Monthly Archives: July 2012

Unforgettable Memories

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Ngày xửa, ngày xưa, xưa ơi thật là xưa (a day in the past no one remembers exactly day), a girl was born in a quite village, located nearby a burial hill, and about three months later, she lived with heavy rains all a week and the biggest flood. When she grew up and went to school, she rode her bicycle under rains, and she came to class in a wet uniform. She was a witness for her mother’s tears, flowing through a hard living of her mother. The girl was called nàng tiên nước – a water fairy because she often cried, and tears passed through her country. About 10 years ago, her legs were put in Bangladesh, and she also poured this land with her tears. The water fairy created heavy rains at beginning of the rainy season in Chittagong, sunk into rain water. The girl is me.

In summer vacation (about June) each year, a new crop comes in extremely hot weather (over 350C), but farmers still have to mud, dig and harrow ground to plant new seeds. If you stay about an hour in paddy field under the weather, your sweat drops in your forehead will fall down, absorb into mud, become fertile to support nutrition for plant’s growing up; and my parents, too. My parents worked in the paddy field when cocks began singing at the first time to darkness covering anywhere. Therefore, sweat drops absorbed my parents’ clothes as standing under rains, and I couldn’t count how much sweat my parents lose to finish heavy to produce rice, a main food in my family and sold to earn money to pay other daily expenses. However, I, a twelve-year-old girl, couldn’t understand my parent’s sweat because sometimes I hated my mother, her bamboo whips touching my body, her voice scolding me when I received 1 in Geography class. Although my mother hit me and I pained, she was more painful than me. She couldn’t cry, her face looking at other side, her tears running into her heart and keeping in her heart. In the night, my mother explained about her life without education, and I sat in silence with frogs’ and birds’ sounds. Later, almost lights in my house switched off; I learned alone in dark night with a small lamp and two tears. I wondered “Why don’t you learn yesterday?” “Lazy.” I wrote a line in my diary, “Mày nhớ con 1 này nhé, mẹ mày đã khóc nhiều lắm rồi đấy! Đừng tái phạm!” (Please, miss 1 – my mother’s tear and sweat run out! Don’t do again!) My mother was exhausted of works in paddy fields, housework and me; sweat’s drop from her forehead fell down and made her pillow wetly; therefore, I didn’t study because I like; I study because of my mother’s sweat. I tried to complete all my homework and prepare new lessons for next class until crock sang. I felt cold likewise my parents’ sweats falling down in my skin, and my mouth tasting salty. I warmed up with a fire from straw for dinner with vegetable and rice. An unclear advice was sent to me by ông Bụt – Mr. But, “you had better study harder to help my parents with your intelligence.” I suddenly woke up by my mother’s voice for breakfast before going to school. A breakfast with porridge and sugar was cook by my mother, my parents were hurry to go to paddy field, and I ate alone. I thought about Mr. But’s speech, I wondered, “my parents did all due to me, but what did I do for my parents until now?”

In a day with pink sky and the sun lying behind mountains, I noticed my mother’s wet eyes with two tears in her face, her eyes looking at far to the skyline, and maybe she was worrying about her children’s living without new clothes and much food to eat for three meals. That night, my mother couldn’t stop tearing while looking at my eldest sister was studying, and she said to my eldest sister in snobs, “Tomorrow you stop going to school and work in a factory because I and your father don’t earn enough money to pay school fee and other daily expenses for you and your younger brother and sisters.” My mother tears kept in her throat and she couldn’t speak up any words, and my mother and sister’s tears still fell down like waterfalls, especially my eldest sister couldn’t stop crying when her classmates and friends asked her that, “why didn’t you go to class, Tuoi (my eldest sister)?” My elder sister couldn’t answer her friends’ question, and she avoided her friends’ eyes. When my mother observed her child’s tears flowing to neck, her eyes becoming wet, her voice ringing out between blue sky and huge land, “why am I too poor?” Parents always hoped that their children would have a better living than theirs, and so did my mother, what would children do if they weren’t also educated as their parent? No way, my mother only could encourage my sister to work hard in a factory to earn money and support school fee for my sister, my brother and me to go to school. I couldn’t stop my tears whenever I remembered my eldest sister, and this story was a determination to advice for me to effort in studying because I had better chances than my elder sister. I had to study not only due to my future but also due to my eldest sister’s. My mother’s and sister’s tears sent messages from her hard life to me to advice a stupid student as me to overcome challenges in my studying to find successfulness.

My living at a distant place from home is currently like my brother, studying at a university at a province nearby our home in the past, not visiting home frequently. Therefore, my brother wrote and sent letters to keep touch and share with our family, and my mother read my brother’s letter, her eyes bringing glasses and her face having two tears. I wondered, “Why does my mother cry when she read my brother’s letters?” In a day, I took a letter, sat alone, read, cried more than my mother. I couldn’t read the last line in the letter, “Mẹ ơi, nhớ gửi tiền cho con nhé bởi vì tháng này con đã hết tiền rồi” (Mom, you remember sending me money because I ran out money earlier in this month). At that moment, I ignored my family’s situation because my mothers, my sister and I grounded fish at markets and peeled peach stones late in the evening to earn money. Nevertheless, meals only had rice and fish sauce or salt. My family lived at empty hill without neighborhood; we didn’t know who we could borrow money, sent to my brother. My parents decided to sell more rice, and in that year, my family’s rice box was empty. Thus, my family ate porridge for all day. Now, if I send letter as my brother, maybe the situation will be worse than before because they are older, and they can’t work in the paddy field. How much can my parents borrow to send to me?

I am a young girl living far my home, so my heart contains more feelings. However, my emotions came outside with tears when I missed my family, my home and especially three my cute nephews because I never hugged and kissed two of them. Later, I wrote my dreams on papers and I folded as planes, bringing my tears and my dreams, sending them to my family and my friends. Moreover, now Chittagong was staying in a rain season with the first rains, and it was similar to a rainy season in my home about from September to November each year. Therefore, I thought about my hometown, my tears following rains’ drops when sitting and looking at rains’ drops and the rains came in my face (an unforgettable felling). In addition, I cried when I saw strong men, their strength moving richsaw without rain cloth, their face fighting against with heavy rains’ drops, their legs dipping rain water in the streets in Chittagong. I thought about my old parents, not strength as before, what my parents did to fight against floods and were doing for a new crop under hot weather. Sorry, parents. This child couldn’t go back to help parents. I hope I can take care of my parents in the nearest day. Please, wait me!

These tears are determination for a successful life of the young girl as me. I often remember sweats in my parent’s body and my mother’s and eldest sister’s tears. Although sweats and tears are also water, they can’t extinguish fires; however, the water’s drops keep fires for my heart. I try to work hard not to receive the worst mark, 1 in my life from the first time. My sweats from my parent’s body and tears on my mother’s eyes teach me to be patient to wait a new improvement in my future.

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