I wanted to get a little personal on the blog today (per one of my friend’s recommendation). One of the touchiest and sentimental subjects for me is my late paternal grandmother, called halmoni in Korean. During the holiday season, it is easy to get sucked up in the festivities and the happy memories. However, for me, during the holiday season, I also think and contemplate those friends and family members I am no longer in contact with. Those I have fell out of. My halmoni is someone who was always a 14-hour flight away, but nevertheless, losing her was a huge devastation to me. I miss her daily, but I know that if she knew I was doing a health and nutrition blog and such a fanatic for health, she would have been proud of me.
My halmoni was the healthiest person I knew. Daily after dinner, my halmoni would go on a powerwalk by the mountains right behind the apartment. I would accompany my halmoni along these powerwalks whenever my family came to visit over the summer. Her powerwalk consisted of synchronized arm and leg movements that were brisk but firm and certain breathing techniques, all in the hopes to get more of the fresh mountain air and get the blood flowing with oxygen. My halmoni was the definition of an early bird. During the first few days in Korea I woke up early due to the jet lag. However, I could hear my halmoni hustling and bustling in the kitchen concocting new healthy dishes where her meals would be centered around vegetables and very little meat. Every one of her dishes had either a superfood or some sort of antioxidant – her meals were made to invigorate and empower my family’s body, not to satisfy our taste buds. While my grandpa, my parents and I would pile up on the sofa to watch the 8:00pm Kdrama, my halmoni would face the other direction and massage our feet, claiming that if we had healthy and strong feet, our bodies would be too. Instead of being grateful, my younger self didn’t know any better and annoying told my halmoni that she was blocking the screen. Her firm massages were too painful and I would avoid them by quickly folding my feet or running to the bathroom. Every night, my halmoni would come into my room before I went to bed and thoroughly applied the “horse” cream she obtained from her trip to Japan and made me wear a scratchy pair of pajamas that seemed as if they were made out of bamboo sticks. My halmoni claimed that this type of material is good for ventilation which our bodies need in the summer. I would quickly rinse off the cream and change into my cotton long johns after she left.
Looking back now, these little quirks of my halmoni were annoying but all out of love. I think we can all relate how as children, we found the naggings of our grandparents or parents annoying but looking back, they were the biggest acts of love they could have ever given to us. So, with this in mind, I hope that before we enter into the holiday season, we take a reflective moment back and honor and cherish and contemplate those who made a lasting impact on our lives.
Who’s your role model?