25 Words.

September 19, 2008

1983
On September 19, my big brother, Jonathan Kyung Tae Han, was born at Alexian Brothers Hospital through caesarean section, because his head was too big.

1984
On October 4, Jonathan was snuck into Mom’s delivery room via Dad’s blue jacket, and from that day on, he had a new title: Oppah.

1985
Dad took Oppah fishing for the first time at Los Banos Creek Reservoir; Dad plunked in a line, and Oppah pulled up a rainbow trout.

1986
At Sea Cliff Beach, Oppah was lost and Mom thought the ocean carried him away, but two women, holding his hand, brought him howling back.

1987
One day, at Grandma’s Fish n Chips store, Oppah found scissors and thought it’d be a great idea to give each other really short haircuts …

1988
Post fights, we were always found hugging – not because we were sorry but because that was Mom and Dad’s punishment (we did some angry hugging).

1989
Sound asleep at four in the morning to hearing Oppah’s, “Letitia, c’mon, let’s play Nintendo,” to secretly playing Nintendo with the volume at one bar.

1990
Oppah played “We’re Late for the Party” with Lindsay and me twice – a game where we’d frantically pack a suitcase and run across the street.

1991
On Saturday mornings, Oppah made my bowl of cereal for me and woke me up early to watch morning cartoons with him before piano lessons.

1992
Dad had two spanking sticks; he told Oppah to pick his first, and Oppah picked the bigger one, to spare me (or so he thought).

1993
The brother who caught spiders and froze them in glass tubes to chase me around with also killed the spiders in my room for me.

1994
When I ran for Vice President at school and began shaking during my speech, I saw Oppah sitting up taller so I could see him.

1995
Whenever we had “Free Dress Days,” no uniform, incentive days at school, Oppah let me borrow his ultra cool clothes: baggy jeans and Gecko shirts.

1996
By far the best summer of our childhood, playing outside with the neighborhood kids – Lindsay, Rudy, Corey, Binh, Thai, and others – from morning ‘til nightfall.

1997
After arguing with Oppah, I kicked the bathroom wall and, to my dismay, the drywall gave way; he laughed and patched it up for me.

1998
Oppah was the one home with me that January 8 night, and he was the one who kept watch at my window for any danger.

1999
My science teacher stopped me after class and asked if it was my brother who gave a black eye to a bully twice his height.

2000
This year was especially difficult, but Oppah’d take me to sit and cry in his room, and he’d tell me about Job’s fortitude in trials.

2001
Oppah faced a number of heartbreaking disappointments this year; but despite personal disappointments, he always entered into my joys as if they were his own.

2002
We went camping, and in the middle of the night, I asked Oppah to paddle me out on the canoe with our dog; he did.

2003
After grandpa’s “near death” and hospitalization, Oppah drove with Dad down to Southern California to visit me and swung me around while he hugged me.

2004
While we were backpacking out, we lost our way and only had one chocolate bar left; he broke it and gave me the bigger piece.

2005
Oppah called, and we talked for hours; he shared about the woman on the plane who encouraged him with Saul-Paul’s life and prayed for him.

2006
Oppah came to San Diego for a business trip; after we ate dinner with his coworkers, he gave me spending money (everything in his wallet).

2007
We argued as I was driving him home; it was really my fault, but like always (and I mean always), he was first to apologize.

2008
At Grandpa’s funeral, Oppah was the one who gave me a tissue and hugged me as I cried while Rachael read Psalm 23 in Korean.

That’s my Oppah. That’s the kind of brother God has blessed me with for the past 25 (minus 1) years. I love you, Oppah Koppah!

(“25 Words” was inspired by Abraham Piper’s website, 22 Words.)

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6 Responses to “25 Words.”

  1. Derek Wong Says:

    That’s a pretty great post. Short and rather insightful into someone I’m pretty sure I’ll never meet. I sure read it anyways!

  2. simp1ysteph Says:

    tia, your memory never fails to amaze me.

  3. tia Says:

    haha, just for the record: 1983-1986 are memories my parents shared with me. i was too young to know ;]

    the other stuff isn’t so bad if you think of it in terms of grades (e.g., first grade, second grade, etc.) :]

  4. cathiekimn Says:

    loved this. :]

  5. e Says:

    this was a really nice post…made me smile…

  6. courtneychow Says:

    I loved reading this. It was a little window into your world. 🙂


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