In a first written statement from Euna Lee, who with Laura Ling was released from North Korean detention last week thanks to the intervention of former President Bill Clinton, the journalist charts the domestic life to which she has happily returned after “my traumatic experience” – and the affect her five-month absence had on her family, especially her 4-year-old daughter.
“I made scrambled eggs with Hana, I walked around the neighborhood with [husband] Michael and [daughter] Hana after dinner, I combed Hana’s hair and dressed her for school, I danced and jumped with Hana,” Lee, 36, writes in a letter on Facebook. “I am slowly fulfilling the wish list that I made in North Korea one item at a time.”
Her daughter, she says, is still adjusting and “is still a bit nervous about mommy going to work again. She told me today ‘Mommy, when I ask you to leave (she meant ‘come home’), please come home to me.’ She told Doorie (one of my cats) ‘Doorie, if you don’t listen, mommy will go to the airport.’ ”
In terms of reflection, she writes, “My husband mentioned the names of so many individuals who helped us and supported us through this tough time. I won’t list the individual names here to thank because I believe you already know that I am talking to you when I say ‘Thank You.’ ”
As for her daughter’s sense of security, “I will wait for the time when Hana truly believes that mommy’s always there for her, then I will be free to share my stories and experiences in North Korea and be able to express how thankful I am.”