The room was rolling with contractions to send her out to the next world. It made her dizzy, reality rolling in and out with the unknown. She knew her spirit was to leave her body soon. One second she was in her bed in a land without His portraits on the walls then she saw Chol Tae flashing his grin at her and Appa trying to tell them so many things. It never would be until she couldn’t ask Appa then she wondered what he had to say. Decades had passed since she was the girl that was one half of a whole but the memories were as clear as day, and it didn’t make them any less true than the present. This morning Esther arrived with spicy tofu stew to check in with her, she knew she was in Seoul; she could see the familiar buildings from her window. An hour later she was at the farm the way she always remembered her home, the yellow stalks of corn swaying in the wind before the floods destroyed everything. She and Chol Tae were carrying a heavy bucket of water back to the animals. The buckets were so heavy it took both of them to carry one. Then Esther’s face would come back in focus. Seoul came back in focus, and she yearned to be back to where she really was.

The film of her life was being extinguished before her eyes before nothing else would hold her back from moving on. The small bedroom she lived in for sixty years was what set her free but now the walls were simply holding her back from those she loved. It had been a long wait. She was sure they would not recognize her but then, spirits too had a way of recognizing each other when they were free. That was what Umma taught her children, and she never forgot. Only now as a withered woman she began to see the truth in her mother’s words.


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