But, Aunt... I don't want to go to the grave site set aside for me a few years ago at the ancestral grave site. I don't want to go there. When I lived here and woke up from the fog in my head, I would walk by myself to the grave site set aside for me, so that I could feel comfortable if I lived there after death. It was sunny, and I liked the pine tree that stood bent but tall, but remaining a member of this family even in death would be too much and too hard. To try to change my mind, I would sing and pull weeds, sitting there until the sun set, but nothing made me feel comfortable there. I lived with this family for over fifty years; please let me go now.
Only after Mom went missing did you realize that her stories were piled inside you, in endless stacks. Mom's everyday life used to go on in a repeating loop, without a break. Her everyday words, which you didn't think deeply about and sometimes dismissed as useless when she was with you, awoke in your heart, creating tidal waves.
...I have so many dreams of my own, and I remember things from my childhood, from when I was a girl and a young woman, and I haven't forgotten a thing. So why did we think of Mom as a mom from the very beginning? She didn't have the opportunity to pursue her dreams, and all by herself, faced everything the era dealt her, poverty and sadness, and she couldn't do anything about her very bad lot in life other than suffer through it and get beyond it and live her life to the very best of her ability, giving her body and her heart to it completely. Why did I never give a thought to Mom's dreams?
Mom's eyes held yours for a moment. 'I don't like or dislike the kitchen. I cooked because I had to. I had to stay in the kitchen so you could all eat and go to school. How could you only do what you like? There are things you have to do whether you like it or not.' Mom's expression asked, What kind of question is that? And then she murmured, 'If you only do what you like, who's going to do what you don't like?