My Best Friend Forever - The UOS Times
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My Best Friend ForeverThe first place essay of The UOS Times fourth Essay Contest
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[0호] 승인 2010.11.25  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
My mother has always been called “Injung Umma”, instead of her real name “Woosook”, so sometimes she would forget not only her own name but also her birthday. To the people around her, she may be known as “Injung Umma” or “Mrs. Choi”, but my mother is more than my best friend, the most beloved person to me. Lately, I have been hit with a mysterious yet delightful epiphany that I have come to realize how precious it was to have her by my side all along.

Unfortunately, my mother had an inability to hear since her birth. Unlike most people who complain about traffic noise, my mother was thankful when she had the opportunity to hear it for herself. It was not until she got married when she received her first hearing aid. Gazing at people’s mouths was one of her clever forms of interpreting people’s messages, but this in itself did not suffice in communicating with others.

Because of her communicative disadvantage, she did not want to seem like an inferior in the presence of her friends and family members. Therefore, she became more introverted and found hobbies that did not require speaking. This is probably one of her motivating reasons to enjoy art so much. Also, her only one best friend was her younger sister who could not hear, either.

Even though I am my mother’s daughter, even I have difficulties in fully empathizing with her. In the past, I did not even try to understand her. During my adolescent years, my mother would assign me tasks that are considered difficult for even adults. I was asked to answer phone calls, settle documents for public offices, and attend neighborhood meetings called “BanSangHwe” in Korean.

I was overwhelmed with all these responsibilities and once blurted out to her: “Why are you not like my friends’ mothers?” At that very tense and momentous moment, we were most stuck with silence. I could never imagine how much I hurt my mother at that time. I thought that she was strong enough to be okay and keep calm, but I was absolutely wrong.

When I hit the age of twenty, I had matriculated into a college, as the rest of my peers had. But as I continued with my college experience, I slowly started realizing that I had never seen my mother to meet her friends or to chat on the phone like most married women did. I was in distress thinking of all the hardships my mother must faced through her lonely life. I felt as I neglected to care for her during my twenty years of living.

From that day, I always tried to rush home rather than spending time with my friends. Or we made plans to meet right after class near a shopping mall or some other fun places. We chatted away with sweet donuts and looked around the mall arm in arm like teenage girls. We liked to watch mostly Hollywood movies, which had subtitles.

One day, my mother gleefully called my grandmother expressing her joy in watching the popular movie Avatar with her daughter. On another day, I felt bored in school, so I texted my mother, instead of texting my boyfriend: “What are you up to? *^^* The professor has a really boring voice -_-;; It makes me so sleepy T_T.” That evening, my mother expressed how proud she felt in the very moment when my aunt had asked her where she picked up trendy new text messaging phrases and emoticons. Later in that day when I came back home, I realized that she had waited for me to get home all day long.

After I had a semester break, it has been two months since I came to New York for studying. My mother calls me everyday and complains, “Who says “Time flies?” Time is the slowest thing when you are there.”’ Then I always giggle and answer, “The more time we wait, the more we will have fun when I go back.” This is my way of saying, “I miss you, too.” Since studying Italian culture in a course I have been taking this semester, I plan to travel Italy with my mom after I go back to Korea to raise funds. I have many secrets for my future pursuits, and this is the one that I share with my father so that I can surprise my mother soon.

Of course, it would be difficult to study hard while working part-time. However, I am sure that travelling Italy would be an unforgettable dream to come true for her. I brew with more and more excitement as I see my mother with the round trip ticket to Italy that I will get for her soon.

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