When Chinese Culture Revolution first broke out, I was seven and a half years old. One day, my neighbour, a young mother to a three years old daughter, received nightmarish news — her thirty-two years old husband had been tortured to death by a group of teenager Red Guards. That night she told her daughter a story, a story that I’ll remember forever.
Here is the story: A baby caterpillar asked her mother why she had never seen her dad. The mother said that when the baby was still sleeping in her belly, her dad was working hard to grow wings in a little house. When the baby was born, daddy became a beautiful butterfly. “If you want to see dad, you must sleep well, eat well and study hard, then someday you will grow beautiful wings that will take you to see him,” the mother said to the baby caterpillar.
From then on, my neighbor’s daughter often asked me if my father had also turned into a butterfly. At that time, I, along with 13 other “political orphans,” had no father.
I often think of my neighbor, the mother who endured so much hardship for her daughter. …Heartfelt thanks to our mothers for being a love bridge between life, families, generations, and cultures!
Happy Mother’s Day!
— Xinran (UK)
Mama is my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love, and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. Happy Mother’s Day!
— Julie Zhu (China)
I didn’t know what being a mother means until I became a mother myself. When my daughter was born prematurely and had to be in the NICU for three weeks, my mother called me from China and told me to take care of myself. “You need to be happy, healthy and strong for your newborn and your family,” she said.
Now I’m a mother of two children. Whenever I feel stressed, frustrated or exhausted, I think of my mother. How she raised five children on a remote state-run farm, where she, as a biologist, had to endure family tragedy, physical labor as well as political persecution. How she made clothes and shoes for my brothers and me after a long day of work, and how she brightened our shabby apartment with beautiful songs on her four-string lute (月琴）, which she had played since a young age.
Later my mother returned to the city to be a librarian. In the evenings, when my brothers and I were doing homework, she would teach herself English. “If you keep learning, you will never grow old,” she once said to me. After retirement, she took up Chinese water-and-ink painting (水墨画) and, with passion and devotion, transformed herself into an artist. She still paints several hours every day.
My mother has taught me about industriousness, integrity, perseverance, and most importantly, love. The love of who you are. The love of learning. The love of life. Thank you, Mama.
Happy Mother’s Day!
— Fan Wu (U.S.A)
我小的时候家里用的还是铁锅柴灶. 记得有一天我坐在灶前要帮妈妈烧火做饭. 我一个劲的往灶里加柴, 好好的火苗很快成了烟雾, 正在炒菜的妈妈弯下腰拿过我手中的火钳在灶里左右上下晃动着把火中心掏得空空的,很快的那火焰就蹭蹭的开始往上冲, 再把火钳递给回我说; “你看, 火要空心,人要忠心. 你对妈妈一定要忠心, 要做一个诚实有爱心的娃儿哈!”
4,5岁的我好像都不明白什么是忠心, 但我明白这诚实的娃儿就是不撒谎, 爱心就是对人好. 从那一时刻我学会了怎么样架柴烧火.
每一个母亲都是一个伟大的艺术家, 用心尽力的雕塑创作我们一生的作品—我们的孩子. 母亲节快乐!
— Lin Ping (UK)
— Red 红艳 (UK)