I wrote a letter to a discharging patient of mine. It said not to come back. But not in the sense that I don’t want to see her, in the sense that I want her to do so well outside that she doesn’t need to come back. That I want her to stop hurting herself. If she needs attention, or to feel something, to find a passion, because a fire in her soul would warm her from the inside out and she would find herself glowing. I want her to eat, because a full belly is the key to a happy heart. And I want her to stop being afraid of people, because there will always be jerks in the world, but there will always be good people too.. But I didn’t give it to her. I never do. I try to keep a distance. But as the shift was getting closer to its end, she got quieter and more anxious. And when the next shift came in, I held open my arms and we hugged. And when she pulled away she was crying. The truth was, I didn’t need to give her the letter. In the days that we worked together, she had stopped hurting herself, and had started eating, and had found at least one good person..
I want to write to my birth mother to tell her the sort of woman I’ve become and how hard I’ve worked for it. I am already older that she was when she last saw me. I want her to tell me about what she has done with her life since then. I want to know if she also had a backwards life. If she ever managed to righten herself out. I want to know if she had the same heart as me. Having left her home in her mid twenties, a simple high school graduate, to earn money for them. Having met my father at the bar where she began working, more than ten years her senior, and the owner of the bar. Did she believe she was in love with this smart, older, business man when she accidentally got pregnant? Did her heart break when she discovered after a year of being together that he was married? Did she try to hang onto him before he left her alone in her 8th month of pregnancy? Did her heart break when she had to return home to her family with no other options? Did her heart break again, when after some months of hanging onto me, she realized she couldn’t keep me? Did her heart break as she eventually said goodbye to the baby she’d given a name to? Joo Yun Huh. Joo Yun, meaning something along the lines of Fat Pearl. (I will assume it is a term of endearment amongst Koreans of the deep south.) Family name Huh, pronounced Hoo. Who, how fitting. Who is my family? Who am I? Am I like her, with all my quirks and terrible man hunting skills? Do I look like her, with my dark eyes and fat nose? Does she have funny ears like I do? Does she have odd, bony fingers like I do? Is she beautiful and fearless like I am? Is she stubborn like I am? Does she have the same heart as me?