My mom came to America when she was 12. Before her departure from the airport, her grandma gave her US dollars and her ring. My mom refused to take the money, but accepted the ring as something to remember her by. They were supposed to unite after my grandparents become citizens of America, but that was the last time they said goodbye in person. Two years later, my mom's grandmother passed away from cancer.
That ring has become the most precious treasure to my mom. My mom grew up with her father's parents until the age of 7. Since she was the first child of the oldest child, everyone treated her like a princess. One freezing winter night, when my mom cried to go outside, her grandma took her outside on her back. The grandma slipped and fell on the ice, her mouth smashing into the ice.
She didn't use her hands to cover her face and held onto my mom tighter to protect her from the fall. My mom couldn't remember how they got back home, but she remembers that her grandma had a loose tooth and a permanent scar around her lips since then.
My mom remembers her as a mother whom she always wanted to become. She said she will give her ring to my sister when she passes away, and hopefully my sister will do the same.
– Justin Chae