Kids, No Chaser

To James

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 posted by Henri

I know that a family's grief is their own and unknowable. I do not pretend to be familiar with you or your brave and courageous family. I do not pretend to feel their grief for it is a private and quiet thing. But my own grief is here now and I will speak of it in a humble way. Last week I heard that you and your family were missing and when they showed your picture I thought, man your glasses are as dorky as mine. And when they said where you guys were traveling I thought about how I've taken that trip myself from San Francisco to Oregon and back through the snow. And when they showed a picture of your daughters I stopped smiling about our glasses. And when they said your name things got real quiet for me. We live in a callous world and I'm as numb as the next guy. But unlike the next guy I know what it's like to have people we know and love show up on the television screen, it was long ago but I will never forget how surreal it is. And although I did not know you, all of a sudden for me, and a lot of fathers out there, everything stopped. You are Korean. As am I. You are a father. As am I. And you were in trouble in a way I could not know. When they found your wife and children earlier this week I felt a huge weight lifted. But today, today I felt that weight come crashing down. I cannot try to hold your experience in my hands or convey your spirit through my words. As a stranger I have no right to speak of your life or imagine the man that you are. But for my own sake, for my own grieving heart, as one father to another father I wish to speak of your spirit. I need to see your strength as you made the only decision you could to save your family. I need to hope beyond all hope that you knew that you could not fail. And as your spirit fought for the lives of your family, as a fellow human being, I need to understand that your struggle was the only thing that could have made the impossible occur. In a place so far from where anyone expected, by the grace of a fleeting signal, somehow your wife and children were rescued. And if there is any way that a man's spirit can change the course of fate, I believe that a father's love can move this world. And although I am not a very religious man, I believe that as you reached the hands of god, he whispered to you that yes, James, your wife and children are safe. They are out of harms way. And your love could not be matched by the bounds of this world. Tonight a lot of fathers in the city you called home are holding their wives and children tightly. And I hope when they remember you years from now, when they tell your tale of courage and love; may they still be moved to tears. As am I.



Blogger honglien123 said...


1:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. Well said.

8:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Po said it! Thanks for saying what so many are thinking.

9:11 PM


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