[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] How My Strong-minded Mother Forgave the Man Who Betrayed Her and Reunited a Broken Family
(Minghui.org) My father's extramarital affairs led to my parents’ divorce, and the tragic end to our once happy family. My family's story is quite common in today's society of high divorce rates. But what is uncommon is my mother's courageous choice that brought our family back together and salvaged my father's life. And all of this is a blessing from Falun Dafa.
Father Changed for the Worst
I was in the eighth grade when my parents divorced due to my father's paying for prostitution. I remember when my mother asked me who I wanted to live with. I responded with no hesitation, “I want to live with you.” I had no regrets regarding their divorce and even wished for it to finish earlier.
When I was in the fifth grade, my father started to leave an increasingly negative impression on me, which resulted in an ever-more estranged relationship between us.
He sometimes invited a group of friends home either to drink excessively or play mahjong while smoking cigarettes all night long, while my mother had to cook for them and clean after them. Sometimes he would come home completely drunk, vomiting all over the floor and cursing at everyone.
Every time he came home drunk, I was woken up from sleep. I had to cover my head under my comforter to block out all the commotion. I was delighted to hear about their divorce, as I knew my mother and I would finally enjoy a peaceful life without my father around.
After the divorce, my father sank even lower and lived with an infamous prostitute for a long time. He later had a failed business attempt and had to do odd jobs to earn a meager living. Once he had a sip of alcohol, he would start rambling about all kinds of things, often lying without any boundary.
After I completed my college entrance exam, my mother sold our house and moved in with her mother. One day my father came to tell my grandma that she should not worry about me not getting admitted into college, since without a college degree, many young girls simple made a good living by dancing with older men, and so on and so forth. He made no mention of raising money to pay for my college tuition.
I had been excelling in my class, and was consistently ranked among the top few. I had been one of the student leaders in school. I was elected vice president of the student union in high school and made my teachers proud. After my college entrance exam, my mother was arrested for not giving up her practice of Falun Dafa. As my grandmother worried about my mother, my father's shameful suggestion was extremely inappropriate. My grandma scolded him and chased him out of the house. As I listened quietly in the next room, I was both disappointed and fearful, and wondered how such a horrible father could exist in the world.
Only years later, after I grew up, did my relatives tell me about my father’s shameful deeds, and the numerous affairs he had with many different women before my mother divorced him. But my mother was kept in the dark about this, and she didn’t find out about it until the police came to our home to take my father into custody to question him about using prostitutes.
I later learned from my mother that my father was not like that when he was young. He used to be warmhearted and hardworking. When they built our house and dug the foundation, my father was the only person doing it, and my grandmother sang his praises. My mother and father loved each other and he gave all his wages to my mother and listened to her for all kinds of family matters.
After I was born, I became the apple of his eye. He was very patient with me. He picked me up every day after school. He was a good husband and a good father, even though he wasn’t well-educated or sophisticated. But just when I began to understand and remember things, after my fourth grade year, he began to change, influenced by the degenerating morality in society. He become a totally different person, and nothing like the upright and honest young man he used to be.
Mother's Positive Transformation
Eight years after divorce, my mother suddenly told me that my father wanted to remarry her. I and other relatives were all opposed to it.
My mother suffered a lot due to my father's wrongdoings. As a result of depression and exhaustion, she suffered trigeminal neuralgia which was so painful that she could not eat and had to lie down during every episode. She also had neurasthenia and needed large quantity of sleeping pills to fall asleep. She thought of suicide multiple times, but could not leave me behind at such a young age. She tried Buddhism and several forms of qigong, in search for a sustenance of life, but failed, until she came across Falun Dafa.
After practicing Falun Dafa, my mother became light-footed and swift in her motion. In winter days, after sitting in bed reading Dafa books for a few hours, she could get up immediately and move on to work in the field without even stretching her legs. She walked faster than I did.
Her various illnesses were cured in the early stage of her practicing Dafa, including trigeminal neuralgia, neurasthenia, heart disease, and a nodular thyroid cyst. She had not taken a pill or spent a dime on medical treatment for the past ten-plus years.
She had a surgery in her 30's due to the nodular thyroid cyst, which came back two years after the surgery. It was well known that the cyst could not be completely cured and tended to lead to cancer. One of her coworkers died of the disease. After practicing Dafa, the cyst was soon under control. Without her noticing herself, the egg-sized cyst diminished little by little until it completely disappeared. Our friends and relatives were amazed by her wondrous transformation.
Along with her illnesses being cured, her outlook on life changed as well. She became optimistic, lighthearted, and no longer harbored hatred toward my father. From my standpoint, I knew a practitioner would strive to treat others kindly; however, it should not mean that she must remarry the person who she did no longer loved. Although he was very thrifty and did everything he could to save money for my college tuition, I knew for a fact that he never really got rid of his tendency for extra-marital relationships. It was only due to the lack of money that he had to stay away from it.
At the time my father proposed remarriage, my mother had her own house and a decent retirement pension. I was also about to graduate from college and become financially independent. She was well on her way to a comfortable and carefree life. What was in it for her to remarry the man who broke her heart? I asked her if she still had love for my father as before. As I expected, she told me that she did not feel the same way toward him, but her reason to remarry him was completely out of my imagination.
She said that she was determined to divorce my father the first time she learned of his use of prostitutes. Her decision was a result of her personality, that she would never compromise and settle for less once she was betrayed. Soon after the divorce, she started practicing Falun Dafa and learned how to become a good person by adhering to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She came to understand that one should not put one's own gains and losses above everything else when making critical decisions. She therefore began to re-examine a lot of things in life, including her marriage and divorce. Her view had changed.
For example, while I was in high school, my mother sold our house and rented a small apartment, in order to set aside money for my college tuition. My father wasn’t entitled to anything from the sales given their divorce agreement.
After practicing Dafa however, my mother felt that her ex-husband was also entitled to his fair share of the sales because he had made the greatest contribution to building the house, from laying the foundation to interior design and decoration. My mother felt it would be against her belief in the principle of compassion not to share the proceeds with him. That was why she asked me to send a portion of the money to him.
She also told me that if she could have controlled her temper the moment she learned of his affair and taken a step back, she would have been able to treat him with kindness, which would have led to the survival of their marriage and our family. And had the marriage survived, my father would naturally have turned his attention back to taking care of his family, thereby avoiding the embarrassing consequences of failing to provide enough support for my college tuition or sinking deeper in society.
She admitted to me that the divorce seemed to be my father's fault, but practicing Dafa made her realize that her bad temper and selfishness also contributed to it. She used to be so dominant that my father had to obey her and live under her shadow. She realized that partially due to her unwillingness to compromise and her determination to get a divorce, our family went through some unnecessary suffering, especially for me at a young age.
Listening to her heartfelt words, I no longer felt the resentment or hatred that defined her past. To the contrary, all she talked about was what she did wrong and what negative consequences her mistakes brought to the family.
Father’s Righteous Thoughts
My mother also told me that although my father was not a morally admirable person, he had been supportive of her and her belief in the face of the most inhuman and severe persecution, because he knew that Dafa practitioners, like mother, were all kind and honest people.
No matter how big a failure he was in life and how many bad deeds he did, his support of Dafa revealed the remaining kindness in his heart.
My mother had been detained and sent to labor camps several times for practicing Falun Dafa since July 1999. In a total of five years in labor camps, she was tortured to the verge of death multiple times.
Although divorced from my mother, my father visited her in detention and sought her release from the local police department and other government agencies. After she was released, he accompanied and protected her on numerous trips distributing Dafa materials.
I still couldn’t fully accept the fact that she would remarry my father, but I could see her tremendous transformation in her action letting go of years of grudge, and becoming thoughtful and considerate of my father's plight. If it were not for her practice of Falun Dafa, there would have been no way she could do this.
My mother put forward two conditions for the remarriage. First, my father should continue to support her practice of Falun Dafa. Second, he must be faithful in their marriage and stay clear of any inappropriate relationships or use of prostitutes. The first condition was not a problem for him because he knew their getting back together would not be possible if my mother was not a Dafa practitioner. The second condition was because Dafa practitioner's compassion did not mean giving in without principles. My mother wanted to give him a chance to rectify his mind and deeds according to the traditional concept of marriage.
After their remarriage, my father told others that my mother was the best woman in this world. Indeed, my mother put her whole heart and mind into her family, held herself to a high standard after divorce, and forgave her husband's extra-marital affairs, giving him a chance to redeem himself. Who would not agree she was the best woman in the world? Her kindness and compassion came from the teachings of Falun Dafa.
I have heard from many friends and acquaintances that after practicing Dafa, they resolved years of conflicts and resentment among their family members. An apprentice under my father's supervision at work used to beat up his father and wife. After practicing Falun Dafa, he completely transformed into a different person and became a good husband and good son. Witnessing his apprentice's positive change, my father could not help telling others the story.
I am moved by such stories every time, as I know that Dafa truly has the magical power to change people. I now see that in my own family. How wonderful it would be if more people could have the chance to practice Falun Dafa! It will certainly lead to more harmonious families and fewer children in single-parent households.
Living Up to Dafa’s Standards
It wasn’t easy for my father to change all the bad habits he had formed for so many years. One thing that irritated me the most was seeing him find fault in mother while she was busy doing all the chores and preparing meals for him. But instead of bursting into a fight with him, she worked on her heart to forbear it. After much painstaking effort, my once dominating and sharp-tongued mother became a different person!
My mother sometimes shares what she learned from Falun Dafa with me. She said that the true meaning of life was to return to the original true self, not fight for one's self-interest and personal gain. She said that only by following the characteristics of the universe, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” could she be a truly good person, and elevate to higher realms.
No matter how bitter and hard life is, she tries her best to live up to the standards for Dafa practitioners—cultivating her mind, and striving to make herself a true Dafa cultivator. Although in her 70s now, she looks to be only in her 50s, and is always in good health and spirits.
The Power of Falun Dafa
Shortly after my mother paid off my father's debts, he had several strokes and was hospitalized. He also got ulcerative colitis and was hospitalized again. Just as the condition was temporarily under control, he suffered from an acute pneumonia and was hospitalized one more time.
After the doctor reviewed the CT scan of his lungs, he almost refused to treat my father because he wasn’t positive about the chance of my father's recovery. At my mother’s insistence, the doctor admitted my father to the hospital.
My father was very weak and on the verge of death. For a 5’11” tall man, he only weighed about 110 pounds. It was difficult for him to even drink water. The physical torment left him in deep distress. He attempted to commit a suicide. My mother comforted him and encouraged him to stay strong.
My mother stayed in the hospital with my father for nearly two months. She took care of him during the day, and had to frequently get up at night, as he was incontinent. Despite only three hours of sleep each night, she didn’t ask for my help at all. What I did was only giving her a ride between home and the hospital.
Despite the physical and mental exhaustion to taking care of a bed-bound patient, my mother said that studying the Fa helped her to keep a calm mind, and doing the exercises gave her the energy and strength to take good care of my father.
Upon hearing my mother’s story, one of my colleagues said to me, “Your mother is awesome, and it’s amazing that she is still enjoying such good health at her age. If it was my mother, I’m not sure she could make it for even two days.” I know it is Falun Dafa that has given my mother the strength to overcome the unimaginable hardship.
With my mother’s encouragement and meticulous care, my father gradually recovered. He went from having difficulty drinking water, to being able to have a small bowl of rice. He then became able to sit up for a few minutes. He gained weight gradually, and was subsequently able to get out of bed and walk on his own.
My mother believed that my father received blessings from Dafa for his support and protection of her. In fact, when the doctor was performing a colonoscopy on my father, he found his entire colon was covered with ulcers. For most people, the pain would be excruciating. But my father felt no pain at all. We know that Master was taking care of him and reducing his suffering by a great extent.
Having suffered this big tribulation, my father was fully convinced of the boundless power of Falun Dafa. Although he had supported my mother in practicing Dafa, before his hospitalization he sometimes still refused to listen when she tried to tell him more about it.
After returning home from the hospital, he began to learn Dafa exercises and teachings. While reading Zhuan Falun one day, he noticed that the book was radiating light. He thought it was an illusion. But when he took a closer look, he found that the book was indeed radiating light.
Feeling encouraged by Master, my father became very diligent in his cultivation. Although he was never a morning person, he got up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to do the exercises, and read Zhuan Falun with my mother every afternoon. Sometimes when my mother was busy, he urged her to put down her work and read with him.
Because of the stroke, his doctor warned him that lifting his arms could be extremely dangerous for patients like him, but he believed in Dafa and held his arms up to do the second exercise. The blood clots and bruises on his arms soon disappeared.
His perseverance paid off as his condition gradually improved. He stopped the daily oxygen inhalation, and could read Zhuan Falun loud and clear. One of his legs and feet, which had lost feeling due to the stroke, also regained sensation. We are all excited for him!
Grandma Benefited from Dafa
Every spring, my mother helped her mother clean her windows. One day, my grandmother asked, “Is it possible that my heart problem is caused by my bad attitudes towards you and Dafa?” My mother replied, “Perhaps. If you think about it, it is the communist regime that is persecuting us, but instead of criticizing them, you always scolded me. What have we done wrong?”
From this point on, my grandmother began doing the Falun Dafa exercises and reading Dafa teachings every day. She was diagnosed with a severe heart condition and was told she had three more years to live. Yet she lived another ten years after the diagnosis. She passed away at the age of 79 without any suffering.
During the darkest days of the persecution, my mother was repeatedly arrested and detained. When she was incarcerated, I lived in constant fear. I felt I may lose her at any time. In many people’s eyes, maybe I was already like a homeless orphan.
But life is really an amazing journey. With my mother’s persistence in practicing Dafa and clarifying the facts, everything became better over the years. I also grew increasingly proud of my mother for her perseverance and courage to uphold the truth.
It was also beyond my wildest imagination that my parents would get back together, and it was even more surprising to me that my wild and unrestrained father would practice Falun Dafa one day. The harmony and happiness that my mother brought to our family is genuine and tangible.
Durin the past 21 years, Falun Dafa practitioners in China have risked their lives clarifying the facts about the practice and saving people from falling victims to the communist regime’s brainwashing and tyranny. It is they who brought courage, kindness, and hope to the world’s people.
May 13, 2020 is the 21st World Falun Dafa Day as well as the sixty-ninth birthday of venerate Master Li Hongzhi. As the daughter of a Falun Dafa cultivator, I would like to express my gratitude, and extend my most sincere respect to Master Li and Falun Dafa!