My father is a wonderful storyteller. He is able to weave together stories, jokes, and insights with such ease. Whenever guests would come over, he would regale them with simple, humble, and very funny stories about daily life. ON one of my visits to Korea, I was with my father’s two brothers (my father wasn’t there). Reminiscing about their youth together, they said “How much laughter there would have been in this house if Kiju had stayed instead of leaving for the US.”
I enjoy telling stories too, but I know that I don’t have my father’s gift with words. My approach to language is more technical, more exacting, excessively complicated. One problem with possessing a large vocabulary is a certain unwieldiness in conversation. My mind constantly searches for the right word to convey the right meaning. Sometimes, the flow of words comes to a grinding halt as I seek out the next word. Other times, two words jockey for position and end up emerging simultaneously, which is terribly confusing for the other person.
My dad does tend to tell the same stories repeatedly, which could become annoying. Yet I know his love and wisdom is in each of those stories. When my dad passes away, I think one of the things that I will miss most are his stories. When I consider the reality that one day, I won’t be able to hear him tell these stories to me, I treasure them even more.