My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

A Verse for Commencement Day

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,  
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,  
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,  
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;  
                         But O heart! heart! heart! 
                            O the bleeding drops of red, 
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
                                  Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;  
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,  
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,  
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;  
                         Here Captain! dear father! 
                            This arm beneath your head! 
                               It is some dream that on the deck, 
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,  
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,  
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage
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Go in Peace

content warning: death. sickness. pain. loss.

note: In keeping with Korean convention, I use the collective "our" rather than the individual "my". The sentiments expressed here are, nonetheless, entirely mine.


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Our grandfather, Man-Hyong Yoo, died about a week ago, two months after his eightieth birthday.

He had been diagnosed with colon cancer, which, since March, had progressed rapidly from Stage II to Stage IV. On August 11th, he was admitted to surgery. His post-operative condition was nominal at first, but degenerated over the next day. When his kidneys failed and he was no longer breathing independently, my grandmother made the decision to withdraw life support, in accordance with his expressed wishes. He did not suffer, as so many do. He ended a life of eighty years with a few months of terrible sickness, but he died under anesthesia before he had begun to lose his mental facilities, and that was no small mercy.

Family and friends gathered for a funeral on Saturday; he was cremated on Tuesday. I was

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