Earlier this year I was involved in directing a dance performance with a group of undergraduate students… It was a difficult time for me. A lot of stress, and a lot of patience was asked of me. It was never clear to me whether I was cut out for the job… A lot of uncertainties were abound… Although I love the art, and the anticipation of the final performance is a rush to be reckoned with, it’s not without its downsides.
I saw the free hug campaign video in the midst of all that. I remember being unbelievably moved. I thought to myself “My god, there’s so much love in this world, yet we’re doing such a horrible job of expressing it.”
... But, of course, being the lazy person that I am, I forgot all about it as I went back to concentrating on directing.
By the end of the performance, I was exhausted. I needed a break from everything. So I went to visit my folks back home. Being with my family has never failed to breathe new energy into my life. They are simply amazing and inspiring people.
The free hug campaign was in my head, but only as a nice little annecdote…. nothing more, nothing less.
Times passed by, I was enjoying being back, spending quality time with the folks, talks of life, reminscing our times together… it was a time of love.
Throughout my time there I was constantly reminded of the amount of respect my dad had for mom. I’ve heard him gush about the topic in the past, but for some reason it hit home much harder this time. At the same time, probably because of the free hug campaign influence, it also occured to me that he wasn’t adequately expressing his love for her. As a guy, I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think that expressing love was redundant. Why do I need to say it or express it? Isn’t it just obvious? Like… in an implicit, we just all assume… kinda way, ya know? I no longer believe that to be a valid excuse for not expressing love.
As I stood at the airport bidding my parents farewell, I felt the urge to say what was in my mind. So I turned to my dad and said, “you know what dad? you should give mom more hugs. I think it will mean a lot, and it’s good for you, too.”
I have to admit that I didn’t think much of it. If anything, I was probably just a bit bitter that my dad was so conservative and traditional when it came to expressing love to mom. I felt mom deserved better.
I returned home, and the fact that I even said that to dad faded into the past as I adjusted to the everyday life…
The following weekend, I gave mom a call to see how she was doing. She seemed quite upbeat that day. She said how the weather was nice enough to let her exercise more outdoors, and she also raved about the nintendo wii that I got her as a present (whole another story).
Towards the end of the conversation she said, “Do you wanna hear a funny story?” to which I responded “Sure!” She then proceeded to tell what happened that morning.
Apparently after dad got dressed up all ready for work, he headed out the front door of the apartment just like any other day. Mom would say her usual “have a nice day!”, and dad his “yup”. He would close the door,and mom would go back into the apartment to attend to her business.
What was different about this morning was that after a couple of minutes, he came back through the door, and called for mom. Mom was obviously a bit surprised to see him come back. She wondered if he had left something important behind.
When she got to the front door dad said “I just remembered that Seung Chan said I should give you more hugs”. He then proceeded to give her a hug. Then, with a shy smile, bid her farewell once again, and headed to work.
Needless to say, my mom was very very moved.
I was soooooooooo proud of dad!!! It was probably not intentional, but I thought that whole coming-back-through-the-door-after-a-couple-of-minutes-drama is quite the job of a slick drama producer. ;)
I’m certain that this meant more to mom, then any other fancy dinner or presents dad could have gotten her. I was very very moved by what he had done!
I really do think that the world is full of love, yet we are doing a horrible job of expressing it. I’m glad that there are people doing something about it.