Cub and Grandma.
Spent precious time with family in SoCal this past week. Made and hid away memories with my mama-in-law while she still remembers us.
The second morning we were there, she heard the kids’ voices downstairs as my papa-in-law dressed her, and she asked him, “Who are those kids?” But as soon as she saw Cub and Pup, she knew.
Cub holds a special place for her in his heart. How could he not? She loves him so relentlessly. She doted on him from the time she woke up to the time she went to sleep at night — and he just basked in her love all day long.
I don’t think she remembers his name anymore. She declined pretty sharply between New Year’s Day (when we last saw her) and this trip. But she remembers the relationship. She remembers she’s his Halmuni. She praises his every move. She laughs at his antics. She quietly listens on the stairs and waits with soft words and a hug after he’s disciplined by appa. She never says she’s too tired while with him — and then as soon as he’s down for a nap or for bedtime, she’s out, too.
Once while I was in the car with Cub, he said, “Ye-jom-ba, ye-jom-ba,” from the back seat, and I asked him, “What?” He repeated it with a cackle and said, “Halmuni says that?”
When I told that story to JE and my papa-in-law later, we all laughed so hard. Cub imitated her perfectly. She always laughs and says that — look at him, look at him in Korean — when he does something funny for her.
She loses her way more often now and isn’t always willing to be led or guided. But when Cub holds her hand to lead her, she’s happy to let him. He slowly helped her up the stairs, he led her back to the car when she got lost in the parking lot, and he pulled her along on all of his backyard adventures (digging up Harabuji‘s plants, eating Harabuji‘s cherry tomatoes, wreaking havoc all with her loving approval — hehe).
Pup is a little too young to play safely with Halmuni now. She isn’t strong enough to carry him, and she sometimes places him in dangerous areas. But I hope he can enjoy her more as he grows older and more independent, too. For now, he’s grown to recognize her and will smile and reach for her when he sees her.
We spent our last couple days with family along the Central Coast. Halmuni and Harabuji had to leave a little early, but we were able to give them hugs and kisses goodbye.
When Halmuni got home, she asked Harabuji where we were. She forgot we had parted ways and said goodbye at Jalama Beach a few hours earlier. When Harabuji told her our trip had ended and we had gone home, she was sad. She missed us — especially Cub.
By God’s grace, we’ll be able to move down soon. Time is ticking. But thank God — truly — that even when Time has finished ticking, something better awaits: Resurrection.