Daughter: Mom, can’t you stock up on some juice?
Mother: Of course not, that’s only sugar water.
Daughter: I’ll probably live forever
Mother: Thanks to me?
Daughter: Who else?
Mother: A long and healthy life is how you can do everything you want.
Daughter: I’ll play video games every day when I become a grandma and eat everything I want. My dream is to die while eating. I’m not kidding. Ice cream, juice, chips and chocolate. There are too many delicious snacks.
Mother: Nothing brings you more happiness than good health. Cancer cells live on sugar, remember?
Daughter: They have good taste, I give them that.
Mother: (Changing topic) Is it normal for people to have a change of heart? Or is it not?
Daughter: Well, it should stay the same.
Mother: Only a saint would achieve that. For people, it’s perfectly normal. You argue with your bestfriend, too and now you hardly talk. You did nothing wrong and what your best friend did wasn’t that bad but that’s what happened.
Mother: It’s the same with me. I no longer feel the same way about your Dad. Just like others, he made a few mistakes. And they upset me. I wanted to let it slide, but I couldn’t.
Daughter: What kind of mistakes did Dad make?
Mother: Not everyone is perfect. I get why he did it, but now I’ve gotten used to living apart from him. I like the life we built here together. Are you upset?
Daughter: A little. Shouldn’t you have cut him some slack?
Mother: It’s not about forgiving or teaching each other a lesson. I find it better to have a separate life. And while doing so, if he and I find someone we are more fond of, we will begin new relationships.
Daughter: Are you and Dad divorced?
Mother: Actually, yes. I’m sorry for deciding on it without asking you.
Daughter: I knew something was up.
Mother: You’ll learn once you marry someone later on in life. You could disappoint your husband and you could be the one who’s disappointed. To forgive or to divorce. A choice must be made. In life, we go through many events and make countless decisions. Decisions that are not easy to make. Whether you calmly accept our divorce or throw a tantrum is up to you. There’s nothing I can do if you neglect your studies because of your sadness. Your life is yours to manage. I can’t live it for you. Children and parents can’t live each other’s lives for them. So take your time and choose wisely. Some things in life are controllable by willpower, but some are not. When I walked down the aisle in my wedding dress, I thought I’d be happy forever. Life not going as planned doesn’t mean you’ll be unhappy. Do I look sad to you these days? Do I seem depressed?
Daughter: (Shaking her head side to side)
Mother: There are many paths for people to take. Some even live without ever marrying. A co-worker of mine only found true happiness after a third marriage. There’s no right or wrong. We just have different paths in life.
Daughter: Was what Dad did unforgivable?
Mother: It depends on how you look at it. I guess you can say I could have understood him and looked past his flaws. It’s just that I couldn’t bring myself to hug him and kiss him anymore. It seemed off. And still living in the same house only made things uncomfortable and unnatural. I like how things currently are. There’s no big difference. It’s not like you can’t see your Dad. We can go out to eat from time to time. The only difference is we’re not living under the same roof. Is this hard for you to accept?
Daughter: (Shaking her head side to side)
Mother: You’ll understand with age. Right now, you won’t understand no matter how much I explain it.
Daughter: I only thought this happened in soap operas.
Mother: This can’t even be categorized as misfortune. When I was a young girl. I heard my aunt humming this song. “Heartbreaking Mia-ri Hill.” This may not be word-for-word, but the lyrics go like this.
Gunpowder smoke blinds me
As I wonder not knowing where I’m going
You, bound with string wire
Look over your back again and again
You’re dragged over this hill
The Mia-ri Hill —Full of heartache and sorrow.
Imagine that scene. It depicts a woman watching her husband get dragged to North Korea bound tightly with string wire. Imagine that it happened to you. What if that’s the last image you see of the person you love?
Daughter: It’s sad. It scares me too.
Mother: There’s no need to be lost or in pain over what will never change. What I hope is for you to maturely accept this. The fact that I have as well is why I’m still on good terms with your Dad. Your Dad and I started off as strangers anyway. It’s like having a falling out with a friend. At first, I thought some time apart would help me forgive and forget. That’s why I kept the truth from you. But now I’ve adapted to this way of life. If we were still under the same roof, I’d nag your Dad from time to time. How would that make your Dad feel when he’s a prideful man?
Daughter: I get it. I understand what you’re saying.
Mother: Your Dad has already adapted, too. There’s no man in this world who enjoys being nagged anyway. Besides, your grandma’s been taking care of him.
—a scene from Netflix’s Kdrama “Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)” S3E7