I was born in Korea and moved to the states with my parents and sister when I was nine years old.
I was told all my grandparents were passed away before i was born.
In my late 20's my parents blew up my world and told me that my dad's mother was still alive and in Korea.
Now, what I knew was that my dad's father passed away when my dad was two or three years old and his sister was about five years old.
In Korea, all men has to serve a mandatory military service for two or three years.
During his service, there was some sort of accident which as result my grandfather passed away.
Rather than suffer with her kids with uncertain future, my grandmother decided to leave my dad and his sister with a family friend, who only agreed to take care of them because of the benefits they were to receive because of my grandfather's untimely death during his service.
I mean I understand that at that time in Korea, a single mother raising two kids on her own would be pretty much impossible, but my dad was still very mad about it for a while.
Him and his sister were abused and didn't even get to attend school. They were pretty much used as unpaid help around the house. All the benefits they would have received went to their kids and not to my dad or his sister.
I love my dad and I admire him for all the things in his life he had to overcome.
He truly is my hero.
Fast forward to today, I'm in my late 30's and have two kids.
I watch my kdis interacting with their grandparents and I start to wonder what grandparents' love feels like.
Obviously I never knew what I was missing and I didn't know what grandparents' love meant.
Couple years ago my dad heard news that his mom wasn't doing well and was being placed in a nursing home.
He went to go visit his mother for the first time since he was abandoned.
Since then he had told me that he had forgiven her and that I should go visit her with the kids.
I have very much fixed feelings about this, and not sure how exactly i should really feel.
I mean I know if my dad was able to forgive her, i should be too right?
I mean she didn't do anything wrong to me, not directly anyways.
But why am I have such a difficult time letting it go?
And, I do want to have some kind of relationship with my grandmother before she passes away.
Thanks for listing to my rant.
I'll open this up to the floor, so to speak, with some comments and questions:
"I mean I understand that at that time in Korea, a single mother raising two kids on her own would be pretty much impossible, but my dad was still very mad about it for a while."
I'm not surprised - reading all of that! But given that he suddenly decided to reveal this long-kept secret, would heavily indicate that you and your kids having reached a certain age and stage has done its usual thing of acting as a catalyst in terms of disinterring these injurious issues in order to finally face them. In fact, I'm betting your dad looks at you with your kids and wonders what a mother's love (an obviously impressive mother like you) feels like. Can you see it?
Here's the answer to your question: When they're healthy, normal, functional, loving grandparents - great!... you get thoroughly spoiled and indulged (but in a good way)! When not? Horrid.
But it depends - on whether your grandmother was weak...or simply weakened. Additionally, therefore, we must ask the question - what kind of parents (your great-grandparents) wouldn't do everything in their power to ensure that a mother - this case their own daughter - and her presumably adored children got to stay together? Couldn't they have all lived together in the one house?
Or did granny dump and run?
Is that the either/or question that's been running through your father's mind? And do you think he 'judged' her objectively, considering she's now in a state that undoubtedly would have instilled pity in your father? I mean, how DOES someone pull out a Grievance List in the face of a (basically) deteriorating woman?
Well, actions speak louder than words, so... In your estimation, is he acting like he truly believes he gave her a fair assessment and came up with the answer, that being, that she was a victim (of family and/or circumstance and culture)?
What I'm saying is: If he had, you, surely, would believe his 'stamp of good health' and be experiencing zero misgivings - quite the opposite: GAGGING to get on that plane? (Those actions speaking loudest again?)
OR... Is it more a case of your simply needing more time to get with the new programme, given that for too many years you were raised to see her as 'the wicked witch - FACT!'? I mean, it's hard to go from one lifelong-held, ultra-deep-seated belief (with all its wider implications and effects) to its complete and total opposite, isn't it. Let alone so abruptly. Especially when it affected you (listen - if you're sat on a bench with two other people, you on the left, and the person furthest from you pinches the person in the middle saying 'pass it on!', hence, the person in the middle turns and pinches you (- not that I'm suggesting your dad did any 'pinching', it's just a simple analogy magnified for the sake of easier clarity), then - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? A pinch is a pinch is a pinch IS A PINCH.
For example: what if your father hadn't had that dark cloud over his head the whole time you were growing up? Might he have been, say, a more lighthearted or more chilled dad? Maybe a higher earner, even? Or simply less distracted? Or - less plain sad. Who knows what might have been, otherwise? But it will have had an effect, somehow. It's how these things work. For even if he'd kept those feelings completely under wraps, to the point where you never felt anything 'wrong' or 'remiss' or 'absent' - what about the damage that that kind of incredible self-repression and -containment might have been wreaking on your father's physical health and longevity?
Ultimately, as I see it, the question you're asking is this:
Do I trust my gut instinct or what I'm being told? And is it my gut instinct or is it fear parading as such?
PS: I've heard far rantier rants ...if you feel like letting rip and having a proper purge? Maybe you'll feel differently once you have?