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Date 17.06.28 Hit 447
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UnYong KIM's Memoir 68(Graphys)


              


 68 My Wife, the better Half and my family 

 


 


 How would I be rated as a husband and how would I be rated as a father? Every time I have a chance, I ask myself this question but I never really come up with an answer. Looking at myself, I could never be a good husband or father. This is because, compared to other men, I spent longer days and nights outside home.

I met my wife Park Dong-sook through relatives and now have one son and two daughters. My father-in-law Park Jung-soo was a Judge in Ulsan, and the President of the Busan Attorney’s Association. My mother-in-law Choi Jung-sun ran for the 5.10 elections. Both my wife and I had been raised in a blessed environments, and ever since we got married, we never had to experience financial hardships.

I think my wife didn’t like me at first because of my short height. The day that I first met my wife, I dressed up in suit, something that I would rarely wear, and visited her house. My mother decided to
accompany me. She prepared a bundle of gifts and I was holding the baggage. How awkward would I have looked to my mother-in-law? I was dressed in a suit and was hugging a large load of gifts. However, it was my awkward appearance on that day that helped me succeed in marrying my wife. Nobody knows how life is going to turn out.

As I walked into the house with the antique looking bag, the people started to announce my arrival to others. A door on the 2nd floor opened, and somebody stuck out their head and looked down on me without speaking. I turned away without any special reason. The person that was looking down on me was none other than my future father-in-law.

필자 결혼식, 이응준 체신장관, 장도영 참모차장, 임부택 장군등이 참석했다.jpg
             ▲ Wedding Ceremony

My father-in-law said that if I was a person that would hold the baggage that was given to me by my mother, then I was a good son, and that I had good character. He continued to compliment me and accepted me as a son-in-law, and fully supported the marriage. We held our wedding on April 20th, 1958, at the Diplomatic Center in Seoul. My wife had just graduated as a piano major of Ewha Women’s University, and was working in Busan as a pianist at a Christian Broadcasting Station. My wife was the student of Kim Sung-bok. It seemed that I chose a woman that majored in music to be my wife because I liked music as well. My wife has always been by my side for more than 40 years.

The Korean media labeled my wife as, “a woman that never has an easy day because of a busy husband,” and “a woman that travels often to other countries but never actually tours.” When I was living in a small house, I invited the Kyungdong Middle School baseball team to a meal at my house. My wife jumped at the news and asked if I wasn’t ashamed of my small house, but it did not bother me at all. I only thought about myself. Even now, after many years, I am still sorry to my wife for being inconsiderate. However, my wife tried her best to understand, and devoted herself to helping me.

How did my wife think of me? I would like to introduce an interview of my wife published at a time when I was asking myself this question. “My husband is a kind and diligent person. He has many dreams, isn’t greedy and doesn’t bluff. He does not commit wrongdoings, and has lived until now because of pride. If you look at his hand, there is a vertical crease down the palm of his hand, which means that he couldn’t earn a big fortune, but will touch it. As the IOC TV Commission Chairman, the source of income in the IOC, he negotiates billions of dollars, so I would say that this prediction is quite correct.

My husband never says that it hurts even when he is in the hospital and sometimes doctors find him a difficult person to treat. He hates to groan or express his pain in any manner, always looks strong and positive. When he gets into bed, he is the kind of person that falls asleep instantaneously. Looking at him taking care of big deals, rather than paying attention to little details, it seems that he has a man with a big heart. He has never known ‘rest’ in his whole life. I feel unfortunate when he says that the airplane is the only place he allows himself to rest.”

Looking back, it seems that I have lived a really busy life. I have been on business trips for over half of every year. My family once couldn’t move even after we bought the house, because I was too busy. We left the house empty for years because I couldn’t find the time. However, my wife did a brilliant job in raising three children, and has never once complained.

In October 1986, I was the President of the Taekwondo Association and had never received a salary for the position. I had received my first salary when I became SLOOC First vice president. It was the first money that I had received in 10 years. When I gave this to my wife she was surprised and asked me questions.

“What is this?”
“That’s my salary.”
“You get a salary? From what?”
“That came from the SLOOC.”
“The what?”
“That payment was made for my labor in running SLOOC(Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee).”
“Oh, so it’s not a salary, it’s a special bonus.”
“Is that what it is? Hahah!”
“Will you continue to be paid?”
“Hmm.. I don’t really know.”
“Anyway, it’s good to receive a salary for the first time in 10 years after you left Blue House. It will be a big help to the family. I will use it wisely.”

I stared into the face of my wife again. For 10 years, I had never brought her a salary, and she never complained. She was a woman that silently made a living. I say that we were never hungry because we had significant assets but nobody can be peaceful and calm without earning money. I could only be thankful to my wife.



 



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