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Letters of love
( 2004-01-13 08:48) (China Daily)
In September 1983, Wang Suhua, a worker at the People's Hotel in Dalian, in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, tied the knot of wedlock with a technician surnamed Wang, who worked for a local construction company. However, the couple divorced one year later, after the birth of their daughter Wang Wen.
One day when Wang Suhua took her little daughter to a community clinic to get an inoculation, she encountered some children of primary school age taunting a skinny boy. They were pushing the boy back and forth, and one of them said: "See, nobody will come to help you, your parents are divorced.'' The little boy said nothing, but tears filled his eyes.
"My eyes were wet, too,'' Wang recalled. "I was looking at the future of my daughter.''
In the 1980s, divorcees, especially women and their children, were an object of scorn, since divorce was a social stigma.
Though Wang tried hard to protect her daughter, the 3-year-old had an inquisitive mind. One day on their way back home from the kindergarten, she suddenly asked: "Mom, my friends all have a papa, why have I never seen mine" ''
"He has been working far away,'' replied the mother.
"When will he come back" '' the daughter asked again.
"He will be back next year,'' said the mother.
"That was the first time I told a lie,'' Wang recalled. "I didn't want my daughter to know the truth so early. I knew it would hurt her.''
Trying to provide a normal family atmosphere for her daughter, Wang sought advice from psychiatrists and teachers for the education of single-parent children.
A primary school teacher warned her that children from single-parent families tend to become introverts, reluctant to communicate with others, and that they lack self-confidence, which can affect their studies.
"I made up my mind after that conversation to hide the truth as long as possible,'' Wang said.
Wang first moved to a new home, leaving their old neighbourhood, for fear that somebody might expose the truth.
At New Year, when the promised father didn't show up, Wang presented her eagerly waiting daughter with a new dress and several plastic toys.
"See. Your papa bought these things for you,'' said Wang, presenting the gifts to her little girl. "He came back late last night but he had to leave early this morning because he was very busy with his work.''
The girl, although she missed her "father'' very much, was very happy with the gifts. Every second month, the daughter would receive something from her "father.'' Whenever she got a new gift, the girl would be excited for several days.
Life went on and the girl went to primary school.
One day after class, her mother handed her a letter. "It's from your father,'' said Wang.
The letter read:
"My dear daughter, how are you" Do you like the things I buy for you" Your mother sends me pictures of you as you grow up. I love them very much. I really miss you and your mother. But I can't tell when I can see you and where I work, because it is a secret job. I think when you grow up I will be able to come home. Do not write to me because I do not have a permanent address. Your mother is very nice to you. We both share the same hope for you " that you will study hard and go to university, and become a good and professional person...''
After reading the letter, the little girl was so excited that she promised her mother: "Mom, I won't let papa down.''
After that, the daughter regularly received letters from her "father.'' But she did not know that all the letters were written by her mother, who had practised writing with her left hand for a long time so that her daughter wouldn't recognized her handwriting.
"I felt the love from my 'father" in the letters,'' Wang Wen recalled. The letters encouraged Wang Wen to do well in primary school.
In July 1997, Wang Wen passed the strict examination and entered the No 7 Middle School, a key school in the city.
Of course, Wang Wen quickly received a congratulatory letter from her "father.''
"It's so great of you to get into such a good school. Your mom said you have lots of confidence. It's the confidence and hard work that bring you good results. You still have a long way to go. I'm sure you'll have many more achievements. Though I'm not with you, my heart always is...''
However, life was getting harder for the mother and daughter as Wang Suhua was laid off. Knowing her dilemma, Wang's colleagues and friends often visited them. Afraid of their revealing the secret, Wang Suhua never allowed her daughter to talk much with her colleagues. This puzzled and finally angered the girl.
At this moment another letter arrived from her "father.''
"Dear daughter, your mother says she treats you a bit too strictly, urging you to spend more time on your studies, not allowing you to meet her friends... She is really too tough on you, she should let you meet more people. But I know what she has done is all for your own good. Don't blame her too much, she loves you... I'm going abroad to work for a while; I'll write you as soon as I am back.''
"Every letter from my 'father" encouraged me with love and understanding,'' Wang Wen recalls.
Once in an essay she wrote entitled "My father,'' Wang Wen said, "I've never seen my father except for a picture he had taken with my mother at their wedding. He is very handsome, like a movie star.
"My mother, however, always keeps it in the wardrobe. Sometimes when I ask for the picture, mother takes it out for me to look at. I noticed that whenever my mother sees the picture she looks a bit sad. I know she must miss my father.
"My mother respects my father, saying that he is an unknown hero. I feel so proud of my father.
"I often read the letters he writes to me, I can feel how much he loves me. I couldn't grow up without his encouragement. Although we cannot be together, we share the same happiness.
"Of course, my father has his shortcomings " his poor handwriting. I'll criticize when he is back.''
Three years later when Wang Wen entered senior high school, her mother brought her another letter from her "father.''
"My dear daughter, you must be very busy with your studies. I have some good news for both of us, I'll be back home permanently three years from now and we can be together. What I am most concerned about now is if you can go to college when I come back.''
"Mom, I'm sure I will get into college,'' Wang Wen promised her mother.
From that moment on the girl tried very hard to fulfill her two goals " to go to college and to be united with her "father.''
Moment of truth
She managed her first goal, but not the second.
In August, 2003, Wang Wen succeeded in her college entrance examination and enrolled in the Liaoning Foreign Business and Economics College, majoring in English.
"I told myself it was time she should know the truth,'' Wang Suhua said.
Wang still remembers the day when she told the girl what she had done for the past 18 years. The girl was shocked and burst into tears.
"I could say nothing but to ask my daughter to forgive me,'' Wang said with tears in her eyes.
"My life-long hope had been destroyed,'' Wang Wen said. "I couldn't believe it was only an illusion.''
But the girl survived the big shock.
When it was publicly revealed, however, the 18-year lie moved a great many people in the city. Wang Suhua and Wang Wen were worried about the 7,000 yuan (US$850) tuition fee for college, but they got donations from the neighbourhood and many other warm-hearted people.
On September 20, last year, Wang Wen started college.
"I feel so grateful to have my mother. Though my father's love was fake, my mother has given me her all,'' she said.
I pretty appreciate what the mother's done for her daughter, it's really a great burden for her to bear, man, think about it, 18 years long for keeping the secret, only for the benefit of her daughter's growing up. i cant deny it's a lie, a big lie, a 18 years long lie, yet, i do understand it, i felt touched once reading the article,since i've been playing the same role as the mother went through. here is my little story for life when i was brought up, hopefully, the daughter could read it, for better understanding her mom's sincerity of telling the white lie and how she's been suffering while bursting out the lie reluctantly.
When i was a small kid around 5 years old, daddy and mom 'divorced', technically speaking it's kind of judicial separation,they knew their divorce might affect my well-growing up, so they preferred the way of living in different city, well, for me, it made no difference of divorce,i lived in GuangZhou with my mom while daddy lived in a rural city named ShunDe where my home town's supposed to be. Mom and I lived in a hard life, so was my dad, coz he's only a poor worker, though they 'divorced' that time, dad still shouldered the burden of supporting the family, he tried his best to earn money for us,put it in a exact way, tried his best to earn money for me, since i'm his only son, we have the blood relationship.yet, you can imagine, how ‘large’ sum of money was my father supposed to earn?merely 200RMB a month, what made me feel touched was every month he would send about 80% of his income for us. for a city life, it's not a big deal, merely 160RMB,but for a country life, it really meant it.while my daddy's struggling with the life living, so was my mom. she's a weaving worker with total income of 500RMB.she had to make good use of the income and the sum delivered from my father, what made thing worse was i got the diesease of Asthma which demanded a huge amount of medical fee.that's my first lie in life how to come about:whenever my asthma broke out, mom would do whatever she could to take care of me, not to mention saving every bucks she had, to buy the medicine.at the same time, daddy also knew my diesease, so he worked much harder to earn money for purchasing the medicine, he did whatever job he could take, such as boat tracker, which also tore down his health till now.though i was still around 5, i knew something's going wrong, i noticed something, i always asked my mom:'mom, why you always eats the left over of mine?'the usual reply was:'mom likes it,it's nutritional, not that bad.' however, the truth wasn't like that, she just cut down every any extra expenditure to buy the best nutritional food and medicine for me, gradually, i knew it!!! though i was a small kid, i could sense even observe something, my innocence pushed a idea for me, if i weren't sick, she wouldn’t need to do that, i might pretend to be alright whenever the disease broke out!!!yep, i really tried it, when the diesease took place, i tried to pretend to be alright, it's tough, man!!! i can recall that vividly harsh feeling of being out of breath, yet i still had to control myself not letting my notice it.of course, my lie had been revealed, when mom scolded me asking for the reason why to pretend, after my simple answer'don't want daddy and mom lived that tough life', mom's tears tapped out.yet that's still my first white lie, there've been a lot during my life, even now.the biggest one i think i need to trace back to the college entrance examination when all my family still lived in a poor condition, mom's being laid off also worsened all the things.so at that time i studied much harder than ever to apply for a better university.however, when the day of filling the form of applying for the college entrance examination came, my asthma broke out again, so i had to go to hospital while all other my classmates were careful to fill the form with the guidance of the teacher, after the treatment i hurried back to school then fill the form rushly, which it finally turned out to be the turning point of my student carrer.There was a mistake in my form,there'er supposedly three major subjects one minor subject and one so called comphrehensive subject that i need to take for exam if i would like to apply for a university with bachelor degree. yet, my neglect of missing apply for the exam of comprehensive subject dragged me down to the depression.becasue without that subject, no matter how high your grading in other subjects, you still couldn't apply for the university but a college with diploma.after my noticing the error, everything had been trying to do for recovering and making up, but it didn't work.i had to face the fact that i could't apply for the university!!!i made a decision after cooling down myself. i couldn't tell my mom and dad!!!every seemed normal when i went home for almost a couple of monthes,untill the day mom accompaying me for the examing, she finally discovered the fact by accident.She met one of my teacher, my teacher asumed mom knew the fact, she just talked something concerning the subject.mom knew something, after questioning the teacher, both of them felt shocked.tears again, bumped up out of sudden from mom.yet, she also kept the secret of knowing my secret, just for comforting me.my exam grading turned out to be a satisfying one that could have sent me into the university if there were the comprehensive subject i also had took.any way, i still pretended to be happy about my results, sharing my mom with the good news of obtaining the good grading while ache churning inside my body mentally.at the same while, mom just show me a forced smile, i knew something going wrong again!!!but mom still didn't reveal my secret.now i really can feel the pain of hers!!!put herself into the crag-fast situation between my letting her down and not letting me down.eventually i was enrolled a finance college with only diploma offered.when the notice from the college came, by staring at the letter envelop of notice, mom turned in sobering, coz she definitely knew what's stated inside the envelop.at that moment, i knew, my secret had been exposed to mom, secret for me turned into secret for mom.yet, i still need to survive, there's no point for me to spend one more year to take part in the exam again, the financial standing didn't allow me to do so.so i needed to grin and bear.yet, how about the problem of solving the tuition fee of the college, though it's only a diploma college, the fee was pretty high, one year cost me about 9 thousand.we absolutely didn't have the finance support.how were we supposed to do? then, that's another white lie coming up.i lied to my relatives in Guangzhou and my hometown,i told them i've succeeded applying for the bachelor university, i borrowed money from them, of course i wouldn't let my father know the truth, coz he was not in a good health, also i didn't want to disappointed him, he couldn't afford any mental attack.eventually, i managed to borrow money for the first year,from that day on, i' ve been going through a hard life,studing hard and working hard to earn money was the main subject of my campus life, also, spiritually, sometimes i might feel depressed just like when some of the relatives phraisd my succeeding into the university,on hearng those kind of words, there seemed to be a sharp sword penetraing into my heart, i felt so sad, so despaired, in the world, there were only two person knowing the secret i was only a diploma student, mom and i,how i wished i could let all others know, but i couldn't do it.life just got a bit better, maybe because i studied so deligently and worked so hard, i already earned enough money for the next two years' tuition.now i've been graduated from college almost one year, now i've got a not bad job, for my hard working spirit,yet, there is still something missing inside me...the white lie, the white lie... how i wish i could tell them the truth,yet i can't...or actually i can, but i don't have that courage...i also stand in a dilemma, yes or no, besides dad health in a bad situation that no shock is allowed for him,my dad has taken for granted i was a bachelor holder, he spread all the good news anywhere, you know, especially in the rural place, how am i supposed to tell them, perhaps, when i really have that financial support, i might keep pursuing for the bachelor degree, after that, i may dare speak out the words hiding inside me for that long time.
that's why i appreciate the mom so much,she's amazing...just for her daughter, it's the power of love...