My Sister, Fear, and Letting Go

My Sister, Fear, and Letting Go


"The child was found by a passer-by on the by-street on April 4, 1966. No related person has appeared as yet." 

Her name at the time she arrived was Jung Jung Ae. A darling seven-year-old found on the street of Soowon City, Korea. 

Can you imagine finding a document reading this about yourself? I can't! 

When she arrived she was scared...who wouldn't be? Change does not occur overnight, and her fear took awhile to go away.

She had never had a family, felt love or trust. We had to teach her this.

A bed was also a novelty for her; We slept on the floor until she was ready to move to a bed. She became my inseparable buddy. If I had a play date, she came along. She was addicted to my Mom and me.  

She started Kindergarten, and of course, she was scared of being left. We (my Mom and I) sat outside the door. I was too little to attend and played in the hall. It took awhile but steadily she became comfortable, and our presence outside the class was no longer necessary.

One day, when she was a preteen, she had made friends. Remember, my friends were her friends, and I had been there for her.  When she told me I couldn't go with her to her friend's house. I was heartbroken and felt betrayed; I had always taken her with me.

My Mom took me aside and told me not to be sad. She could feel my pain. Her words were wise, "You helped her, Ali. She doesn't need you anymore, and that is good but she will always love you, and nothing will take what you have with her away. Let her do her own thing." 

My first experience of letting go was with my sister. Waiting outside the class, being patient, holding hands and then, in the end, letting her go. My sister and I are as close as ever. She is always there for me and I for her but she doesn't need me! 

It can be painful when our kids venture out. Change happens, one day they will have their friends, partners, and life. That is the way it should be, but nothing will take away the love. Let them go, and you will keep them close;  pin them down, and you risk losing them.

—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife