The one-eyed mother
mother had only one eye. I hated her, she was such an
embarrassment. My mom ran a small shop at a flea market. She
collected little weeds and such to sell, anything for the money
we needed. She was such an embarrassment. There was this one day
during elementary school. I remember that it was field day, and
my mom came. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me?
I threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school.
"Your mom only has one eye?" and they taunted me.
I wished that my
mom would just disappear from this world so I said to my mom,
"Mom, why donít you have the other eye? Youíre only
going to make me a laughingstock. Why donít you just
My mom did not
respond. I guess I felt a little bad, but at the same time, it
felt good to think that I had said what Iíd wanted to say all
Maybe, it was
because my mom hadnít punished me, but I didnít think that I
had hurt her feelings very badly.
woke up, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mom
was crying there, so quietly, as if she was afraid that she
might wake me up. I took a look at her, and then turned away.
Because of the thing I had said to her earlier, there was
something pinching at me in the corner of my heart. Even so, I
hated my mother, who was crying out of her one eye. So I told
myself that I would grow up and become successful because I
hated my one-eyed mom and our desperate poverty.
Then I studied
really hard. I left my mother and came to Seoul and studied, and
got accepted in the Seoul University with all the confidence I
had. Then, I got married. I bought a house of my own. Then I had
kids, too. Now Iím living happily as a successful man. I like
it here because itís a place that doesnít remind me of my
This happiness was
getting bigger and bigger, when someone unexpected came to see
me "What?! Whoís this?"... It was my mother...Still
with her one eye. It felt as if the whole sky was falling apart
on me. My little girl ran away, scared of my momís eye.
And I asked her,
"Who are you? I donít know you!" as if I tried to
make that real. I screamed at her, "How dare you come to my
house and scare my daughter! Get out here now!"
And to this, my
mother quietly answered, "Oh, Iím so sorry. I may have
gotten the wrong address," and she disappeared. Thank
goodness... she doesnít recognise me. I was quite relieved. I
told myself that I wasnít going to care, or think about this
for the rest of my life.
Then a wave of
relief came upon me... one day, a letter regarding a school
reunion came to my house. I lied to my wife saying that I was
going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went down to the
old shack, that I used to call a house...just out of curiosity
there, I found my mother fallen on the cold ground. But I did
not shed a single tear. She had a piece of paper in her hand....
it was a letter to me.
I think my life
has been long enough now. And... I wonít visit Seoul
anymore... but would it be too much to ask if I wanted you to
come visit me once in a while? I miss you so much. And I was so
glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I decided
not to go to the school.... For you... Iím sorry that I only
have one eye, and I was an embarrassment for you.
You see, when you
were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye.
As a mother, I couldnít stand watching you having to grow up
with only one eye... so I gave you mine... I was so proud of my
son that was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with
that eye. I was never upset at you for anything you did. The
couple times that you were angry with me. I thought to myself,
Ďitís because he loves me.í I miss the times when you were
still young around me. I miss you so much. I love you. You mean
the world to me."
shattered! Then I cried for the person who lived for me. My
Mother. ó Anonymous