Holding My Grandmother’s Hand Tightly

Lee Joo-mi from Seosan, Korea

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My grandmother is 92 years old. Since I entered elementary school, my grandmother raised me and my younger brother. When I was young and immature, it seemed to me that my grandmother only cared about my brother. So I often rebelled against her rather than helping her, who was struggling with her business and housework. I hated her because I thought there was favoritism, and I went to high school far away from home. The day I was leaving, I packed up and came out of the house, and my grandmother suddenly started to cry. It was different from how I felt about my grandmother, who was strong and tough. My heart too started to ache.

After getting married, I became a mother of two children, and then I came to my hometown and lived near my grandmother’s house. Although I visited her from time to time, I only took care of her health. I didn’t preach the truth to her. It was because I still remembered that my grandmother used to hit me with a rod and kicked me out of the house a couple of times when she found out that I attended a church in secret. I did not mention anything about the church because I was sure that she would get upset due to her belief in superstitions.

It was pretty much the same whenever I visited my grandmother’s house. She turned on the TV loudly because she couldn’t hear well, so I called her loudly as entering her room. One day, however, there was no sound in the room. Rather, it was so quiet. I opened the door and saw her watching TV, but it was muted.

“Why did you turn off the TV sound?”

I screamed into her ear, so that she could hear me.

“Well, what is the point of turning the sound on? I’m just reading their lips.”

At that moment, my eyes teared up. She raised seven children alone. Moreover, she went through so much while raising her grandchildren who had nowhere else to go. I felt sorry for my grandmother spending the latter part of her life so lonely.

From that day on, I often thought about her life. Suddenly, I felt guilty about not repaying my grandmother’s favor even though she raised me. Also, I was so sorry to God. Before the Passover, I visited her with a nervous heart.

“Grandmother, let’s keep the Passover together. The life on this earth is not everything, but there is heaven that we must return to. Since you lived a difficult life here, you must go to a good place after this life.”

When I finished speaking, I held my grandmother’s hand tightly. I realized I had never held her hand before. I was able to feel something burning in my heart.

“Sure. Let’s do that.”

Her answer was surely a miracle. Soon after, she was born again as a child of God, and she kept the Passover and the Sabbath. I couldn’t believe if it was reality when I saw my grandmother putting hands together and praying to God like a little child. I really thanked God for allowing me to fulfill a filial piety to my grandmother.

Whenever I see my grandmother coming to Zion to keep the Sabbath every month without expressing any difficulties, I feel ashamed of my little faith. I made a resolution to take care of souls around me. Today, I want to say what I have buried deep in my heart for a long time: “Grandma, I’m so sorry for whatever I had done wrong to you. Thank you for raising me.”