February 20, 1964 Dear Diary, I had been dreading today since I opened the letter. Today was the day we would be finding out how much longer he had. He had lung cancer which didn’t have much funding to research, so it wasn’t the easiest to cure. Bong-Ju woke me up with a kiss on the head and told me to get dressed. We arrived at the hospital and this time I was ten times more worried than when we had come the first time for the ultrasound. When we were in the hospital room my heart sank. Those words….I- I hate the words that came out of the doctors mouth, “ I’m sorry to tell you this but you have less than a month left. I’ll give you some time to process.” I hated that all I could do was cry into his shoulder thinking of the memories we created together.
They all hit me at once like a tsunami hits a city. All I wanted at that moment was more time….. More time. I need some time to process, so until next time….. goodbye. March 31, 1964 Dear Diary, We spent everyday together … The last day was really hard. I haven’t come out of my room in a while. I couldn’t face the fact that he was actually gone. I was happy I still had my eomma, I don’t know how I would raise this baby by myself. The only good thing about today was I knew he didn’t have to suffer anymore. It’s been really hard, especially with the nightmares I have. I just keep imagining us at the hospital over and over again and the way I know it’s almost over is when I hear the line go flat. The sound I dreaded the most. I didn’t want to get up and see his body in a casket, but I was hoping that it would make me feel better seeing one last time.
I put on my black dress and my black shoes and me and my eomma went to go say our goodbyes. It was excruciatingly painful to see him, my hand was shaking, my breathing started getting faster to the point I was hyperventilating. My eomma hugged me and started singing whenever she did this it always calmed me down. We went home and I laid in bed, as soon as I hit the pillow I was out. Crying can really tire you. Love, Gi…… to be continued. March 31, 1964 Dear Diary, To continue….. I woke up and eomma was still in bed. Usually by the time I wake up she would have left for work hours ago.
She’s also a light sleeper so when I shaked her and she didn’t wake up I started to panic. I immediately checked for a pulse and I didn’t feel one. I nervously dialed 911 because my hand was shaking and I was pacing and pacing and pacing. I couldn’t stop the thought that I might have lost her racing in my mind. The doctor came out into the waiting room with a face that turned mine white. I wasn’t even thinking about what problems this was gonna cause, about raising the baby alone. April 09, 1964 Dear Diary, I woke up with my bed soaking wet. I quickly and carefully got up and changed. I grabbed my pre-packed bag. I headed into the hospital and was rushed into a delivery room. As soon as I was laid on the hospital bed they checked how far I was dilated. When they checked I was seven centimeters dilated. Soon I was ready to start pushing. What felt like forever to me, in the next few seconds I was holding my baby.
She looked just like Bong-Ju. Her small perky nose and green eyes. The nurses let me borrow a laptop to facetime my appa. As soon as he saw her he bursted into happy tears. I decided to name her Bo-a, after my eomma. I was so happy but I knew I had to face reality and figure out how I was going to make a living and provide for the baby. I knew what I had to do, but I didn’t want to believe that I had to leave my childhood and all that I've known. My appa said that I could move in with him in America, but I need time to think about my decisions. Until then, goodbye.Love, GiApril 14, 1964 Dear Diary, Today I made the decision, I had to think hard. I was having to take a big leap of faith.
April 14, 1964 Dear Diary, Today I made the decision, I had to think hard. I was having to take a big leap of faith. Leaving behind what I grew up on, all I've ever known. This was also a chance for a new me, a chance to go to culinary school, a chance for my gongjunim to live a better life. As soon as I started thinking it was like I didn’t even have to make a decision. This was what’s best for the both of us with my….appa. I then got me a ticket to board a ship bringing the third wave of Koreans to Hawaii. This was my shot to give Bo-a a chance, and for me to get a shot at the education towards a career I put on paused. I already packed our things, but until then goodbye. Love, Gi