My mom’s name (in its meaning): Blossoming Daisies
The flowers are in full bloom. Birds circle overhead, flowers bob their heads, and trees dance a mesmerizing waltz in the wind. It’s a beautiful time of year, isn’t it, Mom? I wonder if you can smell the air, laden with heavy perfume and hear the symphony of leaves rustling. A crescendo! And all of nature dances in unison: the trees shimmy, arms raised towards a never-ending sky. An ocean of iridescent grass arch their backs in waves; flowers sway side to side, their sweet innocent faces laced with several brushstrokes of white, tipped with the faint glow of gold. Daisy petals rise all around me in a whirl of breathtaking majesty and flutter the hem of my skirt. I want to fly, to have this skirt become wings and my heart to become fearless.
Do you remember, mom? How you’ve always told me I could be anything I want to be? How the rules of
You told me so many stories of your childhood and how you did not have the same opportunities as I did. Your family was persecuted because you were once rich landlords, presented with every opportunity in the world. But then came the Cultural Revolution and hell ravaged throughout your beloved homeland. Stripped of everything they had under the terrible reign of Mao Ze Dong, your family became even lower than the poorest peasants. Your family became dirt.
I recall one story you told me, of when you were my age. Each year, your mother sewed you and your sibling one pair of shoes each. However, the shoes were always worn out before half the year even ended. One winter morning, you woke up to find that the rain-snow that started the previous night had scattered all over the road. You bent down to pick up your tattered shoes. The soles had fallen off, and the seams running the length of the sides were ripped apart. You slipped your feet into one to see the pale gleam of your toenails poking out of the cloth.
What were you to do? The school was miles away and the rain was not stopping. The whole house (if you could call it one) shivered as the cold seeped in through cracks in the walls. All you even had left to wear was a thin threadbare jacket and a pair of summer pants. So what did you do? You walked to school barefoot.
Pain struck into your sensitive flesh as you trudged slowly through the rain, gritting your teeth so hard you were afraid they’d crack. Your hands, legs and arms were numb and icicles started to form on your face, hanging from your nose and burning your cheeks like hot acid. The win ripped mercilessly through your ragged clothes and each step felt like the ground sprouted a thousand needles. Any tears that ushered from your eyes instantly became ice. Almost crazed with pain, and squinting towards your far destination ahead, you wondered if this was the hell that Mao Ze Dong had summoned onto
As I think of you, mother, I think of the earth. When you were in
I slip off my sandals. The earth feels solid and warm beneath my feet. You always told me to honor my family and remember the ones who fought and suffered so that brother and I could be in
Xie xie nin, ma. Wo ai ni.