Eugene Cho

growing in love with my father

I love my father but it took me nearly 39 years to tell him those words – face to face.  It only happened recently. Why or how? I’ll leave it to the psychoanalysts.

While I’ve always loved him so passionately, a big gap began to wedge in our relationship during my adolescent years which is probably the one thing I pray for as my eldest enters into middle school. For several years, I wasn’t quite sure why that was the case.

But after further consideration, I think it is directly linked to fishing. My fondest memory as a kid was going fishing with my father. Everything I know about fishing I learned from my father. But during my teenage years, I became too cool for my father and no longer responded to his invitations to go fishing.

I guess it’s for that reason that I try to fish as much with my father as possible. Every year, I try to take couple weeks to spend some time with my parents and to especially continue the fiery debate with my father:

“Who is a better fisherman?”

Recently, my family took a 3231 mile drive around the Northwest and Midwest and meeting up with my folks for some great quality time including Fishing with my Dad and fishing with my kids. In the video above, I just talked too much…pretending that I know more about fishing than my father but clearly, you can tell he knows what he’s doing. It was truly amazing to watch him scope the water, cast his lure, set the hook, and bring in the fish. Only those who fish regularly know how difficult it can be to bring in a fish when they’re buried under plants and weeds. [No fish were harmed in the filming of this video…]

Later, I caught a huge 4 pound bass and was feeling pretty good about myself. But my father goes out and snags this six pound bass to claim the title once again.  Win or lose, I don’t care anymore. I’m fishing with him again and that is my victory.

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10 Responses

  1. Don Bryant says:

    I grew up with a dad that hugged me and kissed me virtually everyday – and that never stopped until he died when I was 46. How blessed is that!!! I never found it within me to go through an adolescent rebellion. It never occurred to me. But strangely we never did anything together. What’s up with that!!! I remember once he threw ball with me for 2 or 3 minutes. That’s about all we ever did, that 2 or 3 minutes. My wife looked on in amazement when I balled like a baby when we saw “Field of Dreams.”

  2. Matt says:

    that’s awesome. My fondest memories with my dad is working at his store as a kid…. lol.

  3. […] growing in love with my father « eugene cho eugenecho.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/growing-in-love-with-my-father – view page – cached I love my father but it took me nearly 39 years to tell him those words – face to face. It only happened recently. Why or how? I’ll leave it to the — From the page […]

  4. sam says:

    E-
    your post has ironic timing for me. i will be leaving for a family trip in a couple days. 7 night cruise to mexico. this would normally sound like a grand time, but a cloud of dread looms over me, as the date approaches. this will be our first family trip in over 20 years. i cannot help but have ominous thoughts of what will happen on the trip.
    I too have had less than a perfect relationship with my father. we have even butted heads on things leading up to the trip. my only thoughts are of how i can avoid him for the entire time we are together. lets hope that my experience can somewhat mirror yours. that this time was given to create a bridge of closeness in our relationship, and not a divide. I think prayer and patience might be the key.
    fishing was a activity my father and i also did when i was younger (i no longer enjoy it). Heck, maybe the ship will let us drop a line into the water together? Thanks for the post.
    sam.

  5. Joe Chavez says:

    When I read the first two paragraphs of the post, I thought I was reading my the biography of my relationship with my dad. He and I grew apart (or maybe it was me growing away from him) when I got into high school.

    It really wasn’t until I got married and had a family of my own that we started growing back together, a process that still continues.

    Like you, I’ll leave the reasons to the psychoanalysts.

  6. tewkewl says:

    “No fish were harmed…” does it matter any fish were harmed? There’s nothing wrong with catching your fish. Either that was a sly joke, or a little too PC for my taste.

  7. Joseph Lee says:

    Yah, definitely had good times fishing with my dad, not sure what it is but for some reason, fishing and crabbing was always a good time. Nice post pe.

  8. Eugene Cho says:

    @tewkewl: you must not know my sense of humor yet.

    it’s pretty dry.

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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