[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] My 85-Year-Old Mother's Cultivation Story
(Minghui.org) My mother has practiced Falun Dafa for 20 years. In my memory, my mother was sick all the time before she practiced Falun Dafa. She had kidney disease, a trachea ailment, and a nervous breakdown.
I often saw her cover her stomach with her hands, so I guess she might also have had stomach trouble. For years she was always taking medicine.
My parents had five children and we lived in poverty. I envied my childhood peers who had snacks. I always looked forward to Chinese New Year, when I could enjoy good food such as dumplings and pork, candies and a couple of apples, and a new set of clothes only available once a year.
Every year during the Dragon Boat festival, each of us children had a chance to eat two eggs. My mother asked one child after another how he or she would like them: boiled, scrambled, steamed, or poached. Each of us had a different preference. My mother cooked the eggs just as we liked them even though she was ill and in pain at that time of the year.
Though weak and in poor health, she loved us very much and never beat or yelled at us. Though we were poor we were a loving family.
Tribulations for Half of Her Life
My youngest sister was born when I was ten. My mother got glaucoma at the same time and had no milk to feed the baby, so the baby was fed only cow's milk. Dishonest dairy farmers mixed milk with double the amount of water, so my sister was often hungry and squirmed a lot. Already in financial difficulties, my mother could not afford to have her eye disease treated; without treatment, however, she might go blind.
She was on the edge of despair when a friend advised her to eat an animal's gallbladder and that would stop the glaucoma from getting worse. My father went everywhere to find gallbladders and brought them back to my mother.
My mother said that the bitter taste of each gallbladder stayed in her mouth all day and through the night. Gallbladders are horribly bitter. Sugar was limited as each family was assigned only 1kg of sugar a month. We had to mix it in milk to feed our youngest sister. We had no money for candy either, so my mother had to endure the bitterness and pain.
The gallbaldders halted the progress of my mother's eye disease, but too many hurt her stomach. All the juices in her stomach dried up, so she had stomachaches almost all the time. Whether or not she ate, she belched many times every day—it sounded like our neighbor’s goose screaming.
When we walked together on the street, her belching caught people by surprise. I was still young and did not understand, so whenever she belched, I begged her to stop. “Mom, please don't burp anymore. It's so embarrassing.”
My mother often vomited stomach acid, which turned her black velvet shoes purple.
One day when she was in her 50s, my mother fell down and fractured one of her wrists. Another time she was cooking at home when she sat on the ground and her thigh bone fractured.
She was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis with bones as porous as a honeycomb. The doctor said she could easily end up paralyzed.
In the face of my mother's dire condition, our whole family felt enveloped in dark clouds. We had no choice but to take good care of her all the time, such as when she went shopping or took a bath, and we tried our best to help her avoid any accidents.
During this time my mother rarely smiled. I could not even remember what her smile looked like. It seemed to me that she lived in the hospital; we children took turns staying with her when she was hospitalized.
Because of her failing eyesight, my father took over the cooking at home. My sister and I—I was 10 and she was 12—did the housework and made cotton coats and pants for everyone.
Easily Quits a 50-Year Addiction to Cigarettes
My mother started practicing Falun Dafa in 1998, and many miraculous things have happened to her since then.
She had smoked cigarettes from the age of 11. When she was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 65, the doctor warned her repeatedly to quit smoking, which could bring on paralysis.
She tried to stop. Back from the hospital, she was fine for the first seven days, but at night, she couldn't fall asleep without a smoke. She said even her bones itched. Because she didn't want to wake us up, my mother would not turn on the lights. She would walk alone in the house and would end up staying awake almost half the night.
She persevered and refused to smoke for seven days and nights. She became very thin. My parents had a good relationship and never quarreled. My father couldn't bear to see my mother in pain and said, “You are really having a hard time. If you continue on like this, it hurts my heart too much. How about if you just smoke one cigarette tonight, then try to quit tomorrow?”
My father never smoked, so he had no idea how difficult it was to quit smoking. Hearing his words, my mother seemed to have received a command and immediately went back to smoking.
Unfortunately, her addiction to cigarettes became even worse, and she smoked twice as much as before. My mother said, “I have no courage to give up smoking anymore. I’ll accept being paralyzed no matter what.”
She lived in fear and cautiously. No one could ever have expected that my mother would completely gave up smoking after practicing Falun Gong for just five days.
One day long after she'd started to practice Falun Gong, my mother—then 75—was at home alone when she saw a newly-purchased 25kg bag of rice on the floor. It was in her way so she thought, “I’ll just move the bag to the chair.”
She said, “Master, please help me!” Then she picked up the bag easily and put it on the chair.
Safe after a Car Accident
On a rainy morning in the summer of 2010, my 77-year-old mother and her eldest sister went to the morning market. As they were crossing the street, a girl on a motorcycle rushed toward them and knocked my mother about four meters away.
My mother, the girl, and the girl’s motorcycle all crashed down. The girl crawled out from under the motorcycle and moved to my mother without even standing up. With tears streaming down her face, she held my mother up.
She held my mother, shook her, cried again and again, and said, “Auntie, it's all my fault. Auntie, please wake up. Auntie, what should I do?”
Before long my mother came to and asked, “What happened?”
The girl was so happy to see my mother alive again that she said anxiously, “Auntie, I hit you. How are you feeling now? Let's go to the hospital.”
My mother was clear-minded at the time and said to the girl, “Don't be afraid. Your auntie would not blackmail you. I am a Falun Gong practitioner. Just leave.”
The girl was stunned and couldn't believe her ears. “Auntie, what did you say?”
My mother repeated what she said.
The girl then said, “Really?”
When the girl figured out that my mother meant it, she stood up, hauled her bent-up motorcycle up, and went on without turning back.
The girl went back to her dormitory, called her mother, and told her what had happened. Her mother rebuked her: “Are you a human being? You hit an old lady, but you didn't even help her to stand up before you left? How can you fall asleep at night? Have you forgotten what had happened to us years ago?”
The mother recalled that the girl's grandmother had been hit by a car eight years before. The driver left the scene of the accident which left the girl’s grandmother paralyzed.
The girl explained to her mother, “I was dumbfounded at the time and thought she might be a bit muddleheaded. She said she would not blackmail me, but I was afraid that she might when she regained her senses, so I left.”
The girl's mother was very kind and said, “You should take responsibility for the accident. You can run away from the accident, but can you run away from your conscience?”
This made an impression on the girl. The following day, she stood near where my mother was hit and waited for us to come by.
On the day of the accident, the girl heard a woman—my sister—shouting again and again, “Mom! Mom! Mom!” She only ever looked at my mother and shook her to wake her up, so she didn't see what my sister looked like.
The girl asked every woman in her 40s and 50s who passed by, “Are you the lady whose mother I hit the other day?”
For five mornings in a row, she asked women that same question until my elder sister appeared on the fifth day. “Miss, my mother said she would not let me come home if I couldn't find out about the old lady I hit,” she said.
The girl told my sister what had happened to her after she hit my mother. The girl purchased gifts for my mother and came to visit her at home. When she found that my mother was safe and unharmed, she was very glad and apologized again and again. “Sorry, Auntie. Thank you for forgiving me.”
My mother told her, “If I didn't practice Falun Dafa, I would be either dead or paralyzed after such an accident. I had osteoporosis before practicing Falun Dafa. The doctor told me that I would be paralyzed even if I fell down, not to mention if I were hit by a motorcycle. If they had not practiced Falun Dafa, my children would not let you off the hook, so please express your thanks to my master since he helped me pass the tribulation.”
My mother told the girl many facts about Falun Dafa and persuaded her to quit the Youth League and Young Pioneers.
Firm Belief in Master and Fa Helps My Father Overcome a Tribulation
In the summer of 2003, my father fell and was taken to the hospital. The doctor said that the entire right side of his brain was seriously affected by a stroke and ordered him not to move and stay in bed.
My father was afraid of death, so he did what the doctor said and stayed motionless in bed. He was lying still overnight, yet his eyes filled with tears the following day. Doctors notified us to move my father to the intensive care unit.
My mother enlightened to one point: He was a practitioner. Though he was not diligent in cultivation, he had Master to protect him, so how could we leave him under the hospital's care? Why not believe in Master?
My mother believed that my father should return home and practice cultivation. As a result, she refused to agree with the doctors and nurses who'd decided to move my father to an intensive care unit.
My mother talked with us about checking my father out of the hospital and this invited opposition from our relatives. They argued that my father was in critical condition and might be in danger at any time. One doctor held a letter of responsibility in his hand. “Who will take the responsibility,” he asked, “if his life is in danger and he doesn't move to an intensive care unit?”
My mother replied, “I will.”
Our relatives were very angry, but my mother was very calm. She knew that doctors couldn't cure my father because Dafa practitioners are only be taken care of by Master. She knew that my father would definitely die if we relied on the hospital.
Our relatives were not practitioners, so they didn't want us to take him out of the hospital. We decided to take him home anyway and waited for an opportunity.
At approximately 4:00 a.m. on the third morning, my father, mother, younger sister, and I talked about checking out when our relatives left to take a break. Because he did not have a firm belief in Dafa and did little Fa study, at first my father insisted not leaving. However, my mother understood that only Master could save him after sharing with us from the Fa perspective. He finally agreed to leave the hospital.
Once we got home, we studied the Fa together and shared our understandings. My father seemed like a new person and regained his energy. We called all our relatives and told them that he had returned home and had recovered. They were all surprised.
My mother's firm belief in Dafa overturned the thoughts and ideas of everyone who had witnessed my father's experience at the hospital. It also shocked many people.
In recent years, my mother has experienced illness tribulations several times as well, but she's been fine in the end every time. At first, relatives tried to persuade her to see a doctor, but she insisted on not going to the hospital and explained why.
Later, when my mother had illness tribulations again, no one suggested she see a doctor but said instead, “Hurry up! Go to study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts.”
Protesting the Persecution and Rescuing Practitioners
There were originally 16 practitioners among my family and direct relatives, but most gave up the practice after the Chinese Communist Party started the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999.
When the persecution first started, as we were not clear about Fa principles, and m sisters and I were arrested again and again while working on Dafa projects to validate the Fa.
Our parents worked hard to rescue us. In December 2005, our youngest sister was arrested by the city security bureau, we went to all the government departments to appeal for justice, but no one listened. In those days, we went to the city security bureau every day and requested that my youngest sister be released.
The security bureau prevented us from entering the building, so we had to wait outside. We were often ignored outside the building for a whole morning. December is the coldest season of the year in the northern part of China.
Moreover, the security bureau was located on the bank of the river, so it's windy and chilly. We wore very thick cotton shoes but still froze while standing on the bank of the river. Our feet froze and hurt. My mother, although in her 70s, joined us every time. It really wasn't easy. We went there every day for a month until four practitioners were released.
In 2012, my youngest sister was arrested and taken to the brainwashing center. My mother went to the local 610 Office to explain the facts about Falun Gong and ask them to release my sister. She talked to the director of the 610 Office. “You look almost the same age as my son and are very handsome. You don’t look a person who would do bad things.”
The director asked her, “What bad things did I do?”
My mother explained, “You do bad things when you arrest Falun Gong practitioners. Many people know that positions at the 610 Office are death positions, so please give it up. If you continue doing this, it will be so sad for your mother, who gave you life and such a handsome appearance.”
My mother worked to get sister released day and night while she was detained in the brainwashing center. Later they sent her to the brainwashing center in the capital city of Jilin Province. My mother followed and asked the authorities there to release her.
Traffic between my home and the brainwashing center was heavy, but my mother went there a couple days a week. Finally, the head of the brainwashing center let her see my sister through a window about 10 meters away. The head said it was the most they would allow. Two weeks later, when my sister was transferred to the brainwashing center in another county, my mother followed until my sister was finally released and returned home.
Harmonious Relationship Between My Mother and Her Daughter-in-Law
Before my mother practiced Falun Gong, she had conflicts with my sister-in-law (my mother's daughter-in-law). After she started practicing Falun Gong, her thoughts changed. “I shouldn't take it so seriously and complain about her no matter how many problems she has,” my mother said. “I am also responsible for the bad relationship between us.”
My mother tried her best to satisfy my sister-in-law's every request and compensated her for her previous losses. My mother apologized to her sincerely, which would have been impossible before.
She said, “I am practicing Falun Dafa now, so I have to treat everyone well. Master said, 'cultivators have no enemies' (“Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol III), so I must let my daughter-in-law witness the wonder of Falun Dafa.”
My mother's sincerity gradually touched my sister-in-law, so she also changed. After my father passed away, my sister-in-law invited my mother to her home for a week and took tender care of her. My sister-in-law cooked soups and vegetable and meat dishes for every meal during my mother's stay there. Within only one week, my mother gained weight and glowed. For the first time in her life, she enjoyed the respect and deference due a mother-in-law.
My mother often shared with her relatives and friends, “My life would not be what it is today without Falun Dafa. It's Falun Dafa that changed me and my daughter-in-law. Falun Dafa changed me, an evil mother-in-law who complained about a daughter-in-law, into a good mother-in-law who is now esteemed and honored.”
Since then, whenever we get together as a family for holiday parties, my sister-in-law always cooks. She said, “I've been married for more than 30 years, but I've never enjoyed the warmth of a family as I do today. I am so happy now. It's all because of Falun Dafa, it's Falun Dafa that brought us all these blessings.”
My sister-in-law shared her sentiments with our four brothers-in-law more than once. “We have such a happy family, and it’s all thanks to Falun Dafa. All of us should keep in mind that Falun Dafa is good.”
My mother often said with great appreciation, “Without practicing Falun Dafa, there would always have been something wrong between my daughter-in-law and me.” Grievances that had lasted 32 years between my mother and my sister-in-law were dissolved through Dafa cultivation.
On this wonderful 19th World Falun Dafa Day and Master's birthday, I would like to express my sincere greetings to Master: Happy Birthday!
Sentient beings both in this earthly world and the heavens can celebrate together the 26th anniversary of Falun Dafa spreading to the world!
(Submission to “Celebrate World Falun Dafa Day” 2018 on the Minghui website)