My wife and I made a promise to each other after we were married. "No matter how upset or angry one of us might become, let's not allow anyone to think, 'It looks like Rev. and Mrs. Moon had a fight' No matter how many children we may have, let's not let them see any sign that we may have had a fight. Children are God. Children are God with very small loves. So when a child says, 'Mom!' and calls, you must always answer "What is it?' with a smile."
After going through such harsh training for seven years, my wife became a wonderful mother. All the gossip about her disappeared, and a peaceful happiness came to our family. My wife gave birth to 14 children. She has embraced our children with love so much that when she is away from home, accompanying me on a speaking tour, she never forgets to send letters and postcards to our children every day.
It must have been difficult for her to raise 14 children over 20 years, but she never complained. More than once or twice, I would go overseas and leave my wife just as she was about to give birth. There were days when I couldn't do anything for her, even after reading in a letter from a member that she was in such financial difficulty that there was concern over whether she was getting sufficient nutrition. Even then, my wife never said a word in complaint about her difficulty. What troubles me even now is that my wife, because she must conform to a husband who sleeps only two or three hours a night, has gone through life getting only two or three hours of sleep each night.
My wife has such a tremendous heart that she will even give her wedding ring away to someone in need. When she sees someone in need of clothes, she buys the person clothes. When she comes across someone hungry, she buys the person a meal. When we received presents from people, there have many times when she would give a present away to someone without even opening it. Once, we were touring the Netherlands and we had a chance to visit a factory that processed diamonds. Wanting to express my heart of regret that I had felt toward my wife for some time until then, I bought her a diamond ring. I didn't have much money, so couldn't buy her a large one, but I picked one out that I liked and presented it to her. But she even gave away that ring. When I saw later the ring wasn't on her finger, I asked her, "Where did the ring go?"
She answered, "Where do you think it went? It got passed along."
One day, I saw that she had pulled out a large wrapping cloth and was working quietly to pack some clothes, so I asked her why she was doing this.
"What are you going to do with those clothes?" I asked her. "I have a use for them," she said.
She filled several wrapping cloths with clothes without telling me much about what she planned to do with them. I soon learned that she was getting ready to send the clothes to our missionaries working in foreign countries.
"This one's for Mongolia, this one's for Africa, this one's for Paraguay," she said.
She looked so sweet when she said that with a slightly self-conscious smile. Still today, she takes it upon herself to look after our missionaries working overseas.
In 1979, my wife created the International Relief and Friendship Foundation, which has done service projects in countries such as Zaire, Senegal and Ivory Coast. The foundation gives food to impoverished children, medicine to those who are sick and clothing to those who cannot afford clothes. In Korea, she created the Aewon Bank in 1994, which has carried out programs helping minor children who are heads of their households, distributing free meals and providing aid to North Korean people. My wife has also been active in women's organizations for some time. The Women's Federation for World Peace has branches in some 80 countries, and is in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations as a non-government organization.
Throughout human history, women have been in a position of being persecuted. The world that is coming, however, will be a world of reconciliation and peace, based on women's maternal character, love and sociability. The time is coming when the power of womenwill save the world.
During the period that I was particularly busy with my public work, our children had to live close to half the year without their parents. In our absence, our children lived in our home with church members as one community. The home was always filled with church members. At meal times, there were always guests at the table, and they were given priority over our children. Because of this environment, our children grew up with a sense of loneliness that is not experienced by children in other families. Even worse was the suffering they had to endure because of their father. Wherever they went, they were singled out as sons and daughters of "the cult leader Sun Myung Moon." They went through periods of wandering, but they always returned to their places. We were not able to support them much as parents, but five have graduated from Harvard University, and I could not be more grateful for this. They are now old enough to help me in my work, but I am still the strict father. I still teach them that they must become people who do more than me to serve Heaven and live for the sake of humanity.
My wife stands strong in the face of almost anything, but the death of our second son Heung-jin was difficult for her. It happened in December 1983. She was with me in Kwangju, Korea, participating in a Victory Over Communism Rally. We received an international phone call that Heung-jin had been in a traffic accident and had been transported to a hospital. We boarded a flight the next day and went directly to New York, but Heung-jin was lying unconscious on the hospital bed.
A truck traveling over the speed limit as it came down the hill in the opposite direction had tried to break but came into the lane where Heung-jin was driving. Two of his best friends were in the car with him at the time. Heung-jin cut the wheel to the right so the driver's side took most of the impact from the truck. By doing so, he saved the lives of his two friends. I went to the place near our home where the accident had occurred, and the black tire marks veering off to the right were still Heung-jin finally went to the heavenly world in the early morning of January 2. He had turned 17 just a month before. My wife's sorrow when she had to send a child she had raised with love to the heavenly world before her cannot be described in words. She could not cry, however. In fact, it was important that she not shed any tears. We are people who know the world of the eternal spirit. A person's spirit does not disappear like so much dust, just because physical life is lost. The spirit goes to the world of spirit As parents, the pain of knowing that we will never be able to see or touch our beloved child in this world was almost unbearable. My wife could not cry; she could only lovingly put her hands on the hearse that carried Heung-jin's body. Shortly before the accident, Heung-jin had been betrothed to Hoon-sook, who was studying ballet. I called Hun-sook to me, and talked to her about breaking off the relationship.
"If the relationship is not broken off, it will mean that you will have to live your entire life alone. That won't be easy for you, and it wouldn't be fair to your parents. It's best to forget the betrothal ever happened."
Hoon-sook was adamant, however.
"I am aware of the existence of the spirit world," she said. "Please let me spend my life with Heung-jin."
In the end, Hoon-sook became our daughter-in-law 50 days after Heung-jin's departure. My wife and I will never forget the way she smiled brightly as she held a portrait photo of Heung-jin throughout the spiritual marriage ceremony.
It would seem that my wife would be devastated each time she faced such difficult situations, but she has not been shaken. Even in the most difficult and unbearable circumstances, my wife never lost her serene smile and crossed aver life's mountain passes. When church members my wife's advice on raising their own children, she tells them: "Be patient and wait. The period when children wander is only temporary. No matter what they do, embrace them, love them, and wait for them. Children will always return to the love of their parents."
I have never raised my voice toward my wife. This not because of character, but because my wife has never given me cause to do so.