“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

When my father was a young boy in Korea, his mother carried him south to escape the war. Left behind were his younger sister and grandmother. They were both too weak to travel. The borders closed, and promises of a quick return turned into years of regret.

When my wife was a young girl, her mother carried her across the Killing Fields of Cambodia and left behind her siblings, her parents, and her other children who were unable to escape.

When my mother was a young woman, she carried me in her belly and my sister in her arms as she walked the streets of Chicago searching for a job. She had left her bright career as a math teacher in Korea to sort mail for the postal service.

We were children who needed to be carried. Our legs were weak, our eyes could not see very far, and the road frightened us.

I am now a man.  My legs are strong, my eyes are clear, and I follow the courage of those who have walked before me.  To my parents, my wife, my unborn children, and the generations that came before me, I make this promise.

I will not leave you behind.

— Alex Pak