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My parent’s gift

December 30, 2012
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My parents are SPECIAL to me. For all they have been for me, whether nearby or away, they are special. And I will say that with high pride. I’ll tell you why.

The characters I have now are much influenced by them. Since my childhood, my dad has showed us the necessary diligence of savings. Knowing that money comes hard and stays just as hard, he taught me to save and watch my expenses. Back then, 100 Rupiah was my pocket money, and every day I’d enter it in a journal. If I used it to buy something, then there was a debit. I saved a lot. 100 Rupiah would buy 2 sticks of the cheap version of ice cream, or a bag of meatballs from a street-side seller. I think it was all symbolic, but he taught us early on to be responsible in our spending.

My mother is a superb example of patience, slow to speak, slow to anger. I know life was tough for her with many young siblings, her father was a single-parent for most of her life, and my dad had quite a bad temper. My mom took care of groceries and cooked food since she was 12, and later taught ballet to fund her two youngest sisters to college. They later became my English and piano teachers. When people ask me, “How did you learn English?” I proudly say that my aunts taught me, and my mom funded their schooling.

I was a difficult kid, too: VERY short-tempered is the nicest way to say it. When I got angry, which was very easily, I got into my room and locked it. You got it.

The memories stalled for a while as my teenage years went by. I studied all the time. It’s a principle my father held strongly: study hard and be the best. I was brainwashed successfully, being one of the top 3 students in my class and grade each year of middle and high schools. My parents’ hard work and money-saving principles paid for my sister’s and my education in the US, a rarity within our big family. I won’t go into all the stories afterwards, but for one, I got close to God in the US, and two, what I learned has taken me to a journey most people would consider a huge privilege to go through.

I generally hate vacations. I love rest, off from the busy and high pressure of work. But I hate vacations. In my college time, I did not take any even as my friends traveled around the US. They said I missed out a lot. Instead, I studied during the breaks, I worked during the summer, I applied for various scholarships that help to pay some of my tuition. I never regretted it.

People say that you go on a vacation and learn something from it. But I don’t believe you can learn about a new place, the people and culture, the problems, the economy, and all that, if only visiting there for a week or two. Most of the places people visit anyways are the restaurants, the Disneys, the bars, and the malls. Yes sometimes mountains are involved, and you can relax there. But what do you learn if you stay in the Hilton? Besides, vacation is a big dump of money. I have now proofs that vacations cost much no matter where you are and where you go.

However, I do make exceptions to vacations that are focused on relationship building, including one with my family early September this year. I looked forward to it, as my father really loves China (for whatever reason) and they both had missed me and my sister very much. I’d say, this is their present.

I didn’t mind where we went, because the time being together was precious. The time to see my mom’s happy laughs. The time to hold their hands when walking. The time to give my dad a massage, and ask my mom for one (these both made them happy :)). The time to see my dad’s proud stand on the Great Wall while my sister waited behind… The time to walk around a night market with them, seeing how they were “interested” in what these shops offered. The time my dad asked the fruit seller how long he stood there everyday, on the road side, and acknowledging the hard 8 am to 11 pm work. And what they say, was wise and loving. Every talk they gave, every sms, and skype was about me and my health. Of course, they are the greatest parents in the world :). And this vacation is their gift.

The only thing I can’t give to them now is myself. I won’t go home yet. In fact, I don’t know when I will go home. God is leading me to follow Him. Tomorrow and the coming months are not clear. But again, I do follow the one true God who delivers and is faithful. My parents need to learn to let me follow Him, as if He was my husband 🙂 Jesus and I love you, Mom and Dad. Don’t worry, He is good, and has the best plan for all of us.

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