I received more e-mail responses from the story I posted about my dad and veterans days than I ever have before.
The postscript is that yesterday my brother Bennett and I got to meet our cousins Dr. Ken Kim and his daughter Caroline Kim. The picture is attached.
They honored my father’s memory with a wonderful Korean lunch of beef, rice and kimchi. They were both wonderful and he shared stories of how my dad helped his family with supplies during the War and what that meant for their ability to survive.
More than that, it was really the story of how my Aunt Pauline married his Uncle Herb Kim and how they moved to Russia in the 1930’s to change the world. Unfortunately, after a few years, Herb was arrested for no reason (this was of course the time of Stalin) and my Aunt Pauline and her son Bob had to move back to the United States. It actually made national news when they came back. The rumor in my family is that Eleanor Roosevelt was directly involved in helping them come back (don’t know if that is true or not but it sounds like something she would have done),
Sadly, though Herb was able to get to China to be with his family, he and my Aunt Pauline never got back together. Also, during the Korean War, Herb was taken by the North Korean government and Dr. Kim’s brother was taken as well. Both were never heard from again.
There is a lot more to this story and for anyone who is interested (lots of articles), please reach out to me off hours and I will gladly share.
The mental health piece to the story is that Dr. Kim was able to come over to the United State after the Korean War, despite incredible hardship. He went to medical school, got married and had four successful children and grandchildren. We asked him how he was able to accomplish everything he had after a childhood of incredible poverty, death and despair. His answer was resiliency and the belief that things would get better if he just persevered.
I think of this as a parable for the lives that many people in our world live in—where individuals and their loved ones face hardships every day. Yet, they are incredibly strong and resilient in dealing with their own struggles. We must do everything in our power to support our loved ones and those that face incredible challenges. Of course, I bring it back to funding because that is exactly what is needed and necessary for all those struggling with mental health disorders.