America or Bust: A Mother's Journey to Becoming An American

Byung Wha's journey began on a crisp December day in 1975 when she bid farewell to her home in Korea. As a young housewife, she had cherished her life in Seoul, where she supported her husband, a diligent engineer. Their aspirations led them across the globe to Montreal, where they spent four months under the care of her eldest brother, adjusting to the new rhythm of Canadian life.

In April of 1976, the bustling city of Toronto beckoned, and Byung Wha found herself settling in Scarborough. It was there, amidst the vibrant cityscape, that she discovered the joy of impending motherhood, conceiving her third child in June of 1976. The following spring brought the arrival of baby Paul, a bundle of joy who filled their lives with laughter and wonder. While caring for her newborn, Byung Wha found fulfillment working at a local Nursing Home, while her husband contributed to the community through his employment at Smith Corona Typewriter Company. Together, they embraced the milestones of adulthood, purchasing their first car in 1977, a symbol of their growing independence and ambition.

Life's path led them back to Montreal in 1979, where Byung Wha found herself behind the counter of a neighborhood convenience store, weaving connections with the diverse array of customers who frequented the shop. However, destiny had another chapter in store for her.

In 1983, Byung Wha embarked on a new adventure, this time bound for America. The journey by train carried her to Baltimore, where she seized the opportunity to become an entrepreneur, venturing into the world of dry cleaning. With determination and resilience, she navigated the challenges of business ownership, establishing herself as a cornerstone of the local community.

The years unfolded, marked by triumphs and trials, leading Byung Wha to a pivotal moment in 1986 when she proudly became a naturalized American citizen. Yet, fate dealt a bittersweet blow in 1991 when she found herself a widow, navigating the complexities of loss while steadfastly guiding her family forward.

Undeterred by adversity, Byung Wha pursued her educational dreams, culminating in 2007 with the conferral of a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors, a testament to her unwavering dedication and intellect.

Through the tapestry of her experiences, Byung Wha's narrative emerges as a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the enduring pursuit of a better tomorrow.

Paul Lee

Paul is an ex-Amazon Innovation Consultant. With more than 20 years of professional design experience. He has worked as a photojournalist for the University of Maryland's Diamondback Newspaper and was Production Coordinator for Atlantic Media, known for the Atlantic Monthly Magazine. He is also the Founder of Innoverse Global Media.