曾铮文集
[主页]->[独立中文笔会]->[曾铮文集]->[An Ordinary, But Extremely Extraordinary, Chinese-Style Mother]
曾铮文集
·曾錚的圖片故事(19)兔子與毛衣- 兔子與毛衣
·和《好兄弟,我哭了!》
· 讓人打寒顫的通知Chilling Notification
·三篇互相矛盾的报导詮釋何爲「厚顏無恥」
·A State of Torture
·Charles Hugo's Laughters
·虞超的笑聲
·兩張表情迥異的臉
·十六歲時的傷感
·三十歲的新生命
·Is Reunification of South and North Korea an Option for the Chinese Co
·與美國人做「生意」 Doing "Business" with Americans
·Jennifer's Photo Stories (25) 曾錚的圖片故事(25)
·愚蠢的我 令人神經錯亂的科技 Stupid Me & Terrifying Technology
·全球訴江(1) 「畢業旅行」陡吃官司
·「別跟特朗普總統打交道」?我焉能枉擔此虛名!
·神韻音樂: 聽過才有的膚淺認識
·My Humble Understanding of Shen Yun Music
·An Open Letter to President Trump regarding His Visit to China
·人消費
·鄉愁 Homesickness
·難民申請艱辛路 The Harsh Road of Asylum Seeking
·A Mature Person 內心成熟之人
·《靜水流深》中文版再版 亞馬遜網站全球發售
·《靜水流深》再版序:靜水流深 穿破暗夜
·世界是精神的物化
·《靜水流深》再版自序
·中共國取消主席任期限制 有啥好驚慌的?My Quick Thoughts on China's Prop
·「適者生存」在美國 One of the Reasons Why I Should Live in America
·Seeking the Way 步虛歌
·Troubles 麻煩
·Why Do I Write This Book?
·The Soul of My Poetry 文心
·The Mystical Udumbara 優曇婆羅花
·「情人眼裏出西施」曾(錚)解 A Beauty is Created by a Lover's Eyes
·以對——和元曦《無言》
·「俠女」隨想 The Spirit of a Female Knight
·「俠女」隨想 The Spirit of a Female Knight
·A Song from Tibet 藏歌
·Elegy 大提琴之《殤》
·A Snowy Day in Spring 春雪有懷
·An Example of How the Chinese Consulates Are Spreading Lies
·Pear Flower 梨花詩
·題白雲詩社 In Appreciation of The White Cloud Poetry Society
·「急思廣溢」新解 What is Cang Tou Shi?
·白蓮歌 Song to the White Lotus
·陌上(調寄天淨沙)On The Way
·鴻蒙前的歌唱 The Song Before the World Begun
·定中 In Tranquility
·詩語的飛翔 Upon Word and Wing
·Catching the Moment—Appreciating and Analyzing "On the Way"
·「遍插茱萸少一人」-寫在北大建校百廿年
· 西江月·初冬有懷 My Thoughts in Early Winter
·Holding Hands
·冬日隨筆(一)A Winter’s Poem (1)
· 再詠黃山雪霽 Huangshan (1) after Snow/Ode to Huangshan(1)
·賦得春江花月夜 A Moonlit Night on the Spring River
·Will They Gain Freedom?
·Jennifer’s Photo Stories (26)-The Question I Ask & The Question I Fai
·歸真 Returning to Zhen*
·假新聞可不僅僅是假新聞那麼簡單 Fake News Is More Sophisticated Than Ju
·追夢人 For The Dream Seeker (Lyrics)
·人心在變 People Are Awakening
·追夢人ForTheDreamSeeker(Lyrics)
·《我不是藥神》:一個相關的小故事 ''Dying to Survive'': A Related Story
·一句話評劉霞獲釋 On Liu Xia's Release
·贈曾錚
·美國國會議員跟我學「退黨」
· 贈鴻玉 For Hongyu*
·兩份神韻捐款背後的故事 Stories Behind Two Donations to Shen Yun
·中共在貿易戰中進退失據:誤判還是本性使然?
·緊握神賜的權杖 Holding Firmly On To the God Bestowed Staff
·为你而来 Coming for You
·曾錚的圖片故事(27)Jennifer’s Photo Stories (27)
·搬家心得 On Moving
·夜來偶題 A Casual Poem in the Night
·秋夜 An Autumn Night
·My Second Open Letter to President Trump: Please Protect Journalists’
·Open Letter to Vice President Pence: Please Protect a Journalist’s Fa
·致川普总统的第二封公开信
·致美國副總統彭斯的公開信
·The Story of the $20 Donation “Relay” 二十美元的「接力捐款」
·我母親護照被毀一事最新進展
·川普新聞發布會——一場近身肉搏戰
·楊潔篪魏鳳和與黨媒在美國演的雙簧戲
· 不動聲色 Stay Unmoved
·“A Rightist Who Does Not Talk”
·難民申請面試時的兩個小故事
·A Short Joke: The Heir of Communism! 小笑話:共產主義接班人!
·簽證的故事:「個中曲直說不盡」The Story of My Visas
·无题 Untitled
·不對等的「貿易戰」及世界應感激他們的另一原因
·An Unfair Trade War and Why Should the World Be Grateful to Them
·出塵 Transcending
·親歷獨立法庭判中共反人類罪終審判決 媒體反響空前熱烈
·My Comments on BBC's "Inside China’s 'thought transformation' camps"
·破天荒!BBC被允許進新疆再教育營拍攝!他們能看到啥?我來告訴你!
·China's Voluntary Donation System IS A "Crime Laundry" Fabrication
·四年級小學生就能發現的數學漏洞 爲何會「騙倒」專家?
·從華盛頓一線報導經歷 談貿易戰及美中關係未來走向
·The United States Should Help Chinese People to Break Away from the CC
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An Ordinary, But Extremely Extraordinary, Chinese-Style Mother

I once hated my mother when I was a child.
   
   No matter how well I behaved, and how many awards I won in school, she seemed never to care about my accomplishments or to appreciate me. Sometimes I even wondered: Would she feel upset if I died?
   
   When it was finally the time for me to leave home for university, I felt very happy. I had chosen a school thousands of miles away.

   
   I fell in love at the university. When my relationship with my boyfriend developed further, it seemed that there was nothing that I could hide from him. He was very surprised when he found out my “extreme” mindset towards my mother, while I felt very upset that he wouldn’t side with me.
   
   However, the broad-mindedness of my boyfriend gradually melted the resentment in my heart, as he always tried to convince me that there were no parents in the world who didn’t love their children.
   
   A Parents’ Sacrifices
   
   Later on, we married and had a lovely daughter of our own. I started to remember much of my mother’s chatter, which had been annoying to me when I was a child, such as: “One will never understand her parents’ sacrifices until she becomes a parent herself,” or “No matter how far away a child travels, she is always on her mother’s mind,” and so on.
   
   Once my daughter suffered from pneumonia and high fever, and I felt as though a huge stone was pressed down right on my heart. I almost couldn’t breathe. I rushed her to the hospital in the middle of night.
   
   Then I suddenly remembered a story that my mother had told me before. My mother had to work in a remote mountain area, where medical conditions were extremely poor. When I was one-year-old, one day I suddenly had measles and a very high fever. My mother was really scared. She held me in her arms and walked over dozens of miles of mountain trails in the darkness until she arrived in the city before dawn to seek treatment.
   
   With the growth of my daughter, the meaning behind the sentence, “One will never understand her parents’ sacrifices until she becomes a parent herself” became clearer and more tangible for me. One day I suddenly realized that the reason my mother had been very stern and strict with me was that she didn’t want me to feel too good about myself and become too arrogant, as I had been receiving too many compliments from everywhere.
   
   Regretfully, when I realized this, I was already living thousands of miles away from my mother and had very little chance to give delight to my parents.
   
   Great Motherly Love
   
   However, it was not until I was released from the Beijing Female Labor Camp after having been detained for one year for practicing Falun Gong did I really understand how great motherly love could be.
   
   Jennifer meditating in 1998 in a park in Shenzhen City, China. (courtesy Jennifer Zeng)
   Jennifer Zeng practicing the Falun Gong meditation in 1998 in a park in Shenzhen City, China. (courtesy Jennifer Zeng)
   When I secretly went back to my hometown to visit my parents shortly after I was released, I learned that when I was imprisoned, my sister had also been fired and detained for practicing Falun Gong. Then she was driven into hiding as she was on the national wanted list.
   
   I couldn’t imagine how huge a blow this must have been to my mother, who had always felt so proud of her three daughters. In the special environment in China, where everybody was brainwashed by the Communist regime, and where family members of Falun Gong practitioners could also be persecuted, many people had chosen to side with the powerful and give pressure to their family members who practiced Falun Gong.
   
   Until that time, no one knew how great my mother was. She didn’t complain; she didn’t blame any of us; nor did she even show to anyone her fear or alarm.
   
   When my sister, who was hiding and working in a small bar in another city almost 100 miles away, contacted my mother, she immediately took a long distant bus to go to that city to visit my sister. After finding out that my sister didn’t have a room of her own, had to sleep on the floor in the bar after all the customers left in the middle night, and didn’t even have any place to store any changes of clothes, my mother decided to act as a regular “transporter” for my sister. My mother would travel every several days between two cities by bus bringing clean clothes to my sister, and bringing back the dirty ones to wash for her.
   
   In order not to have the informers living just downstairs discover her whereabouts, my mother always managed to finish her trip in the same day, and bring as little luggage as possible so that nobody would guess that she would travel to another city. She had to travel back and forth for about 190 miles in the same day.
   
   Apart from taking the long-distance bus, she also had to transfer local buses several times in both cities. Most importantly, she had to be very careful not to be discovered or followed by the police. Otherwise my sister could be exposed to immediate danger. Who would imagine that a retired old woman in her sixties could act so swiftly and smartly and outwit the professional spies and informers?
   
   Arrested
   
   When I went back home after being released from the labor camp, my mother and sister had been “living” in this kind of condition for months.
   
   Jennifer with her mother in early 1999, in the last photo Jennifer took with her family before the persecution of Falun Gong began. (Courtesy of Jennifer Zeng)
   Jennifer Zeng with her mother in early 1999, in the last photo Jennifer took with her family before the persecution of Falun Gong began. (Courtesy of Jennifer Zeng)
   I decided to help my sister to find a safer and better place to hide. However, when everything was done and arranged, and when I boarded the train as planned to meet my sister, she was not there.
   
   Not knowing what to do, I had to get off the train at the next station some 37 miles away and then took a taxi back to my parents’ home. Not knowing what had happened to my sister, how could I just leave?
   
   It was already early morning when I arrived. As soon as I entered, I saw a lot of luggage scattered on the floor; and my messy-haired mother was trying to sort things out.
   
   Upon seeing me returning, she said with a blank face, “Your sister was arrested yesterday. These are all from her luggage which your brother-in-law just took back from the detention center; and here is the receipt of the items confiscated by the police.”
   
   My father suddenly pushed me out of the door, and shouted, “Go! Go away! Don’t stand here and wait until the police find out who was going to travel with your sister!”
   
   I stood there, dumbfounded. I looked at my mother’s face; and suddenly found that she looked so much older after just one year’s separation. Much of her hair had turned grey. And her eyes were hollow and very dry, as if, after having seen too much ugliness in her life, nothing could ever make her cry again.
   
   I clenched my teeth and then turned around and quickly walked away. Not being safe myself, I was unable to help my sister anymore. However, I knew that mother would continue to help her. Mother would go to the detention center to visit her, and bring her basic necessities she would need there.
   
   
   Embrace and Protection
   
   The motherly love, the unconditional motherly love, which never imposed any judgments, and which rose up far beyond all the political theaters of the absurd, would forever support and accompany my sister, and forever support and accompany me as well.
   
   Later on I managed to escape China and lived overseas. For more than a decade, I have never been able to go back, as the persecution has still been going on. My mother flew alone across the ocean twice to visit me.
   
   When my friends asked her to stay with me and not go back again, she always gently shook her head, and I knew why. My father was too old and his health didn’t allow him to travel by plane to visit me. How could mother stay and leave my father alone in China?
   
   The last time when I sent off my mother at the airport, when we had to say farewell to each other in front of customs, I saw that the eyes of my mother, my always very tough mother, suddenly turned red. She abruptly turned around and quickly walked away, so that I would not see her tears falling.

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