In the Name of Mother
My family was happy, finding joy even in the small things, although we did not live in abundance. Then a misfortune befell us all of a sudden. Around that time when I was in the third grade of junior high school, my younger brother who had been suffering a long drawn-out illness was diagnosed with a brain tumor; he was unable to move on his own, nor could he recognize us. What was worse, my father passed away while my mother was traveling back and forth to take care of my brother who was getting medical treatment for his disease.
My father’s sudden death, my sick brother and my mother who was only preoccupied with my brother… I could hardly accept such a terrible reality as I was very sensitive in my adolescence. I hated my younger brother who got all of my mother’s affection just because he was ill, and I felt bitter and disappointed with my mother who gave all her attention to my brother. When I sometimes went to see them in the hospital, I saw my mother appeasing her hunger with cold rice and only one side dish. I also hated seeing that. Every day, my diary was full of stories saying that I was sad and unhappy. Actually, however, my mother never neglected taking care of me. Because of financial difficulties due to my brother’s long medical treatment and my father’s absence, she had to work to make a living; she even nursed other patients in the same ward for my allowance and school expenses. I was so indiscreet that I liked to make myself stylish and only thought of myself. While my mother was having such a hard time alone, I used to hang out with my friends to enjoy myself, and kept complaining to her that I could not buy what I wanted, while my other friends could.
Since I have now become the mother of a child, I am reminded that my mother was not just a woman, but an iron person. If my child has a fever and coughs just a little bit, my heart aches and I do not know what to do. Then how could my mother endure such a sorrowful reality that her healthy son became a human vegetable all of sudden? And how sad must she have felt when her husband, who she had relied on, passed away? Besides that, she had to support her daughter to go to university. How much sorrow and hardship she must have gone through! When I gave birth to a child, I was able to fathom even a little bit of the bitter grief of my mother who buried my brother in her heart when he suddenly left this world.
I remember that my mother always bathed my brother while he was lying still with his eyes blank, fed him every kind of nourishing food through a gastric tube inserted through his nose, and took care of him all through the night when he had a slight fever. Holding my brother who could not speak nor meet her eyes in her arms, she kissed him so many times, saying, “My son is so handsome.” Though she did not know when her son would recover his consciousness, she felt happy with the mere fact that her son was beside her. I think this is truly a mother’s love. Now I can understand even a little bit of what people mean when they say, “A woman is weak, but a mother is strong.”
I am so sorry towards my mother; she lived such a devotional and sacrificial life only for her children, putting aside her own life, but I did not understand her long-lasting suffering and often hurt her with harsh words and indiscreet behaviors.
As I feel the way towards my physical mother, I feel the same way towards God the Mother. I did not think of the suffering and sacrifice of Mother, who works day and night without rest to save Her dying children, and made the burden of my sins on Her heavier and heavier. Mother, please forgive this sinner! I earnestly pray that I will never hurt You again.