"Time to get up for camp! Sweetie!" When I rushed to his room to wake him up, I found him curling in the bed, eyes wide open, day dreaming. "Mom, Why can not a bicycle stand on its own?" "You see, you need 3 points to balance a plane ..." I started lecturing him on the physics,. "No", he cut in, "the correct answer is, it is two-tired (too tired)! and I am the same!". Oh, Okay ...
"Yeah, I am the same too! Too tired!!!" I won't tell him this but I AM exhausted. A series of "unfortunate events" have been happening one after another in the past few weeks, it has been a good struggle going about putting off the fires. Made me relate to Jaeho's life. Who said life is easy? Even, expect it to be worse than his - full of sufferings without loved one's support and comfort. At this hard time, the thought of Shin-Yeung gives me some courage and hope.
When Shin-Yeung asked Jaeho "Why do you love me?", he replied "Because when I am beaten down, you give me courage to stand up again."
Lee Shin-Yeung, Jaeho's wife. The luckiest woman in history. She has married Jaeho and accompanied him for the rest of his life.
Who else has been this fortunate? None! In Papa, she divorced him. In April Snow, she betrayed him. In Hotelier, she let him fly back to New York alone. In Winter Sonata, she decided to study in France even though she knew he was in US risking his life in brain surgery. In Love Greetings she distanced him because of her self-centeredness. In Barefoot Youth, she is a daughter of his farther's enemy. In First Love, she was chasing a young man who was overwhelmed by his family's misfortunes. In Untold Scandal, her love was not accepted by the society, she could only meet him in another world. In Sea Wind, in Sunny Place of the Young, in Seven Steps to Separation, none of these girls was fortunate enough to take vows with him in front of an alter. Except Shin-Yeung. No wonder she is my favorite female character. She made union with him based on mutual true love. What else can be more beautiful and satisfactory?
She won Jaeho's true love. She deserved it. Her love to Jaeho was motherly and womanly. Jaeho's love to Shin-Yeung was childish and manly.
He would say to her father "I love her. I want to have her. I do not want to give her up. Please agree to give her to me." The father was pretty impressed by his determination and his "greediness" towards her.
He would say to Shin-Yeung, "I can make a lot more money. I will feed you good food to make you fair and chubby."
He would promise her, "If it is just for money, you don't have to work. But if you don't like staying home, you can go out to teach. Or if you like to continue study, it is fine too. You can finish your thesis for doctoral degree. I can pay for your tuition. As long as I have this job, you don't need to worry about our living."
He would tell her, "I like to stay with you just like now. I did not know before, that this is the life I wanted - I work hard to make money, my wife stays home and cooks. We argue once in a while and make up in no time. Children are all healthy just like me. We watch our savings gradually grow in the bank. I just want to live the most ordinary life." (... 'mind you, before meeting Shin-Yeung, Jaeho's only purpose of life is to get rich.)
Shin-Yeung would smile sweetly back and praise him "You are such a capable man."... "No doubt I've chosen the right man." ...
Shin-Yeung is truly intelligent. She knows what makes a perfect man - strong, handsome and most importantly the ability and willingness to work hard. No matter what his current social status is, the future holds for the diligent man. She values Jaeho's quality regardless of his poverty. She is the luckiest woman who has chosen the right man - Jaeho.
And no doubt Jaeho has chosen the right woman, likewise.
Lee Shin-Yeung was a college assistant professor while Jaeho was a student taking the lecture she taught the first time as a substitute. She was 3 years older than him. She appeared not as smart, not as pretty, not as slim, not as wealthy, comparing to Hyun-Sue, a proud princess of a wealthy family, and also Jaeho's classmate. From the look of it, Jaeho should have chosen Hyun-Sue as his wife. And sure enough, this was his goal - marry a girl of a wealthy family to bid farewell to his poverty. He told Hyun-Sue straight in the face : this is why I want to court you - because you are wealthy, you are smart and you are pretty. You satisfied these 3 criteria. And you do not need to be responsible to me, and I do not need to be responsible to you either. (Hey, Jaeho, what kind of relationship is this? Jaeho? Are you so sure ...?)
Obviously, the relationship fell into a subtle war between the two. Jaeho determined "I can not guarantee that I will fall in love with you, but I can make sure that you will fall in love with me! Let's wait and see!" As smart as Jaeho can be, he knows his charm and he knows how to use it. Professor Lee who lives with Hyun-Sue in the same house would be a perfect flirting target to arouse Hyun-Sue's jealousy.
Apparently, Professor Lee is sophisticated in academic but she is as pure and innocent as a child in nature, in times naive. Throughout 30 years of her life, she might have been studied too much in the books and never learned the tricks of flirting between a man and a woman. She seriously thought if a girl goes out for a date with a man, they would go on the path of getting married. While she views Jaeho as a rude student, she would warn Hyun-Sue to be careful going out with him. While she found out Jaeho was cheating in writing the project report, she would not tolerate the behavior even though other professors did. As knowing Jaeho more and more through these conflicts with him, she becomes attracted to this young man just as a woman would do. While Jaeho was playing the flirting game between her and Hyun-Sue, knowing Jaeho's real intention was to use her, she still could not escape the fate of being a woman captivated by him.
Her heart was so soft and caring, which reminded Jaeho of his mother, who has abandoned him and his sister when he was 12. Since then he hated his mother, but deep in his heart, he has the painful longing for her. When he met Professor Lee, his yearning was fulfilled. He opened his heart only to her without knowing it and gradually realized his love for her. He would subconsciously call her up and tell her "Ever since I met you, my heart started becoming soft."
Before she discovered her love to Jaeho, she would behave like a professor or a mother. She would lecture him on how to save money and be a modest student. She would give him lessons on how to get honest grade with honest study. She would pick up the cigarette butt and told him "You should not liter.". She would listen patiently to his confessions. She would withhold her affection to him while wishing him to achieve his goal of gaining Hyun-Sue.
She could not hold her tears after Jaeho confessed to her the scars of his life. She asked him "Why do you want to tell me of all these?" Jaeho paused, puzzled, "I don't know, I just want to tell you..." She would cry out beside a tree on her way home. I believe she not only cried for Jaeho's misfortune, but mostly she cried for not being able to withhold her emotions to Jaeho.
Jaeho saw it, he learned at that moment that this woman had a gentle heart, and somehow I think he might very well realize at this time that she has fallen in love with him. It is intriguing to watch how and when the two started realizing and facing their love. I assessed that Shin-Yeung fell in love with Jaeho first, while Jaeho was busy pleasing Hyun-Sue. But she dismissed this feeling since it appeared so impractical - how can it be, between a student and a teacher, a woman 3 years older, with meek college salary, definitely not the type of interest to Jaeho. She tried to desert him and avoid him, which actions helped Jaeho realize clearly that he was actually in true love with her. He held her in his arms and craved, "Tell me you love me. As long as you love me, I do not want anything else, I do not want money. I do not love Hyun-Sue. I love you, only you!"
But in fear of hurting her relationships with Hyun-Sue, Kil-jin and her parents, afraid of gossips in the college, she denied "This is not love. I am afraid of choosing you. I am afraid of the gossips, I am afraid of fighting with Hyun-Sue and my parents, if I can not give up all these for your sake, how can this be love?!" Jaeho's heart was burning "I was not honest before, I was attracted by Hyun-Sue's wealth, I hated poverty. But because of you I want to give it all up. I do not want money anymore. I do not want anything. As long as you are with me, I will have the courage. I am willing to work around the hours. If this is not love, what is love?! If you do not love me, how did you make me like this today? If this is not love, what is love!?" Believe it or not, she stared at him and said "It's just an illusion!" Jaeho's heart is sinking in disbelieve. Shin-Yueng needs time to grow stronger.
It was not until she started preparing for the wedding with Kil-jin, did she realize that she could not live without Jaeho. She finally cried to him "I was afraid of Hyun-Sue, Kil-jin, my dad, my mom, I was afraid of fighting with them because of you. But now I found out, there is a more scary thing ahead of me - I am afraid of missing you, I am afraid you are not by my side... I love you."
Shin-Yeung, always remember what Jaeho said "When you said you love me, my dream has come true.". What can be more simple, yet more profound than these words. With Jaeho's love, Shin-Yeung started to become more courageous.
Shin-Yeung walks in slow pace, speaks with soft voice. She appeared to be weak and tender, but her mind was strong and determined. She could face up with the department head and 6 other senior professors in a meeting, argue with them about her right of private life. She would not give in to their accusations about her relationship with Jaeho. When the department head threatened to immediately end her job if she would not give in, she would fight for her legal right of continuing the teaching contract. She would bravely face Hyun-Sue's challenge. She would go on a hunger strike to protest against his parents' disapproval of Jaeho. She would secretly apply for professor jobs in another city, preparing for the run-away with Jaeho.
Shin-Yeung's love was forgiving. When Jaeho gave her up and turned to Hyun-Sue in need of money for his family, her heart was broken. But she said to Kil-jin " I can understand him ...".
Shin-Yeung's love was unconditional. "If I can not forget him, then I won't try to forget him. I'll keep him in my heart".
Shin-Yeung's love was hopeful and life-giving. When Jaeho gave up his true love and found out he has brain tumor, what could be the better excuse to gave up on this unworthy life. He refused to take medicine and treatment. He told Hyun-Sue that he want to die in front of her. When Kil-jin counciled Shin-Yeung, "What does a dying man need the most at this time?" Shin-Yeung answered "Hope!". Shin-Yeung came to Jaeho and insisted "If you want to die, that is fine, I will die with you!" Her determined love give Jaeho hope and courage to live on and take the treatment.
Shin-Yeung's love was sacrificial. She would quit her professor career, take a tutor job with more flexible hours, in order to take care of Jaeho in chemotherapy.
This woman is an ideal wife, ideal mother, ideal lifetime friend. She is quiet but strong. She is gentle. She is beautiful. She is love. I wish wuri yong joon will find such a woman in his life, and yes, marry her.
The last night, Jaeho was lying in bed with Shin-Yeung, he asked "I can not hear, I can not see. You must be very lonely." Shin-Yeung held his hand and said "No, it feels so good to hold hands with you every day.". Jaeho smiled "God takes special care of me. He told me I have too much treasure. I did not think before that looking at you and hearing your voice are so precious. Do you know how much I love you?" "I know." she wrote on his hand. "That's good. This is enough. I need to sleep. In sleep I can have dreams. I can see you and hear you in dreams. I am very tired. I am going to sleep." "See you tomorrow." Shin-Yeung wrote. "See you tomorrow." Jaeho smiled.
The next morning, Jaeho did not wake up. "I wish when you wake up again, you will feel pain no more. Jaeho, I will remember you forever."
Just started learning this song from my voice teacher two days ago. I am amazed by its lyrics. Is it Jaeho talking to Shin-Yeung? The melody is beautiful too. I wish I could share.
Sing me to Sleep
Lyrics by Clifton Bingham
Composer : Edwin Greene
Sing me to sleep, the shadows fall,
Let me forget the world and all.
Tired is my heart, the day is long,
Let it soon come to even song.
Sing me to sleep, your hand in mine,
Our fingers as in prayer entwine;
Only your voice, love, let me hear,
Singing to tell me you are near.
Love, I am lonely, Years are so long,
I want you only, you and your song;
Dark is life's shore, love, Night is so deep,
Leave me no more, love, Sing me to sleep.
Sing me to sleep, with you alone,
Stay with me and remain my own,
Gladly my heart will know no pain,
When I awake from sleep again.
Sing me to sleep and let me rest,
Of all the world I love you best.
Nothing is faithful, nothing true,
In Heaven or earth, but God and you.
Love, I am lonely, Years are so long.
I want you only, You and your song.
Dark is life's shore, love, Night is so deep,
Leave me no more, love, Sing me to sleep.
Reset in peace, Jaeho! I love you! Shin-yeung, you gave Jaeho new life, true love, you are my heroine. Where is wuri yong joon's Shin-yeung???