“A Postponed Trip,” Friend, July 2021
Freddie hugged Dad goodbye. “Tell Haraboji we’re praying for him.”
“I will. I’ll call every day to let you know how he’s doing.”
Freddie nodded and swallowed the lump in his throat.
Dad was leaving for South Korea to visit Freddie’s grandparents, Haraboji and Halmoni. He would be gone for almost a month while Freddie and his family stayed home in the United States.
The door closed, and Dad was gone.
“I wish I could go too,” Freddie mumbled. He wiped away a tear. Freddie hadn’t seen Haraboji and Halmoni in a long time. His family had been saving money to spend their next vacation with them in South Korea. But Haraboji was sick, and now he needed surgery.
“I’m sorry, Freddie,” Mom said. “I wish we could all go with Dad, but we haven’t saved enough money yet. And it’s important for your dad to go now, when Haraboji needs him.”
“But what if the doctors can’t help Haraboji? What if he dies and I never get to see him? We should go with Dad now!” He wiped away more tears. He felt sad and angry.
Mom wrapped her arms around him. When he stopped crying, she asked, “Should we say another prayer for Haraboji?”
Freddie nodded, and they folded their arms and prayed together.
Freddie and his family prayed for Haraboji every day. Freddie made sure to always remind them. He tried his best to help out while Dad was gone. He did some of Dad’s jobs, like walking the dog and reading stories to the little kids before bed.
Weeks passed, and Freddie wasn’t so sad anymore. But he still worried about Haraboji.
One night he was talking on the phone to Dad. “What if I never get to go to Korea?” he asked. “What if Haraboji doesn’t get better, and I miss my chance to see him?”
“Freddie, someday you’ll have a turn to visit Korea. But whether or not Haraboji is still alive, you’ll see him again. Our family is eternal.”
“I know,” Freddie said. He felt something warm in his chest. He would see Haraboji again someday, no matter what happened.
“I love you, Freddie,” said Dad. “And I’ll be home soon.”
“I love you too.”
Freddie smiled as he hung up the phone. He knew they would all be together someday. He was glad he had a forever family.