together. Not a lot of people in this world are able to do that.

In return of all your sacrifices, compromising, and hard work, I promise I'll work hard and grit my teeth with no complaints when times are hard, because I know nothing is impossible, compared to what you guys had done for me and James. Thank you SO MUCH mom and dad, really. I love you so much.

I know this whole blog sounds like I was bragging, but I didn't mean to sound stuck-up. This blog was dedicated for my parents, because I felt like they deserved recognition.


And so I've learned, the greatest heroes in this world are your parents.

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