AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Monday, September 27, 2004

Back in Northern Cal-revised

I've added additional details to more clearly detail bits of my mother's story and how it relates to me.-Dave

Not much to report other than I've driven back home now. Drove back home on Friday. Feels good to be home now. Time for resumes and Business app work now. After taking the weekend to spend time with my wife, I can get back on the horse and move forward again.

On a reflective note, I saw a movie several days before I drove home called TAE GUIK GI: THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR. It's an import movie from Korea that was an incredibly moving movie. I think everyone should watch it, but especially if you're of Asian descent.

The movie is about a family caught in the midst of the Korean War in 1951. Two sons are forced to join the war for the South. What happens next is the story of how they change as a result of the bitter hatred between the two sides and how their relationship changes as a result. The backdrop is the brutality and explosiveness of the Korean war that rivaled much of what I saw in Saving Private Ryan. The special effects were great.

So why am I mentioning this movie? Well, because this war forever changed my life. In 1951, a North Korean Artillery shell hit my mother's home and killed my mothers 5 sisters and her mother. Her father later died of what we surmise to be cancer and pneuomia which came on as a result of his weakened health.

My mother was orphaned and was eventually adopted by her Church pastor. Whom I now call my Grandfather and his wife, my grandmother. In recent research, I found that my mother's family was killed in the first wave of the North Korean invasion. The South along with the General MacArthur led U.S. forces came back and beat back the North Koreans. In the midst of the chaos however, my mother was initally taken to the ad hoc local orphanage formed. In a second push by the North Koreans, they came back through Seoul and this time were pissed. They slaughtered many of the locals.

Before the second onslaught, my grandparents found my mother and took her away to the southern tip of Korea. You see, my grandparents had to run because one of the target people being killed were pastors. The North hated pastors so much. Stories were rampant on the torture of pastors. For example, they were forcing the issue of faith by forcing them to walk barefoot across 20 feet of broken glass. There were many more stories of what happened after that. One story is where my mother recalls being thrown onto the top of an already overloaded train of people and peoples belongings. She was strapped down by rope on the roof so as not to fall off while the train sped down the tracks at 60mph. How scary it must have been.

My mother and grandparents met on an island off the coast of South Korea called JeJudo. There they hid for about a year. In the second onslaught by the North Koreans, I found out that the orphanage my mother was at was destroyed and all the children and support staff were killed brutally by angry North Korean forces. It is generally known that the North did this because they were thinking that these children would grow up to fight one day.

Despite the shared tragedy of the South Korean people, orphans were never looked upon in a positive light. My mother was made fun of and ridiculed by neighborhood kids and even the cruel cousins of her newly adopted family. There are currently no known geneology roots of my mother's real family. Nor do we know her true B-day.

Years after the war, my grandparents congregation members were able to pull enough money together to send my my mother and grandparents to Los Angeles.

My mother endured much growing up and I believe God gave her a chance at life. My mother's personality is lovingly strong. She's also so open and a great conversalationist. Growing up, my mother totally spoiled us and I never knew why until years later. Both my parents always encouraged me (not pushed) to always make the best of what I got.

This became especially true of the number of schools that I went to. I attended 4 elementary schools, 2 junior high schools and 4 high schools. These moves were caused by my parents continued growth in their businesses of which I worked a lot at and learned at an early age how to deal with customers and manage a business.

My moms heart for people has always led me to be a person who comes along side others and walk together with them. The caveat here though is that I generally only find myself doing this with people who show a lot of promise and drivenness.

I attest that my mother's life as a large influence in my leadership and desire to make a difference with my life. I'm constantly driven to be the best I can be at whatever I do. And because of all the moving and my parents modeling of preserverance I've learned to be very comfortable in a variety of situations

So I guess you can imagine that as I watched this movie, that I needed quite a few Kleenex at hand. I thought the movie was going to be cheesy and emotionally manipulative. It was a bit, but stayed sincere to a reasonable plot.

I hope someday to perform some more family interviews and to write a reasonable document on what my family went through.

Ok, now to bed and to prepare for a productive day tommorrow.


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