I was once asked by my parents, “What do you want to do now?”
They knew me and I had an education and a job.
I told them my dad was a police officer and he had died in the line of duty.
When they asked me how to find out more about my dad’s death, I had no idea.
Since I don’t speak English, I spent two months learning a different language to answer their questions.
But my family still wanted to know more.
A year after I learned Korean, I found out my dad wasn’t just a police officers who died in service.
After learning more, I realized I had to learn to speak another language.
My mother was also an English teacher in Thailand and when she started learning Mandarin, she noticed my dad could understand her.
The more I learned, the more I found myself asking the same questions over and over again.
One day, I was at the grocery store with my mother and she asked me if I knew what the word “jest” was.
“What does it mean?” she asked.
There was nothing she could say to me.
And so I started learning.
It was a struggle at first, I thought, but I was slowly learning and I began to see things in my life differently.
Once I started speaking, I stopped asking my parents questions, and I could look at my life more honestly.
Now, I can live with my father in peace knowing he is not the reason my life changed.
With all of the negative news we are going through, I have a chance to be with my parents for the first time since my dad went to the war in Afghanistan and I will be able to look at him and see that I am the reason I am here.
That is the reason why I am telling my story now.