A Tale of Two Families: Part 1

I have a little bit of a different type of post…

아버지, 생일 축합니더. 어머니를위한 작은찬사.

Seoul, South Korea

He came from a strong family lineage. He was the oldest of a brother and two sisters, and brought honor to the family being a bright, tall, handsome young man. He served loyally in the country’s military and received an impressive degree practicing pharmaceuticals.

When it came time for arranging the marriage of this man, many hopeful parents wrote and sent pictures of their own daughter’s eligibility.

Though she was a little older and not as rich, the father of this man found a picture of a kind-eyed, graceful beauty. She was the chosen one.

The two young strangers courted briefly, and they were arranged to marry.

Not long after marriage, the women found out she carried a child, an undoubtedly exciting time- a time of new life, a new addition to the family, and also a moment to bring more honor to the family line.

The new mother carried her child and delivered a healthy and beautiful baby girl. Her name was Hyun. Not too much time passed when the woman found herself with child again. Another healthy and beautiful baby girl came, Mi. She brought in two more daughters the same loving way, Soo and Kyung.

The mother and father loved their daughters.

The mother loved with all of herself and gave everything she could to her family. The father worked so hard to keep up with the expenses of the large family. It was a struggle, and times were tight.

The mother raised the children with her selfless, gentle love.

Though she had four daughters growing in her image as strong, amazing women, her own body grew weak from the heavy responsibility of taking care of her young family. In a time when she could have used the help of other family members, other family members called on her in trying times. The father and mother opened their home and cared for two sisters along with their four young daughters.

And though they had four amazing daughters, there was still a hope for a son to carry on the family name. She became pregnant again.

This time, when they found out she carried another daughter, they made a horribly difficult decision. The woman carried the baby discretely. She was a woman of so much love, but they just could not raise one more daughter. She held the secret tightly with her husband, as they continued on a facade of normalcy.

Later on in the pregnancy, she went away from her family to give birth. No one, but her, her husband, and a sister knew of the fifth daughter.

This little baby was named Moonyung. Due to all of the circumstances, she was given up and sent into foster care for adoption.

The mother of five daughters carried a guilt and a sadness. She watched four of her daughters grow, go off to college, and become extraordinary women. Three of them married and had beautiful children of their own. When she held her grandchildren, her daughters would catch her crying from time to time, without knowing the reason. Very alone, she cried for another baby she never got to hold.

The family grew, and so did the love. The father and mother became grandparents of seven beautiful grandchildren. The family began to really feel the happiness and blessings growing and settling in on them.

Then, a diagnosis of stomach cancer came on the mother. For some strange reason, she kept apologizing through the treatment. Why did she say she was sorry they wondered? Why did she act like she deserved this fate? Still, everyone was optimistic. She underwent surgery and was released to go home and recover. That is what they all thought, hoped.

Her loss was a devastation to the family. They so loved and so admired her. When she left, the mourning for this mother, wife, grandmother, sister, and aunt ran deep. Heartbreaking. So unexpected. So much loss.

They called her angel. All those she touched in life, felt her fiercely gentle and selfless touch. She had embraced all with her huge, loving wings.

9 Comments

  1. Very beautifully written. And it is a quite touching story, I love how you managed to pass the emotions through your words. I’m so looking forward to reading the second part. 🙂

    And this is totally irrelevant but when I saw your Korean writing I just remembered my sister, she majored in the Korean language in college. Whenever I see someone who’s Korean or speaks the language she instantly pops in my head and I feel aww they’d make great friends 😀 😀

    Like

    1. Thank you, Ray. This is a bit off my usual topic of writing, but it was something I felt I could get away with.
      Haha! I think I would love being friends with your sister, especially if she and you are alike. Can I ask what she is now doing with her major?

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  2. Just beautiful, Erin. I can’t wait until part 2 to read the rest of your story. I could feel so many of your emotions reading this .. strength, forgiveness, a little sadness, understanding … it brought tears to my eyes feeling all of it. Much love and many hugs my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! This was an emotional piece compared to anything I usually write about. I don’t plan to do anything like this again for a while. Haha!! Once, again, thank you for planting the idea to write about this in my head though. It was something that was kind of neat getting out because I do feel a lot of emotions, which you hit, towards my Korean family. I have a lot of feelings especially for my mother, and I think this is a good tribute for her to show my Korean father.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You never know when you may choose to write emotionally again! I am so glad it helped you. I could see this being the premise of a book. xo

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  4. Wow! So beautifully written! It’s sad, because it seems the mother never got to see her last daughter again! 😔 I see there is a part two! Looking forward to see what happens next!

    Like

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