Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Dad Loved to Cook, too!

Yi Muk Jung
October 4, 1933 - April 13, 2009.

For those of you who know me, you'll know why I've been neglecting my sites and emails. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer in November, 2008 and had surgery to remove the mass on December 17th. He was deemed cancer free in mid-January. On March 15th, my mother called to say he was hallucinating and he was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with brain tumors. He was treated a week later with 5 doses of radiation, but never recovered from the fatigue after the third treatment. These treatments were suppose to prolong his life, but they seemed to have weakened him instead.

It is a difficult time for all our family after losing such a wonderful man. For those who knew him, knew that he was kind and always placed his own needs behind anyone else's. He was the most unselfish person who was hard working and made sure that his family had roof over our head, food on the table and clothes on our back and that we were happy. We didn't have much growing up, but us kids had his undivided attention when he wasn't out making a buck.

His love for cooking must've rubbed off on me. He didn't cook gourmet style, usually Chinese home cooking and everything was always tasty. I've learned that my love of cooking has helped bring my family and friends together. We both cook up storms and love to cook for huge crowds. My grocery bill is huge each month as was his. I feed 2 girls and 3 boys, as he fed 2 boys and 3 girls. When I cook, I leave a huge mess of pots and pans, utensils, dishes, etc. I can't help it and neither could my father. My sister says I take after him. I think that's a great compliment.

On Friday, we were all saddened at the finality of his life. He would have been happy to know how many people showed up to pay their last respects and loved him. You would know it just by looking at the number of flowers that were at the funeral home. A few of my friends commented that they've never seen SO MANY flowers (probably close to 100 giant bouquets) in one room. My 3 year old, upon entering the room again, said "I want to go back into the jungle!" My two youngest sons, Nicholas and William are both having a hard time understanding death.

He tried to maintain his dignity for as long as he could and we understood when it was time for him to leave us. The morning after he saw my two nephews and sister-in-law who returned from Arkansas to see him, my dear father peacefully slipped away. He was just 75.

Last night, I had a dream. We were having dinner at my parent's place and my father stood up and said to me with a smile, "I'm ok." Yes, I know. He is in a better place. His pain and suffering was short-lived, which was best for himself and everyone.

He was loved by all and will be missed.


  1. My warmest condolences to you and your family in this difficult time. He will be dearly missed.

  2. What a great dream. We miss him so much. It was hard to say goodbye but I wouldn't have wanted him to suffer. His sacrifices will be remembered and shows us what a wonderful man he was. His love for family pulled us all together and kept us close. I will always be thankful for that.

  3. only a few can share such an intimate story...thank you for sharing...