Cultivating While Taking Care of My Bedridden Father for Ten Years
(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa in 1998. Before that, I had many health problems, such as headaches, dizziness, perennial colds, a frozen shoulder, rhinitis, psoriasis, and others.
After I began to practice, Master cleansed my body. I went from being a very ill person to someone who is very healthy and always in a good mood. My family and colleagues witnessed this transformation.
I was laid off from work in 2006 so I decided to move in with my parents and look for work in that area. One morning, I saw that my father appeared to have the symptoms of a stroke. His mouth drooped on one side, and he was drooling. He couldn’t dress himself.
I was dumbfounded and wasn’t sure what to do. After a while, I remembered to ask him to recite, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!” Although his tongue had become so stiff that he could barely make a sound, he was sincere and kept trying until he could utter it clearly. With that, his symptoms lessened and his mind became clear. However, he could no longer take care of himself.
After my brothers and sisters learned about my father's condition, they shared their thoughts about how to manage the situation. Our mother was too old to do it so they suggested that I stop looking for work and be his caretaker.
Neither of my parents had a source of income, and my siblings didn’t make much. The only financial contribution they could make was to cover my meals. I had no income, either, since I was laid off from work. It was a difficult decision for me to agree to stop looking for work and stay home to look after my father. However, Master Li, our teacher, said:
“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
That meant I had to be considerate of others. My older siblings were too old to take care of our parents, whereas my younger sister still worked and had to pay for her child's tuition. I thought it over and made up my mind to take it on.
It was not easy for me to take care of my elderly parents, but I did so for nearly 10 years. At first, I didn’t know where to start. When my father was clear-minded, he would tell me when he had to use the restroom. When he was confused, he soiled the bed.
One day this happened and my mother saw it. She took me to him and asked me what to do. There was poop all over his body, his clothes, and the sheets. I was at a loss. As a practitioner, when I ran into something difficult to handle I’d always remember what Master said: “Any attachment is an obstacle.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
Right away I realized I had a strong reaction to filth, which gave me a clue about the right way to handle it. I said to my mother, “Let me take care of it.” First, I used warm water to clean him off, then I took his clothes and sheets to the washroom to rinse them before washing them by hand. (We didn’t have a washing machine.)
My father loved soup, so he had it at almost every meal. That meant he had to urinate a lot. Every time he wet his bed, I’d quickly change it.
He was a big man, so it was never easy to get him changed. Thinking back, I couldn’t even take care of myself before I started to practice Dafa. Now I could even take care of him.
I worked around the clock every day looking after him. He had three meals a day, with trips to the bathroom multiple times a day. It was only when he slept that I had time to take care of household chores. I also had to squeeze in time to study the Fa teachings and do the exercises.
I once had to go out of town to apply for social security and asked my oldest brother to take care of our parents for a few days. Right after I left, he called me and said to come straight back, that my father had splashed water all over the floor. I wondered why he couldn’t deal with such a small mess. Just as I was about to lash out at him, I realized that I was a practitioner and should not behave like that. He himself was almost 70 after all. I changed my attitude and began to comfort him.
On the bus ride home after submitting my application, I was half asleep in my seat when everyone suddenly stood up in alarm. I saw that the bus was about to crash into a forklift. I started reciting, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!” The bus and forklift both stopped. I quietly said to Master, “Thank you!”
A little while later, the elderly lady sitting next to me said, “Only a few days ago, I was on a bus to Inner Mongolia, and we had a collision. Thirteen people died. It must be that someone on our bus today has brought us good fortune!”
Right then, I thought it was Master giving me a hint to clarify the truth to her. So I said, “When I saw we were about to collide, I recited, ‘Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!’ And we stopped just in time. Master Li, Dafa’s founder, saved us all! Please remember what I just said and share it with your family and friends.” She said she would.
When my third oldest brother saw how difficult it was to take care of my father, he was very sympathetic. He invited me to his house and took care of my father for a day to give me a break. His wife later told me that he was totally exhausted at the end of the day. He then realized how difficult it is to take care of the elderly, and he shared this with his wife. From then on, they began to do more to help and sometimes they’d bring me treats.
One day, my second oldest brother came to visit and asked me to prepare a meal for him. As soon as I got to the kitchen, my father defecated in his pants. My brother didn't do anything except call me over. It took me quite a while to clean it up. After I finished, I headed back to the kitchen. Deep down, I was so upset that my brother didn’t help me. Instead, he just created more work for me! Then I told myself, “I have to endure it” and just let it go. I remembered: “When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Another time, all my siblings and their kids came for a visit. When I was cooking, my father again soiled his pants. When I was cleaning him up, nobody gave me a hand. Moreover, my second oldest brother blamed me for something in front of everyone. I felt so humiliated. I was about to lose my temper but I remembered that I was a practitioner and calmed down.
Even though my father didn’t practice Falun Dafa, because he acknowledged Dafa and had righteous thoughts about the practice, his life was extended for nearly 10 years. During that time, he didn’t have to spend a penny on medical bills or a caregiver. What's more, since I took care of him, my sister and brothers were able to carry on with their normal lives.
While I took care of him, there were many times when I was moved, and sometimes I failed to pass a test. However, because I held myself to Dafa's standards, I managed to endure. As a result, I didn’t have any conflicts with my siblings.
My relatives’ attitudes have really changed during the past 10 years. They previously didn’t understand why I practiced Falun Dafa and they looked down on me for it. But over time, they completely changed their opinion of Dafa and now think very positively about it. All of them have renounced their memberships in the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.
One Chinese New Year, we had a family get-together. At the dinner table, all of them thanked me. I said, “It’s only because I practice Falun Dafa that I was even able to take care of our parents; Dafa completely transformed me. If it were not for Dafa, I wouldn’t have been able to take care of myself, let alone take care of anyone else. Dafa has brought me good fortune. It has also brought good fortune to all of you. We should all show our appreciation to Master Li.”
Then all of them said, “Thank you, Master!”