Monday, I was Irish and Irish all the way. I celebrated in true Irish fashion by drinking Irish beers (yes more than one) with some close mates. The Irish value friendship and family and I have the luxury of both being very present in my life.
Today, I am Korean. I even had the person sitting next to me in a training class ask me what was my ethnic origin. I smiled and happily told him I am Korean. He smiled in turn and said "So am I." Coincidence? Maybe. Or it could have been my mom letting me know she's with me. You see, I am Korean today, not because of any Korean holiday or historical event. I am Korean because it is my mother's birthday, and today is becoming less an less a reminder of her absence in my life and more and more a celebration of her time with me and our shared ethnicity. How funny and great it is to be able to celebrate being Irish and being Korean within a few days of each other!
My mom and I were both born in Korean. She was much more of a Korean woman than I am. When we moved to the States, I quickly became Americanized and have just now started looking back at my personal history. At about the time I became interested in relearning Korean and learning more about the culture, my mom died suddenly and left a bit of a void. Honestly, I quickly abandoned my Korean background because it was just too hard and difficult to make the journey without her. Now, though, I'm feeling more comfortable about making this journey. I might find my mom on the way or I might only blaze a new pathway for my son. Who knows? What I do know is that she opened the door by being my mom. Now, it is my turn to step back on the path. I owe it to her and I owe it to myself. I can't think of a better way to honor. Today, I want to thank my mom for being who she was and for giving me a very special part of herself. I, like my mom before me, am Korean.