In the past:
Seventeen years ago, on January 22, 1990, my mother gave birth to me. I was born into a low-income family in Hong Kong. I have a mother, a father, and an older brother. I was a happy little girl with a simple mind. Every morning, I walked to school with my brother. We bought our breakfast on our way to school from a vendor on the sidewalk. After school was done, I walked back home with my brother. This was my daily routine. My brother and I were good friends and we took care of each other.
During this time my only concern was my grades in school. My parents were strict about my academic excellence. They wanted me to succeed. By doing so, they believed that our family would advance in life and would be better off and happier. At such a young age, however, I did not understand or know their objective. All I knew was that I must do well in school in order to make them happy and to avoid being hit on the hands with a ruler. Also, by doing well in school, I would be rewarded with little gifts: pencils, erasers, candy, and etcetera.
On May 28, 1998, my family and I were in a plane and we were heading to Logan Airport in Boston. My move from Hong Kong to this new place was not stressful to me at all because I knew that I would be able to make new friends. At that point, everything in my life was perfect. However, this perfect life of mine fell apart one day before we moved to the United States. I do not remember the exact date, but I can still see clearly and vividly in my mind of what happened. It was an incident that changed my entire life and that I will never be able to forget. A woman was lying on my parents’ bed. When I asked my mother about it, and she told me that my father had a mistress. I did not understand what this meant. To me, my mother is a good wife and a responsible mother. Why did my father cheat on her? How could he be so unsatisfied with what he had? This was when my hatred and resentment toward my father sprung.
From that day I kept my eyes on my father; I carefully scrutinized and analyzed his each and every action. I wanted to be sure that my father would not cheat on my mother and hurt her again. In school, I remained the same and continued to try my best to succeed in every subject; I worked very hard. But it’s now clear in my mind that I have something worth fighting for and must be preserved. I wanted to enter a good college, acquire a professional career, be successful, and to ultimately earn a decent living for my mother and my brother. I don’t want anything to threaten my family. As I grew older and gained more life experiences, I could see the precarious position my family was in. My mother is very important to me, and I did not want her to be hurt by my father anymore, but I could only do this by keeping my mother away from my father. But since we depended on my father’s salary to live, we could not leave him until we are able to support ourselves.
As I mature, however, my resentment toward my father diminished. The reason for this was my mother. The most important lesson my mother has taught me is learning how to forgive. She loves my father and that she is used to the life that she is sharing with him. She tells me that she forgave my father a long time ago and that I should forgive him too. Anger is fire that consumes whatever on its path without ever stopping; even if its original fuel had been spent, it would still continue to transfer its destructive rage to other things. I cannot live a happy life with anger and rage always in my heart. I have learned to forgive him and I still love him as much. I learned that real love is not just about sacrifices and sharing joy, but it requires unconditional forgiveness as well. It is blessing to have people who would love me and forgive me for all the mistakes I’ve made and will make. I changed a lot during this time and these changes will make me a more forgiving and understanding person in life.