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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.


Illness and spousal caregiving inevitably challenge a marriage

Last night, we came home from a grocery shop at Safeway and my husband had offered to make us shrimp bucatini. But it was 5:45 p.m., a little too early for dinner, so he decided he’d head outdoors for a quick 30-minute bike ride before returning home to cook. While…


For way too long, I responded to danger by freezing

“The worst thing you can do is the thing you’ll want to do most,” the park ranger explains.

I’m standing with three friends under a tent at Apgar ranger station in Glacier National Park, allowing mosquitos to dance around my legs. …

Lived Through This

We all cope differently

I wrote sixty songs during the three months that my mom was dying. I was disgusted with my muse, who had ghosted me for years and chose the end of her life to set a fire in me.

But you can’t deny it—you can’t be holding your mom’s hand and…

Lived Through This

A year in the life

Let me tell you a story.

Scenario: You have a public school day job of three years that almost pays all your bills so you take on an extra job as an independent contractor to make ends meet. …


What it’s like to live in a 50 square-foot micro apartment in Seoul

In the first week, I broke everything: a $2 plate from Daiso, which I’d loved for its spunky polka-dots. A cylindrical holder for my travel-friendly toothbrush and mini toothpaste. Finally, a precious Royal Albert mug I’d been given as a gift that spring.


I looked numbly at the elegant…


Living with ALS has changed the way people perceive me, and it’s disconcerting

Back when I was in elementary school, there were always kids who were pariahs. Kids with certain kinds of deformities, or speech impediments, or habits of drooling. We knew we were not supposed to mock these kids, and so we didn’t taunt them openly, but we shunned them in subtle…


20 years later, the aftereffects still linger in my life and the lives of others

I was hungover when the phone rang.

The night before, I’d been partying with my fraternity brothers, so I answered and immediately hung up. Despite hanging up the call, the rings came once more, so I answered.


“Benjamin!” The voice was frantic on the other end. …

Lived Through This

I’m obsessed with all the numbers that mark the time that Ana was alive.

There are 3,289 members in a Facebook group that exists for parents who have lost children to cancer.

Each member represents a child who died from a disease that is underfunded and misunderstood, a child whose photo is decorated with a gold ribbon (or not). …


What I gained and what I lost

The summer after kindergarten, I went by “Hot Stuff.”

I was still “Hyo-Sung” when I woke up on the first morning of day camp to pull my favorite yellow T-shirt over my head. My mother had made sure it was washed the night before even though our portable washing machine…

Lived Through This

Rising and falling, over and over and over again

I’ve done quite a bit of musing while sitting on the beach this summer, and I thought I was done writing about it after my last piece. For anyone who thinks that I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of sitting on the beach, thus affording me copious time to ponder…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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