It may have the common kdrama tropes that seasoned kdrama viewers have come accustomed to, but My Spring Day stands out among many of the dramas year. The synopsis reads like a common makjang but the execution produces a product far from scandalous. I regard this drama with high esteem because of the beauty of the story as well as the emotions it awakens in me. Bom Yi and Dong Ha are tied up in the most complicated relationship, because of how deeply woven the fate they bear is. Bom Yi came on the scene as Dong Wook’s, Dong Ha’s brother’s fiancee, but after spending time with Dong Ha she began to fall deeply in love with him. For Dong Wook this was like de ja vu, because his first love, Soo Jung, went on to marry Dong Ha. Unfortunately for both men, she died, leaving Dong Ha and their two kids, Poo Reum and Ba Da, behind, but also donated her heart to Bom Yi. Dong Wook, who was aware of this, felt uncomfortable with Bom Yi and Dong Ha’s growing closeness and tried to keep the two apart, even emotionally blackmailing his older brother by revealing Bom Yi’s donor identity. It worked for a while, but Bom Yi refused to stay away and Dong Ha couldn’t let her go.
The formation of Bom Yi’s and Dong Ha’s relationship is the coming together of two self-less people, they care more about the people around them then themselves. This concept diminishes the makjang feel of the synopsis as we see the sorted family relations is more of a focus on family and human relationships that led our OTP to where they are destined to be, as well as nourish their growth. Dong Wook and Bom Yi were never meant to be together, they were meant to be family through Dong Ha. Although Dong Wook thought he loved Bom Yi, what he found was a girl who resembled his first love, and who made him feel good about himself. What initially lead him to Bom Yi was Soo Jung’s heart, and though he grew to care about her, as an audience we can’t deny that Dong Wook was closer to his ex-girlfriend, Ji Won, than Bom Yi. It is more likely that he is still in love with her, because even though they were on bad terms, they stilled consoled and supported each other even while they were bickering. Dong Wook was simply a catalyst in bringing Bom Yi and Dong Ha together.
One aspect of the drama that always bugged me was the use of cellular memory. It is a real life phenomenon that caused others to question the veracity of Bom Yi and Dong Ha’s love. Did she love him because of her heart and vice versa? As far as science knows, cellular memory does not exist, although there are scientist who have ventured to investigate this matter and have found some evidence that it could, however there is nothing definite. As science would have it the concept of a soul is just a cocktail of chemicals and cognitive functions, but if we were to assume cellular memory did exist, should we see this theory as something at play in this romance? I feel that it could have played a role in them coming together, but it was not what made them fall in love. In cases of those few people who have experienced sharing their donors memories or feelings, they were fully aware that it was not in congruence with their own. Some have had dreams of their donors experiences, often traumatic, but the closest Bom Yi had to that was when she saw Dong Ha crying on the stair case as Soo Jung died. She also would act out caressing Dong Ha as she did in her dreams but all of this manifested after she opened her heart to him. When they first met, they were at odds with each other. One person who has claimed to be able to feel their donors feelings once met with his fiancee. When the fiancee left she felt a painful sadness in her heart, but in Bom Yi’s case nothing of the sort happened. She didn’t even recognize him after meeting him a second time, though it was technically their third time meeting lol. At best we can say she experienced cellular memory with the children, because she teared up the first time she saw them. Also Poo Reum mentioned her reading style was similar to her mother’s but that could also be attributed to the fact that Bom Yi’s reading style is coincidentally similar to that of her mother’s. It is more likely though, that Poo Reum’s observation was to allow us, the viewers, to see that Soo Jung spirit is present in Bom Yi, as if she carries a piece of her in her heart. However, this is where all the similarities seemed to have ended. Soo Jung’s spirit has fairly been unobtrusive, and worked towards bringing Bom Yi and Dong Ha together. When Bom Yi was drowning, it was Soo Jung’s spirit that pushed her up and within Dong Ha’s reach. That scene was quite symbolic as it is Soo Jung that is playing cupid. She is sending her family a good woman, one whom they would love deeply and one who would return the sentiment with out prejudice. One other fascinating uses of cellular memory in the story line was exemplified through Bom Yi’s final of the staircase dream. Dong Ha and Bom Yi’s exit from that dream coincided with their discernment that Bom Yi is the true owner of her heart. Before, Bom Yi lived as though she was simply borrowing her heart and would attempt to pay for it by living right and pleasing others. She was trying to live in thankful memory of her donor, but it became more of a shadow on her life, which limited her living experience. However after taking full ownership of her heart, it was as if she was no longer sharing it anymore. Her heart was no longer a vessel for Soo Jung to dwell in, but that doesn’t mean her connection to Soo Jung is destroyed. It just means her debt of gratitude is no longer the driving force in her life.
Despite overcoming that hurdle, there is still no shortage of obstacles for this couple. Dong Ha began his romantic relationship with Bom Yi, because he could no longer run from the feelings in his heart, but he as well as Bom Yi , can’t ignore the disapproval they will face. His feelings are well marked in his response to her expression of gratitude for returning her feelings, he states it is not something she should thank him for because after a while she would regret extending their relationship beyond the time they were on Udo Island, where things were perfect. These words foreshadow the hardship ahead for their relationship. The love that granted them peace in Udo, could bring turmoil at the present. It may jeopardize or alienate their relationship with their loved ones, which will bring them both pain. As Dong Ha constantly reiterates, he is older than Bom Yi, therefore he knows he cannot do something as juvenile as eloping with her. He is aware he has responsibilities and ties he can’t turn his back from, but he also wants to act as her shield. He really deserves the title of the shepherd father, because of the way he lovingly assures and protects her.
It is not hard to imagine what was going through Dong Ha’s head as he built up courage to go to Bom Yi, but surely her regret towards starting the relationship would come to mind. The the actualization of the stress and strain of familial ties may lead her to feel that being with Dong Ha was not worth all the pain and loss. Those thoughts are the type that could lead Bom Yi leaving him, making this the second time he would have to lose a loved one. Right now Dong Ha is risking heartache trying to be with Bom Yi. I would not blame him for not wanting to experience that loss again, but his desire to be with Bom Yi, despite knowing all this, shows just how much he truly loves her. Their love is worth the risk and pain.
One other facet of their romance that stands out is that their love is not a tool to change the other person. Dong Ha is not some rich chaebol that needs a reality check. He is a level headed guy that has a good life and a family that loves him. This is probably another reason, aside for just being too old for her, that he describes starting a relationship with Bom Yi as being greedy.Dong Ha has lived a full life in comparison to her. He is a successful CEO, has already been married to someone he loved, and he has 2 kids. Dong Ha can’t complain that he was not content with his life. He already has an established life where as Bom Yi still has so much life left to live. The depiction of his love being seen as greedy also stems from the fact that he doesn’t need her, maybe in the romantic sense, but not in every other aspect of his life, because before she came around he wasn’t a lonely man looking for someone to love. He could draw happiness from the love his children give him and the companionship of those around him. Likewise for Bom Yi, she drew her happiness from the good she did for others as well as the happiness she could generate in her loved ones. Their love is an additive feature in their life. Bom Yi’s love added color in Dong Ha’s life. Everyday became more exciting and interesting. Instead of randomly putting on cloths with care, he was more thoughtful and attentive. Little things like car rides and walks through the neighborhood became meaningful. Bom Yi added an intimate level of happiness a child can not give. As for Bom Yi, Dong Ha made her happy to be alive after all these years. Her love for him made her claim ownership of her heart and feelings. She was no longer just living for others but he made her love herself. Both developed an excitement for living that reverberated each time they were together and seeing their happiness made me happy for them as well.
Therefore, when the other shoe dropped and Bom Yi’s body began to reject her heart, my heart sank as well. It is not like I didn’t expect this, she was a heart transplant patient, making her heart fail is kdrama gold. It was hard to watch Bom Yi struggle with the reality that she might die again only after she just started living. Thinking of the promises she could not keep and the love she would be forced to part with, her sorrow is surely deep. I recall how she pleaded with her mother to be with him, how she chased him and could not be without him. Nor can I forget how her eyes practically sparkled on that park bench the day he finally came to her. Trying to break up with Dong Ha is her way of doing right by him, if she could not keep her end of the bargain, she should let him go without causing further damage to him. This is what she thought, but in truth, their love has passed the point of no return. The fear she experienced after breaking up with him comes from the realization of the finality of her life. Dong Ha has become a reason for her to live, her hopes and dreams are all tied in him. If he leaves, so does her desire to hope, dream, and live. Dong Ha gave her a taste of what true happiness is, and there is no turning back from this. The proposal scene as the camera panned out, and they both thought “to keep you…in my eyes…and in my heart…so I can engrave you there,” communicated to me that these two will love each other even after they die. Their love is immune to death, and will forever be carried in their hearts.
I, as a viewer, am hoping that the writers will not kill off Bom Yi. I am sure that the writers will provide us with a beautiful ending, as exemplified by the quality of this awesome drama, but I hope that this beauty isn’t one exhibited through the sadness of her death. Bom Yi deserves happiness and most definitely deserves to claim her life as her own. For now I will simply hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, by watching scenes from happier times. In the interim I will just: