Currently, my dad is in Korea visiting his mother, after a minor heart attack (I think). And I think she’s 92 or so, and she wanted to see my dad in person.
I don’t really know my grandmother very well. The formidable parts of my childhood (and the parts I remember) really take place in America. One of the vivid memories of my grandma is when she stayed with us for a while in South Carolina. My brother was playing with a golf ball, and he chucked it at grandma, and hit her right on the forehead. She was in pain. But it was kinda funny…
I’m more sad for my dad, if this is the last time he sees her, than me losing a grandmother.
Even though I hardly knew her, I know the legacy that she leaves behind.
She was an amazing woman of faith.
Growing up, my dad had told me that his father had died in the Korean War around the time he was born (he was the youngest of 4 boys).
It wasn’t until recently that I found out that his dad really skipped out them around the time my dad was born. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like raising 4 boys on your own during that era.
Even more, she was compelled to help out her church, so she sold her home and gave all that money to church. The church wondered where she would live with her 4 boys, and she said she had a place and told them not to worry.
What they really did was live under a bridge for a little while.
One day, someone from the church, who owned an orphanage saw my grandmother and her kids walking under the bridge.
He followed them and when he got to where they were, he asked my grandmother if this was where they lived. Of course, my grandmother tried to cover the fact that they were actually living under the bridge, but the man would not buy it. He invited the family of 5 to live at his orphanage. And so they did.
So a good chunk of my dad’s life was spent growing up at an orphanage with his brothers and his mother.
Though I never really gotten to know my grandmother at an age, where I’d really appreciate who she is as a person, that story will always stay with me. The faith, strength and courage it must’ve taken to sell her house to give to her church. Then to live under a bridge with her 4 boys… I can’t find a word to describe how that makes me feel…
And that her oldest and youngest (my dad) sons are pastors, tells me a lot about who she was as a person and as a Christian. My dad is, genuinely, a pastor I look up to and try to model myself after.
I’ll see my dad this Friday when I pick him up at the airport. I’m sure I’ll find out the state my grandmother’s in, and probably more stories (or the same ones… I can tell my dad’s getting older by the fact that he repeats the same stories often…) of my grandma, and just life in the early 50’s in South Korea.
It’s always jolting to be reminded of mortality, and really, how short life is. How silly it is to think of how invincible we may be.