There is an old saying, “Every child is dear to his or her parents,” and it is totally true. To a mother, there is not a single child who is not precious or dear. While I was peeling a melon, the point of the knife grazed against my little finger. I didn’t feel any pain, but blood came out from the finger and started to drip. There was so much blood from a short little finger!
It was just my pinky, but so many things became inconvenient. As I was unable to use my hand freely, it was difficult to wash my hair or do the dishes. When I was working on a document on the computer, I felt a twinge of pain in my finger whenever it touched the keyboard. A little finger, which seemed to be trivial among many parts of the body, was giving me many troubles. My mind became complex, and I was suddenly reminded of my mother.
“Mom, do you like your son or me?”
“That doesn’t make any sense. Both of you came from my tummy. There’s no preference.”
My mother gave a soft answer to my immature question. Just as she said, she always treated my brother and me equally. When my brother enlisted in the army, my mother did not act any differently than usual. I heard that some mothers would hold their sons and sob, but my mother did not even follow him to the base when he enlisted.
About a month later, when I woke up, there was a light on in my brother’s room. Through a slight opening in the door, I saw my mother’s back. She was crying as she ran her fingers over the picture of my brother in an album. She did not express her feelings, but his absence must have made a big hole in her heart.
“Ah-ha, that’s why!”
My mother had not liked instant noodles, and usually had eaten nothing before going to bed. I don’t know when, but she started to look for something to eat at night, saying that she felt hungry and filled her stomach. That night, I realized that she did so, not because she was simply hungry but because she felt empty after my brother had gone away.
“To me, you and your brother are both precious. But today, I miss him more because he’s far away.”
Upon seeing me, she confessed to me as if she committed a sin. I found out later that she could not express her longing for her son because she did not want to cause any misunderstanding that might make her daughter think that she preferred her son to her daughter. So, she soothed her loneliness only by writing a letter to him once a month.
I was able to realize more deeply the anxious heart of a mother toward a child who is far away when I was staying in Spain for a while. When she called me, her first question was always, “Are you eating well? How have you been?” I could feel her concerns and worries about her daughter in this short question. Whenever I heard her voice, I came to think she might be eating at late night to ease the emptiness of not having her daughter near her.
There is an old saying, “Every child is dear to his or her parents,” and it is totally true. To a mother, there is no t a single child who is not precious or dear. There must be a big hole in the heart of Heavenly Mother, too, because of Her children who were lost and are wandering in far off places. I would like to fill Heavenly Mother’s emptiness as quickly as possible. That is why I live today.
K J-E from Korea