My mother doesn’t go out. She doesn’t flip through channels. She just sits at home.

Here I am, Christmas Eve reflecting on the Eve of tough circumstances but looking forward to the hope that comes with the all-knowing Christmas day.

Today, my dad, mom and I went out for a family lunch- the first one in 5 months and my mother’s first visit to civilization in well over 3 weeks. I took the wheel- well because I have a California license finally. We arrive to Hokkaido; their $18 holiday price raise includes crab, roast beef, and cloth bibs. I don’t know how, but I think I managed to salvage 6 plates full of food and still came out wondering if I shouldn’t have skimped out on dessert. Our conversation throughout the lunch was minimal, but our stomachs were filled. I’m praying that my mom would find more joy out in the world and not in her world.

Today’s buffet is the training grounds for my feast tomorrow. When Coach John invites me for holiday dinners, tax and tip does not fulfill my thanks for him and his family. But my time away from home will push my mother’s lever of worry and fear; nothing is well with her when I am away from her presence. Her celebration for Christmas is cautious; it depends on the hour as if she has figured out something that the Mayan’s didn’t; Can I persuade her to go out? Will the devil stop working on Christmas day?

If Eve is the collective year all the way up to Christmas day, it always is the pregnancy and pain for the most beautiful delivery- that Jesus Christ would be born among His own people. I’ve asked my mom to go to Christmas Eve service with me tonight. She won’t go, but when I come back home I’ll do what I did last night- open up a Korean Bible, share turns reading, and then close with my prayer in my twisted and rudimentary native tongue, “하나님, 우리 엄마를 사랑해 주새요”. I pray these moments will be the nativity of Heaven in our relationship. 300_877797


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