Archive for January 28, 2010

Yangjoo Chun’s Korean Grandmother did needlework and sang sad melodies

I want to write about my grandmother who had lived an exacting life and was esteemed by our family. Her life was filled with many vicissitudes that started by the unexpected death of her husband. After her husband’s death, the things that were left on her were seven children, some farmland, fields and her husband’s father who was very old and needed assistance. Since then, she worked very hard every day for a living. She worked and worked whether for day or for night. When most people slept, she did needlework and went to bed. Before the sun rose up, she woke up and went to the farmland or fields to work. Although her family lived in the countryside, all of her children graduated from school and some of them even graduated from university because of their mother’s effort.

My mother often says me with a smile that I always cried when I was a baby when I met my grandmother. Actually, her appearance was dramatically changed for several years. Hard work made her skin black with many scars, her hands became so rough. She looked very short and small because her back was rather stooped. And she didn’t have one finger on her left hand. She lost it while she was making cattle feed. My mother said my grandmother never cried despite her severe situation. But, when my mother was in childhood, she heard sad songs while she was down sleeping. Grandmother was singing while doing her needlework. The melody of the song was very sorrowful and sad as if her life was like that melody. My mother was rather young for understanding her mother’s life. However, she wept because she felt her mother’s melody was so sad.

I wonder how my grandmother could have lived such a life. It just can say she had a strong mind and will. Now, my grandmother is about 90 years old and healthy without any serious sickness. The secret of her long life is light eating and vegetarian diet. The videos were sent to my family recently that shows us our grandmother’s birthday party. Unfortunately, my family isn’t in Korea, so we couldn’t join in the party. In the videos, she looks very happy. Finally, we think she is a great mother and respect her. We wish that she is always healthful and blissful during her remaining life.

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