PictureToday is Hannah’s first day of high school.  Our little girl is growing up. Oh, how I wish I were driving two kids to OCSA instead of just one. How I wish Dragon were here to show his little sister around — which lunch line moves most quickly, what to expect from Honors Biology. Hannah is learning to navigate by herself.

At the memorial service last week, Hannah gave a short speech.  In honor of her starting high school, I thought I’d share her thoughts and words.


 A year ago, my brother, Dragon, passed away. I didn’t know how to respond to it. I was afraid of the future. I was scared to live. I was scared to say the wrong words. I was going through an experience that no other teenager should have to go through. As the months went by, I learned, and I grew. With new challenges came new opportunities. And with new opportunities came new people. It seems so cliche to say it, but it’s true. Throughout the year, I learned so many things about the value of life, and gained so much knowledge in what it truly means to be alive. In the past year, I’ve grown closer to God, and have been able to put my trust in His ways, knowing that He has a plan for me.

Some people steer away from the quote, “Everything happens for a reason.” But to me, it’s comforting. This saying has helped me look back on all the things that have happened this past year and really acknowledge them as planned motions. I have now realized that what is meant to be will happen. All I have to do is learn how to grow from it.

Dragon loved life.  From what I saw, he loved trying new things.  He lived his life with so much energy, and he was unafraid of takingPicture on new challenges.  I think the most important thing I’ve learned since Dragon’s passing is to live life. Those two words have changed me forever. “Life is a gift,” Dragon’s poem says. I truly believe it is. All of us are given one shot at a life on Earth. I’ve learned to be thankful for that opportunity. I’ve learned that if you only have one chance, take it and make something beautiful out of it. I plan on living out every day. and until the day comes when I will finally take my last breath, I will always keep in mind to live without fear, and instead, live with passion and love.

Not a day goes by where I’m not thinking about Dragon.  I miss him so much.  Every night, I look at the sky and wonder what he’s doing.  I can’t wait to see him again.

I am so proud of my family for keeping Dragon’s spirit alive and well. He may not be here physically, but we have done so many things to make sure that his legacy continues. The Dragon Kim Foundation is doing so well and I am so excited for what the future holds for it. To end this, I just really want to let all of you here know that what happened last year was something unexpected. At the time, everything seemed broken and lost. Standing in front of you today, I realize that the pieces that were broken and lost a year ago, are still broken. But they have grown into beautiful works of art. They have not healed. They have learned, and grown, and have been made stronger.