Friday, May 1, 2009

Dear Joseph,

People ask me with wide eyes how I adapt so quickly to the different situations I am put in or put myself in (i.e. moving to California, going to school in Boston, living in Korea...) but I shrug because I really don't think what I'm doing is a big deal. I sit here, writing this, and it's taken me 20 years to realize (well, 16, since you were born when I was 4) that I've acquired this skill of adaptability through you.

You were born with a left arm that ends right below your elbow, but I don't remember seeing you come home from the hospital and thinking that anything was different. I've tried countless times to remember when I realized your arm was a little different but I can't. To me you were my younger brother and ever since you were born, Barbies no longer held much importance in my life.

We were both always surrounded by such a loving family and supportive community that it kind of startled me when a random ahjussi (older man) came up to me and asked me about you while we were on vacation in Korea. That pissed me off at the tender age of 10 so much that I mouthed off to him, "why dont you go ask him if you're so curious!" and walked off. I found myself getting questioned by adults when we went to theme parks together and feeling the same way in the states. Funny how little kids can shrug off little differences or not notice them at all but adults will probe you with questions, huh Joe?

You never need help with anything. You always find a way to work around things. You were playing Nintendo with your left foot and right arm at the age of 6, typing on the computer with your left arm and right hand by 11. You've always been a problem solver, an adapter, and that's what's so brilliant about you.

I don't think there have been many things that I have taught you as an older sister, but you have taught me so much. Thank you and I love you.


P.S. If you ever stop calling me nuna, jookneundah~