Thinking of Auntie Zhang as the Mid-Autumn Festival Approaches
(Clearwisdom.net) In just the blink of an eye, it has already been three months since my son and I reunited with my husband in Germany. With the approach of the mid-autumn festival, our family of three prepared to celebrate the holiday together. Perhaps because I had suffered separation from family before, I can't help but think of the practitioners in China who can't celebrate the holidays with their families.
There is one practitioner that I particularly miss. It's Auntie Zhang, who is close to 70 years old. When I was still in China, she provided me with much needed help. Every time I think of her, there is a nice and warm feeling in my heart. Just a few days ago, I made up my mind to practice Falun Dafa. After several days of reading Zhuan Falun, I felt very good. I am eager to tell Auntie Zhang of my cultivation! I'm sure she must be very happy for me.
There are people practicing Falun Dafa in more than 110 countries all over the world. With the approach of the mid-autumn festival, I wish Auntie Zhang a happy holiday and good health.
After my husband decided to stay in Germany, we lived in a remote village with our son. Since my husband had been exposing the persecution of Falun Gong while in Germany, I didn't contact any practitioners in China for fear to bring them trouble. Even though many practitioners that my husband knew offered to help, I declined.
It was the summer of 2008, I was playing with my 7-month-old son in the front yard when I saw a familiar figure passing by. She walked over to me and we were both surprised to see each other. It was Auntie Zhang. It felt as if our encounter was long ago arranged. She began to look in her pockets and tucked all the dozens of yuan she found into my son's clothes. Since then she often came to see me.
Not long after, she came with her teenage grandson to visit us. She brought me a new MP3 consisting of Master's teachings and songs composed by Dafa practitioners. At that time, I hadn't started cultivation yet, but I did have lots of unanswered questions about life, the universe and everything. Listening to those songs greatly calmed me down. As a matter of fact, Auntie Zhang led a very frugal life. With only several hundreds of yuan every month, she had to pay rent and support her grandson's education. Now thinking back, I realize Auntie Zhang was painstakingly helping me out. She wanted to give me the best she could offer me and hoped that I became stronger after studying Falun Dafa.
It was freezing cold in the north. At the time, I rented a house for 50 yuan per month. I needed to burn coal and wood to keep the house warm. I remember clearly one afternoon in late October I was cooking and Auntie Zhang came in with two big bags of goodies. Her son followed with a sack of rice, a sack of flour, and a big carton of soybean oil. That afternoon it was snowing with winds howling. Auntie Zhang said she needed to run and she and her son hurried off into the snow. When I finally settled my son down, I went outside and I found bags of wood neatly piled in the yard. I was extremely moved. With Auntie Zhang's tender care, the winter didn't seem that cold.
Auntie Zhang came to see us almost every week, each time bringing some fruit, crackers and baby food, as well as clothes. She was like my own mother teaching me how to feed and raise a little child. Some of the tricks she showed me worked really well. About 3-4 days before my departure to Germany, she came in the rain and gave me a book and a watermelon (which was still expensive in the early summer).
When I felt helpless, I longed for Auntie Zhang because she gave me confidence and courage. Every time she came she would also distribute some truth-clarification materials.
In the past ten years, the whole family of Auntie Zhang had been severely persecuted. Both her second son and his wife served time in the labor camps. Her youngest son died of persecution and his wife is still serving a nine-year term in prison. Auntie Zhang cares for her grandson all by herself. I remember during one conversation, she mentioned that her youngest son's wife was tortured so badly that she looked like a thin old lady. My heart felt piercing pain upon hearing this. Auntie Zhang's grandson had to separate from his mom when he was only three. How did they weather all these tribulations? When her own family was suffering tremendously, Auntie Zhang still managed to care for my son and me. Only cultivators have such big heart!
I had thought to say goodbye to Auntie Zhang before I left China, yet for various reasons my wish wasn't realized. Now that I am outside China, I often think of Auntie Zhang. She is such a kind, compassionate and strong woman.