April 14th, 2014


Happy birthday

April 14, 2014

Dear Dad,

Today is your 62nd birthday. Mom texted me this morning to remind me, but I was already aware. Mom texting. Yes, I would have never guessed she would manage to figure it out either. She has even managed to FaceTime. Who would have thought, right?

I’ve been thinking about you quite a bit lately, knowing your birthday was around the corner. As the kids are getting older, and their personalities are coming out and characteristics and values are being molded, I find myself thinking about how much is from their dad and how much is from me. And then, I start wondering how much of my own personality and characteristics I inherited from you.

For instance, I have re-discovered a passion for writing. Although I haven’t ever seen anything you have written, Mom tells me you wrote her beautiful letters while you were stationed in other countries in the Army. This year I finally decided to take my love for writing to the blog world. Another thing is that I am shy. Obviously, you know this having raised me, but you’re kind of shy too. Despite being shy, when people have gotten to know us, they see how funny we are. I’m always cracking Mom up, and she tells me about your sense of humor. I remember when I was little, and people always thought you were funny, but as your child I was forced to feel embarrassed. I remember one time, we were at a mall, and you were pretending you had never been on an escalator and didn’t know how to get off it at the bottom. It was funny, and embarrassing, and hopefully I can embarrass my kids in the same way someday.

Another characteristic I think I got from you is openness. You married Mom, which I know was not uncommon for guys in the military. But you accepted her Asian culture despite growing up and living in such rural, white, communities. You were sensitive to her homesickness and made sure she always had a supply of Korean food despite living 3 hours away from the nearest Korean store. I remember you always be-friending people of other races. Although I remember racist jokes too, your actions always implied acceptance. I thought you would experience complete culture shock when visiting me in Dinkytown in college. You definitely noticed the gothic and punk rock looks of some of the inhabitants, but you simply laughed about it being so different and didn’t appear to have negative judgment.

The most important thing, which I think allows for me to connect with my children and the adolescents I work with, is the spirit of childhood that lives within. It’s that ability to be silly, to have a sense of humor, to understand childhood hopes and dreams. It is that ability to remain youthful without caring how others interpret it. I know my kids love this about me, and I think it’s why I can develop a rapport with adolescents so quickly.

Thank you Dad for passing all of these things on to me. Your birthday is an annual reminder of how you continue to be with me.


Love always,


  11 comments for “April 14th, 2014

  1. Anonymous
    April 14, 2014 at 9:38 am

    That was a awsome letter to your Dad wife . Wish I could of met him someday I will till then he lives in you and I thank him too forgiving me you. Happy Birthday Father Inlaw .

    • Suzanne
      April 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you Husband! I guess you do read my blog after all.

  2. Anonymous
    April 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Oh Suzanne you made me cry!! So beautifully you put your thoughts and feelings into words. Your Dad would be so proud of you!! Share your memories of your dad with your children so they too can know who he was and the role he played in your life.

    Auntie Becky

    • Suzanne
      April 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you Becky, I wish my kids could meet him, but I know he is here with them and with me.

  3. Anonymous
    April 14, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing your memory of your dad. You have described him so beautifully. I agree with Becky that your dad you be so proud of you.

    Your Imo

    • Suzanne
      April 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      Thank you Imo!

  4. April 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    This was a beautiful post and letter to your dad. While I still have my dad (and I’m thankful for that) I lost my Mom when she was 62 to ovarian cancer 7 years ago so this was lovely to read and inspires me to write a letter to my Mom. And I also love what your husband wrote anonymously to you. ‘)

    • April 18, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      oh and my name is also Suzanne! =) (and my dad’s birthday is tomorrow the 19th)

    • Suzanne
      April 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss. It’s hard to lose a parent, but especially when they are young, my dad was 52. I do believe he is with me still, as I am sure your mom is with you.

      • April 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        You are right and God has given me peace about losing my Mom even though i miss her she is always with me. I forgot to write that I am sorry for your loss too.

Let me know your sentiments.

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