Timeless Thoughts: Halmeoni

Timeless Thoughts

Like last month, my Timeless Thoughts entry for this month will be dedicated to someone I love and miss dearly. Last month, it was my beloved bunny, Grumpy. This month is my maternal grandmother, my halmeoni, which is Korean for grandmother.


Yi Hyeon Sook
May 4, 1919 – June 25, 2014

She was my last remaining grandparent, and the one I knew the best. Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, and my paternal grandmother is someone I only met twice because she lived in the states, and I lived in Korea. My living in Korea allowed me to see my maternal grandmother often.

Halmeoni Cake

I miss her. I was her favourite grandchild, and to her, I could never do any wrong. I gave her money whenever I could. I baked her sweets and treats (like her birthday cake I baked in 2012 pictured above), and I even tried gluten-free baking when I discovered her gluten intolerance. Basically, because my mum treated her well, I took after my mum and treated Halmeoni well.

I miss her dialect. She lived in the South Jeolla province, and their dialect is awesome. Whenever I visited her or talked to her, I picked up on some of the unusual verb conjugations, like the “땅게” (ddang-gae) one, which is my absolute favourite.

I miss her for her courage and independence. Halmeoni lived through the Japanese occupation and World War II, survived the Korean War, and was widowed in her 60s, where she lived by herself from the early 1980s to her death. She worked on her farm and rice paddies for years until her late 80s.

I miss you, Halmeoni. Thank you for loving me and thank you for everything.


  1. This was a really sweet post. I’m sorry for your loss! She lived a really long life, so with all the things she’s seen, she must’ve had some amazing stories. Any pictures of her in her youth? Those are always fun to look at too. :) Was she also a wonderful cook & did she enjoy your kind baked good gestures?

    • She was a great cook, and she loved my baked goods :D I don’t ever recall seeing her youth photos. I kind of want to say they do not exist since she came from a poor family . . .

  2. Michelle on

    I know how you feel. I lost my other grandparent on my father’s side. I only have my two grandmothers left on both sides, and I don’t think I can handle losing any of them, but it will happen.

    I’m glad she loved you. I know all of your grandparents loved you, always. <3 Beautiful post! Made me really tear up.

    • Aw! I hope your grandmothers live for a long time. But when their time do come, I know you will miss them a lot!

  3. Aww this is a sweet post about your grandmother! I’m sorry that you lost her last year :( I think that’s great that you had a close relationship with her and that she loved you so much. She sounds like an amazing woman!

  4. This is beautiful, I also lost my grandmother, which was the only grandparent I had left and knew well. Sadly nothing in this world sounds the same as them, or even tastes like their cooking. The hardest part I think is not being able to just go over and see them. Time though does help, for me it has been 7 years and it still feels like yesterday. But I always know they are with us watching down on us as we accomplish all our goals, I am sure she is proud of you!

    • I do miss her. Time does help, like you said, but sometimes I wish I could just go back in time and see her again. I’m sorry for your loss of your grandmother!

  5. This was lovely to read. Your grandmother sounds like she was a great person who lived a full life. I would have loved to have heard her accent. I’m sorry for your loss. It’s always sad when someone passes.

    • Do you know anybody from Jeolla-do, especially Jeollanam-do? That’s her accent right there :D And if you ever hear me speak Korean, I do the ddang-gae thing a lot XD

  6. I was also close to my maternal grandmother and miss her dearly. She passed at such a young age, 60, and I remember getting the phone call from the hospital when she did. It was heartbreaking because there came a point in my life where she was the one I confided to (she liked hearing stories of school and hearing about the boys I liked lol). To this day, I still miss sharing a room with her and being taken care of when I’m sick.

    • I’m so sorry you lost your grandmother, too :( She really did pass at a young age. It’s good you confided in her a lot. She sounded like a very caring person!

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing :(. Living in the same country definitely helps with seeing your grandparents more often. I wish my grandmother lives here too so I can visit her often. Otherwise, I don’t know when is the next time I will see her. Your grandmother has a strong soul for going through all of those world crisis, and a hardworking one too with working until her late 80’s~ And on top of that, she has a wonderful granddaughter and I’m sure you picked up some great traits along the way :).

    • Do you have any plans to go see your grandmother? Does she live far or overseas? I hope you can see her in the near future! :)

  8. This is an incredibly sweet post! I’m also close to my grandmother, so I’m more devastated that you won’t get to spend more time with her. In saying that, I’m sure she lived a long and fulfilling life. She sounds like a wonderful woman :)

    • She was a great woman. I just wished I’d got to spend more time with her before she passed on . . . :(

  9. I’m sorry for your loss but that’s really wonderful that you had such a close relationship with your grandma. (And you were favorite grandchild!! Victory for life!) I never really got to know mine since they were in Vietnam and I lived in the States. My parents used to joke that Mr. Rodgers was my grandpa since he was my favorite show to watch when I was young. XD

    • MR ROGERS!!! Nothing wrong with him being an pretend grandpa :D I can so see him be a great grandpa figure to those who never had one :3

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