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Legacy of Love

Written by Lawrence Yoo

When people pass away, people often glorify them in a way that doesn’t always feel

genuine. They talk about them as if they were perfect. I understand that temptation, you

want to remember the best in the people you love, but I feel that attitude can take away

the humanity of the person who is gone, and might even diminish the wonderful

redeeming qualities they do have.

My father was by no means a perfect man, a perfect father, a perfect anything. He made

mistakes and he isn’t someone I would go to for emotional support. I only received one

sex talk from him and it was when I was 31 and engaged. He drank too much and he

smoked too much. His definition of success was not the same as mine. At the same, he

was one of the best karaoke singers I’ve ever heard (especially Frank Sinatra or

Engelbert Humperdinck). He was an almost scratch golfer, and the man could cook

some food.

Yet, out of all his flaws and all of his strengths, there is one thing that stands out to me

and to everyone else who knew my dad; he loved his wife well. When I went to visit him

before he passed away. Everyone who spoke to me said, “Your dad really loves your

mom.” Every single person said something along this line. I realized what a gift it was

for me to observe someone who loved his wife to the end.

He was prideful and stubborn and the only person who could challenge his pride and

stubbornness was my mom. I remember my mom telling me she was sad when my

younger sister left for college, but then she added, “but I know your dad loves me, so

we’ll be okay.”

My dad indulged my mom’s whimsical ideas (like dressing up in fancy clothes just to go

out to Starbucks and then for a walk). I have a video of them on one of their last visit to

our house slow dancing by our firepit while their grandkids played around them. He

would do anything to make his wife happy, one of his last words to her (with me as

witness) is “don’t leave the kids anything, spend it all.” He knew she would be prone to

sacrifice for the kids and he wanted her to know she was treasured even when he was


The main lesson I’m going to take from my father is that I want to love my wife the way

he loved his wife. Thanks, Dad, for showing me how to love well!

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for

her.”-Ephesians 5:25

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