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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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