On filial relations, translated…
My mother was born, in an unsettling time, as the second World War was just about to end, she was in the fourth grade, her family needed someone to help with the farm work, and so, she’d stopped going to school. During the days as she grew up, my mother came to understand, that only through bettering her own education, would she be able to, open her own paths.
At age forty-two, my mother learned of a person who didn’t have the chance of getting an education when she was younger, that’d returned back to the schools to study, she’d made up her mind to do the same too. She’d told us, “I must take advantage of this opportunity to study.” My mother often dreamed of returning to school, sitting in the classrooms, she’s filled with this drive, to get more knowledge, she couldn’t hide her joys, after she’d become a student again.
Because of my mother’s positive attitude for knowledge, she was chosen by her classmate, as the head of the class, like how the children would call when they’re in class, “Stand up, bow, Good morning teacher”, and, after she came home, she’d shared with us, the goings on at school that day; and the homework assignment that the teachers handed out, she’d done, carefully too, and the speed to which she took, to recognize the Chinese characters has me, who work as a tutor, in awe.
Four years later, my mother graduated, she’d gained the certificate of perfect attendance, as well as first in her class too. When I’d accompanied her out, she could now, call out the right names for the streets, and, when she’d gone out alone, she no longer feared getting lost, I’m truly happy for her. Later on, I’d married into the midsection of the island, I could no longer accompany my mother in her studies, but, she’d still loved to read, and, if she has questions, she’d consulted the dictionaries.
One day, she’d called me up, said, that she used to envy how when we’d gotten letters from our friends, asked me if I could write to her too. It’s been such a long time since I’d written any letters, I’d bought the envelopes and the writing papers, then, I’d written, in perfect handwriting, shared with her, the goings on of my daily life. After she’d received the letters, she’d read them, over, and over again, then, called me up, to make sure, that she read it all correctly.
And now, my mother’s old, especially, she had three falls, she’d lost her physical strengths, as well as her originally, positive outlook on life. On the nights when she couldn’t sleep, and felt low, she’d opened up that drawer, where she’d kept the letters I wrote to her, and, she never gets tired of reading, and rereading them.
That night, I was just about to head to bed, my mother called me, said that she’d read some of my old letters to her again, every time she’d read them, she’d gotten moved all over again; she was more than satisfied, that the four of us siblings are all very kind to her, that even if she were to die now, she’d have no regrets. I’d told my mother, “You can’t die yet, there are still, so many letters I want to write to you, so you can read them!”
And so, this, is how a woman went from being illiterate, to getting educated, the woman is driven toward her goals in life, and, she’d worked hard, to achieve, and, she’d gotten closer to her daughter in the process too.