It's now going on nearly two years since my father died. You know how people say "It gets easier with time"? Well, so far it hasn't. In fact, it has gotten considerably worse. Every success in life and every failure I experience, I think of my Dad. The Korean word for Dad is "Appa" and so when I think of him, I think the word Appa. In fact, I don't think I ever addressed him as Dad. Not even once.
There are times when the pain is so excruciating that I hear myself praying things like "God, I would give anything for just 5 minutes of my dad coming back to see me, to see my kids (his grandkids) one more time and truly say goodbye". But if there's one pearl of wisdom that I've learned in my life, you don't ever get to negotiate with God. Why not? Well, because He's God. He makes the rules. And sometimes when I'm feeling angry at the loss, I just stop and think about how God never really even had to create me or my father in the first place. We could have never existed. And when I think of that, that makes me stop in my tracks. You see, at least I got a chance to love my father and my father got a chance to love me. We didn't always get along. In fact, many and most times we hated each other. But deep down inside, you really couldn't break our bond as father and son, no matter what. And I miss that. I miss having a father who's alive. I have this humongous hole in my heart that I have no idea how to fill back up. All I know is the hole hurts.
So I fill up the pain and the longing and the sleepless nights with love from my family: from my mother, my brother, my wife, and my little girls. But still, there's that hole that won't ever go away. I honestly can't even imagine what it will be like when I lose my mom too. And this is why I'm determined now more than ever to love the snot out of my mom. To give it everything I've got to take good care of her, love her, and respect her while I still have her on this green earth.
I don't know what heaven will be like. I know it will be amazing, full of splendor and beyond our wildest imagination. But right now, I'd settle for just 10 minutes alone with my dad. I miss you, Appa. You've taken a piece of my heart with you.