A couple days ago I spent the night at my grandma’s apartment. I hadn’t slept over in a long time. The last time was when my grandpa passed away, about 4.5 years ago. She had a hard time being by herself back then and often seemed sad. Who could blame her? The man that she had lived with and built a family with of over 60 years was now gone.
I wish that I could say that my heart is completely pure. It isn’t. I went to sleep over because I know that I should. My family has made a commitment to sleep over her house one member at a time whenever we can throughout the week for the next few weeks until she gets better.
I woke up tired and tried to surpress my crankiness. My body was aching from sleeping on the floor. I woke up three or four times throughout the night because my grandma had to take her medicine, there were sirens outside, she came to put the heating pad on me, and then at around 4:00 am she woke up for good and turned on the light in her room. All I could think of was how tired I would be the next day. All I could think of was how much I needed a massage. All I could think of was me.
I am ashamed of myself.
I wish I was a better person.
While my muscles are cramped from sleeping on the floor (on a mat, with warm blankets), my grandma woke up in the middle of the night to check up on me. She even warmed my hanyak (herbal medicine) and gave me a straw to drink it at work.
I am over 30 and I am still being served by my grandma. I don’t understand what it means to sacrifice though I know that in theory I would want to be sacrificial. I want to give to the poor and someday adopt a child. But all these things are admirable in theory. How will I really learn to love someone when I can’t sacrifice one night’s worth of sleep? The older I am, the more I realize that I don’t understand love. I mean, I kinda do, but I don’t think I really get it. At least not the 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 kind. And to be honest, I haven’t had to sacrifice much in my life. But my grandmother knows what it means to sacrifice. I’ve seen her live this kind of life every day that I’ve known her. She’s always preparing my favorite meal. She’s always making sure that I’m not cold. She’s always making sure that I’m comfortable.
I’ve decided that if I can’t love my grandmother in action — someone that I know — when it’s hard, I won’t know how to truly love others.
I hope that in these next few weeks I’ll be able to learn from my grandma, a woman who understands what it means to sacrificially love.