[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] The Story of Two Wills
(Minghui.org) My father-in-law passed away at the age of 90, towards the end of June 2018. My mother-in-law is 89 years old.
My father-in-law made two wills with regard to his property in his hometown. The second will was very different from the first one he'd made years earlier. In the first will, he left his apartment to his two daughters. In the second one, he gave it to his younger son, my husband.
My father-in-law was clear-headed until he passed away. So why did he change his will? It's a long story.
My husband and I met at university. He was one of my admirers. I don't know why I chose him since he didn't stand out in any way when compared to the others. One of my classmates commented on our relationship in a letter as “a flower growing out of cow dung.”
Prior to graduation, my husband was not recommended for postgraduate studies due to a small difference in his grades. He could not take it and left the university several times.
My family strongly opposed our relationship, especially my father. He would say, “He is so narrow-minded. I can't push my daughter into a fire pit.”
My father-in-law was 12 years older than my father. Worried about his son's mental state, he came to my home to beg my father for his consent to my relationship with his son.
My father didn't get up to greet him or take a look at him. He just sat on a sofa with his arms folded and legs crossed, while my father-in-law sitting on the edge of a sofa, saying all sorts of kind words to please him. It was really embarrassing.
In fact, I didn't understand my husband's behavior at that time either and felt rather heavy in my heart. I didn't even know why I still wanted to be with him. Maybe it was my kind nature that prevented me from leaving him?
It was only years later, after I started practicing Falun Gong, that I understood it was all because of predestination, which is arranged by the Divine. My father reluctantly gave his consent to our marriage when I did not change my mind.
Dealing with Unpleasantness
After graduation, my husband and I were assigned to work in another city. To make life easier for us, my father started to make plans for our wedding. By then, my husband and I had already gotten our marriage certificate.
My father invited my father-in-law to our home to discuss the wedding ceremony. My father-in-law turned up with a croquet mallet in his hand. After hearing my father's plan, my father-in-law said, “They already have the marriage certificate, so they are already married (meaning there was no need for a ceremony).”
My father was shocked. He was a very effective writer at work and famous for being silver-tongued. But this time he was speechless.
After a moment of silence, he suggested, “If you don't want to organize it, you can just hire a car to pick up my daughter. You don't have to prepare a meal for my relative as we can take care of that ourselves. Just set off some firecrackers in front of your house. That will do.”
“No, that's too much trouble,” my father-in-law disagreed. My father was really angry by then, but he didn't show it. He just said, “Okay, we will hire a car and take our daughter to your place. You just need to organize some firecrackers.”
“No, you can organize everything well, but we can't …” my father-in-law still refused to do anything.
My father felt he had been cheated and insulted and regretted giving his consent to my marriage. But my husband and I had already gotten our marriage certificate and there was nothing he could do.
My father-in-law said, “I don't have time to waste here. I have to go play croquet,” and left.
For the next 10 years, my father was angry with my father-in-law over this. I also had big fights with my husband because we did not have a wedding anniversary to celebrate—until I started practicing Falun Gong in 1999.
Since we were working out of town, my father-in-law never expected us to take care of him in his old age. He even said to my husband, “The more capable you are, the more useless you become.”
Unpleasant Family Relationships
My parents-in-law used to live in a single-story house. Later they bought an apartment like many other people. They then sold their old house and gave all the money to their elder son. They also helped bring up the elder son's daughter, and my mother-in-law often said, “When I'm too old to move around, I'll have my granddaughter look after me.”
My son never had such privilege. It was always my family who helped us.
My husband did bring my parents-in-law to our home to give us a helping hand before my son turned one. At that time, he was often away on business and I was very busy preparing for exams to get a professional title.
However, they only stayed for a few days, then took the train home, simply because my father-in-law took offense at someone he met when doing exercises in the morning. He thought he was looked down upon for being from out of town.
We had no other choice but to leave our son with one family one day and another family the next until he was old enough to attend a kindergarten. I thought that my father-in-law considered saving face much more important than the difficulties we were facing then.
When my father-in-law purchased the apartment, he asked us to give him 10,000 yuan, which we did not have at the time. In fact, we were in debt as we'd had to borrow 40,000 yuan to help cover the cost of our own apartment. My father-in-law was very angry with my husband. He called many times to argue with him. I was extremely cross with my father-in-law and thought he was so unreasonable.
My Father-in-law's First Will
My parents-in-law had always expected their elder son to take care of them in their old age. They had built the house for him, helped with his marriage, and took care of his daughter. They did none of those things for my husband, their younger son.
However, the unexpected can happen at any time. Their elder son became half-paralyzed and would never be able to take care of them.
My husband has two older sisters. My parents-in-law also looked after their children so they thought they could rely on their daughters when they grew old.
Since their daughters had also offered some money when my parents-in-law purchased their apartment, my father-in-law wrote in his will that the apartment would go to the two daughters. The apartment had increased in value over the years.
I had already started practicing Falun Gong by the time my father-in-law made this will. I understood that the property belonged to my parents-in-law and they were free to give it to anyone they wished. However, my husband's elder brother was very angry about it, and my husband also thought it was unfair.
Letting Go of Resentment for My Father-in-law
I began to cultivate in Dafa in 1999 and understood the true meaning of life. I started to conduct myself according to the requirements of a Dafa practitioner. I no longer resented my parents-in-law and always tried to look at everything from their perspective.
I bought them household goods, some for a few yuan and others for several thousand yuan. I was always generous when it came to spending money on my parents-in-law, but they never seemed to appreciate what I did. Whenever I bought something for them, they would say, “What's this thing useful for?” or “This is harmful” or “What a waste of money!”
I felt that they were suspicious of my intentions. They could not figure out why I was no longer resentful, because they thought that I had every reason to hate them. They didn't know that Dafa can change a person completely.
I no longer mentioned those trivial things from the past and my relationship with my husband improved. Nowadays, we can resolve anything if we are of a different opinion and no longer argue. Dafa has dissolved the resentment in my heart and we are content.
My husband's elder brother was hospitalized three times, and each time we offered money and time to help out. His family was running a small supermarket, and his wife had to keep the store open to help make ends meet. So my husband took leave from work to look after his elder brother, leaving all the household chores to me. I had to take my son to school every morning and pick him up in the evening. Although it was exhausting, I never complained. I am a Dafa practitioner and I was happy to help my brother-in-law's family and to support my husband during a difficult time.
I get on well with everyone in my husband's family. To my parents-in-law, I am a virtuous and dutiful daughter-in-law. To people of my generation, I'm kind and reasonable. With the younger ones, I'm an easy-going aunt. My husband's niece once said to me, “Auntie, you scare me. Do I have to work as hard as you do for my in-laws if I ever get married?” My husband said that I brought the sunshine with me wherever I went.
Forgiving Past Offenses
My father-in-law turned 88 in 2016 and my mother-in-law was 87. He had a fall and could no longer take care of himself. My mother-in-law suffered from arthritis and had been dependent on my father-in-law. They needed someone to look after them urgently.
My husband and I were the only possible choice because his elder brother was half-paralyzed, his eldest sister had a herniated lumbar disc, his second elder sister had hepatic cysts and could not do any household chores, and the granddaughter my mother-in-law had pinned her hopes on years earlier now lives thousands of miles away.
In fact, back when my parents-in-law were around 80, my husband and I invited them to live with us so that we could take care of them, but they refused each time such suggestion was raised, especially my father-in-law, who said emotionally, “Don't mention this again. We never had such plans.”
Getting nowhere, we had to arrange for my parents-in-law to move into the best senior citizens’ care center in the local area. They were pretty happy at first, with ready-made meals and daily house-cleaning. But as time went by, they became discontent because they could not eat what they wanted to and the meals were not always to their taste. Besides, the staff members were not always caring or ready to help.
So when my husband next offered to bring them to our place, they did not reject the idea. However, my father-in-law was still concerned. He said to my husband quietly, “But we didn't help take care of your son when he was little.”
Knowing what was bothering them, I said to my father-in-law jokingly, “So, that's what is bothering you. Don't worry, Dad. It's the parents' responsibility to take care of their own children, not the grandparents' obligation. When I have a grandson, I won't look after him, either.” My father-in-law smiled and moved in with us.
Being Responsible for Elderly Parents-in-law
Even though we had a maid to help out, there was still a lot to do. We could not travel very far in case we were needed urgently. We prepared food and medication every day for my parents-in-law. My father-in-law was diabetic, so we had to check his glycemic index frequently. My mother-in-law had already begun to suffer from dementia, and I was subjected to her loud nagging and abusive remarks all the time. Sometimes even my husband couldn't stand it and felt very sorry for me. However, I had no complaints because I knew they were getting old and my mother-in-law was no longer herself. I just took care of her as if she were an old child.
My father-in-law was hospitalized a few times, and each time my husband and I took very good care of him. Since my husband could not stay up late, I took all the night shifts, and very often I could barely close my eyes the entire night. When my father-in-law had bowel movements or urinated, I cleaned him up, which often left me exhausted.
I remember when he was hospitalized the first time, due to lack of experience, we did not bring any rubber gloves with us. When I cleaned up my father-in-law after a bowel movement with my bare hands, I could not wash the smell off until I got some disinfectant from a nurse. Doctors, nurses, and patients alike thought I was my father-in-law's daughter.
Our maid had days-off every month plus public holidays. So her days-off became our work days. After my parents-in-law moved in, I was never able to spend a day with my own family.
Around the 2017 Chinese New Year, I spent five days looking after my parents-in-law—from New Year's Day to the fifth of the month. On the sixth day, their second daughter came to visit them, so my husband and I took the opportunity to pay a visit to my parents. It was already 11:30 p.m. by the time we got there, and we had to rush back by 4:00 p.m. the next day after a family reunion meal. My younger brother said to me jokingly, “Hey, Sis, when did you come back?” “Yesterday,” I replied with a smile. Yes, it was indeed yesterday, even though it was only half an hour away from today.
My father-in-law suffered a stroke in June 2017. Before that, he was still able to move around with some help. But now he became completely incontinent.
When it was the maid's day off, I took over her duties, and keeping my in-laws clean was part of my daily routine. It was not that bad during the day, but nighttime was very hard because I had to get up numerous times to keep my mother-in-law dry or change the urine collection bags for my father-in-law. Sometimes, my father-in-law had bowel movements at night and I had to clean him up and change the dirty sheets. Sometimes, the quilts also got dirty and I had to change them all and clean up my father-in-law. It was quite a job.
Around the 2018 New Year, my husband was away on business and the maid was taking her annual holidays. I was going through a cleansing process with teary eyes and a runny nose. I felt really sleepy, but as soon as I was about to fall asleep, either my mother-in-law called me or it was time to help my father-in-law turn over or change his urine bag. I was totally exhausted. But each time I went to help my parents-in-law, I always smiled and talked to them softly.
When the maid came back, my father-in-law gave me a thumbs up with his left hand. I said to him, “Dad, I'm not a professional caregiver, but I tried my best.” My father-in-law smiled like a child.
Establishing Affinity with Dafa
My father-in-law had never really approved of my practicing Falun Gong. Although he had already seen the change in me back in our hometown, he was never fully supportive of the practice, thinking that Falun Gong was political. I clarified the truth to him many times, but sometimes, even though he was speechless in face of facts, he still judged Dafa with the Communist Party culture that was deeply ingrained in him.
After my parents-in-law moved in with us, my fellow practitioners came to see them, and they all shared the benefits they had enjoyed because of practicing Falun Gong. Gradually, my father-in-law started to change. And a few months later, he started to recite, “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
He also told me that he regretted all the negative things he had said about Falun Dafa and asked me to write that down. Then he signed his name. He agreed to send it to the Minghui website to make a solemn declaration that everything he'd said against Dafa was null and void and that he wanted to correct his mistakes.
He kept reciting “Falun Dafa is good” even when he was completely bedridden.
He was severely diabetic, but he showed no signs of bruising and his blood pressure and heartbeat were normal. When asked if he had any pain, he said he didn't, that he just couldn't move the right side of his body. I know in my heart that, because he truly believed that Falun Dafa was good, much of his painful karma was removed.
He always called out for me whether he needed anything or not. He just enjoyed hearing my voice and listening to me telling him stories about Dafa cultivation. I told him about the principles of paying back karmic debts and regarding hardships as joy, and so on. When I talked to him, he looked at peace, as if he had no pain.
My Father-in-law's Second Will
My father-in-law passed away peacefully in his sleep, and I was with him. He showed no sign of pain and even his breathing was normal. To me, he was led quietly out of one door and entered another, completely willingly.
I was the only one by his side when he passed away. He didn't seem to feel attached to anyone. His granddaughter came to visit him once. I was a bit worried that he might get too emotional since he had not seen his beloved granddaughter for a long time. But when she came to his bedside, he was very calm. I thought he might not recognize her and asked him who she was. He said her name without hesitating. His granddaughter was also very surprised by his calmness.
At the funeral, my husband's second brother-in-law said to him and his colleagues, “This daughter-in-law is amazing. She has done things even one's own daughters are unable to do. One cannot find a better daughter-in-law like her anywhere.”
My husband told me after my father-in-law passed away that he had made a new will six months after he moved in to live with us, with two of his nieces as the witnesses. In the will, he entrusted my husband to take care of his apartment.
My husband's cousins told him that my father-in-law had been a little wary at first, not sure that I would be truly kind to him. After he was convinced of my kindness, he regretted what he had done to me in the past.
My husband and I have never shown my father-in-law's second will to anyone, nor have we mentioned it to his brother and sisters. We don't want to take my father-in-law's apartment because we didn't want anything for taking care of my parents-in-law. Looking after our parents is our duty-bound obligation.
The second will reflected the trust my father-in-law had in us and that he supported me practicing Falun Gong.
I don't know how to finish my story. There is only one thing I want to say: “Thank you, Master! Dafa dissolved all the resentments I harbored for 10 years and has given me true happiness in addition to a healthy mind and body.”