(Minghui.org) Memories from the past twenty years moved through my mind like a movie: my parents quarreling, my ill mother’s eyebrows furrowed in pain and worry, my wedding without her presence, my father's cold dead body in the mortuary... Among all these unpleasant scenes, the happy days after my mother started to practice Falun Dafa that lasted only a short time before they were cut short by the Communist regime's brutal persecution.

I. Mother’s Illness

I had a carefree childhood which was only troubled when my parents had conflicts. Mom was a determined, straight-speaking woman; Dad was quiet yet stubborn. They avoided me when they argued in low voices or refused to talk to each other. Puzzled over which side I should support, I would give each parent an apple to try to reconcile the situation.

I gave many apples to my parents but they did not seem to help much. Mom gradually developed many chronic illnesses brought on by long-term stress. By the time I was ten, I had become her little caregiver, going with her to the hospital and giving her massages to relieve her pain.

At 45 her health was so poor that she had to quit a well-paying job. Dad spent a lot of money and time taking her to see specialists and trying all kinds of medical treatments.

We tried our best to make Mom feel more comfortable, but her pain was impossible to relieve. Medicine for her cervical spine disease exacerbated her stomach pain. The medication for her stomach disease damaged her liver. She needed exercise to improve her physical health, yet her cardiac problems did not allow her to be active. We were constantly traveling between the hospital and home.

Throughout my high school years, my mother had become so depressed that she no longer went to the hospital. Most of the time, she just lay on a couch at home all day. Her face was pale. Her eyes stared hopelessly out the window at the world outside. I gave up many gatherings with my peers during school breaks so that I could be with her at home. Even then, she would vent her anger at me because of her pain and frustration.

II. Mother Recovers Her Health

In 1998, the daughter of a former colleague of my mother visited. Her boyfriend’s mother recovered from cancer after practicing Falun Dafa so she brought us the book Zhuan Falun, which contains the principal teachings of the practice.

It was not the first time that someone had introduced a kind of qigong or meditation practice to us. Mother had been through a treatment with qigong masters and she even practiced some qigong before. They were useless. Fascinated by the story told by our guest, however, Mother accepted Zhuan Falun, although she did not have much interest in trying another type of meditation which she generally thought to be ineffective.

She had time to kill because her rheumatism limited how much housework she could do. When she was really bored, she read the book. Once she started, she read it day and night, without eating or sleeping, until she finished the whole book. As she read, Father and I noticed that she kept nodding, shaking her head, and crying.

After she read the book twice, Mother announced that she wanted to practice Falun Dafa and she needed to find a practice group to learn the exercises. We were very happy to hear that. As long as she was willing to go for some exercise, it was better than staying at home depressed.

There were many people who practiced Falun Dafa in our area. On my way to school, every block had a different group doing this exercise. Soon, Mom joined one of them.

Five days after she learned the exercises, Mom experienced the “body purification” talked about in Zhuan Falun. She had a fever. Her body shivered as if she was cold. I was worried about this because Father was out of town on a business trip.

Mother insisted that she was fine so I did not force her to take medicine or go to the hospital. The fever lasted two days. When it ended, she was well. Her complexion was no longer pale. She became energetic. All her pain was gone.

Father came home and was surprised to see Mom running to the practice site in the early morning. He smiled, as if a heavy rock was removed from his heart. Mother said that Falun Dafa gave her a second life. Our family, finally, once again found happiness.

Without a patient at home, everyone was relieved. Mother’s competitive personality changed little by little. She stopped complaining and arguing. Whenever there were conflicts at home, with relatives, friends, or at work, she looked inside according to the teachings of Falun Dafa. She treated everyone with kindness and forgave their mistakes. We were very glad to see dramatic changes in her body and mind, admiring the wonder of Falun Dafa.

III. Persecution

Our good days did not last long before the persecution started in 1999. The harm to our family started with frequent harassment from the neighborhood committee, which was controlled by the government. Mother was arrested and pressured to give up the practice. Instead, she went to appeal for her belief. She told people about her experience and how the regime defamed Falun Dafa. She was arrested several times, and taken to labor camps.

Our life went from heaven to hell. Father was very troubled. He smoked every day to escape the reality. I was in college and worried about my schoolwork and Mother's safety. I heard that she was beaten and tortured with electric batons in a detention center. I really wanted to shout at the guards to stop, but I kept quiet because it might have brought her more trouble.

At home, I turned my outrage to forceful playing on the piano. Father was silent. He smoked with his head down, hiding all his worry, anger, and guilt because he could not protect his wife from being hurt.

Mother was frequently arrested and detained and missed many important moments in my life—my college graduation, first job, and wedding. Despite the inhuman torture, Mother never gave up her practice. The reason was simple: she would have died many times if she had not practiced Falun Dafa.

During her third detention, Mother began a hunger strike to protest the persecution and her weight dropped from 60 kg to 35kg. The guards force-fed her and, while doing so, knocked out her teeth and pulled out most of her hair. She was sent home in critical condition.

Once home, Mom resumed the Falun Dafa exercises, read Dafa's teachings, and quickly recovered. A month later, she could walk around. Although she had not fully regained her weight, her hair had grown out again. She asked me not to hate the police. “Be compassionate to these poor people,” she said to me.

Her words were like a breeze to my heart, removing my sadness and hate. I am so grateful to Falun Dafa.

In March 2009, Mother was detained a fourth time. A phone call woke me up at night. While on a business trip, Father passed away from a heart attack. When I saw him at the hospital, his body was already a cold, stiff corpse.

It was the most devastating moment in my life. Relatives helped me cremate him. As I carried his ashes in the funeral parlor, I could not hear any noise except my own breath and heartbeat. My mind was clear. I knew who killed my father. He had suffered so much pressure and pain. He would not have died so early if the persecution of Falun Dafa had not happened.

I do not understand why such a great practice is persecuted in China, where the constitution clearly indicates that people have freedom of belief. The Communist Party hijacked our minds and locked up our souls. I asked those police officers who detained and tortured my mother why they did this. They said that they were just carrying out orders.

It has been 17 years and my mother, like many Falun Dafa practitioners, has been suffering from this persecution initiated by Jiang Zemin for his personal gain. His order overruled the constitution and fooled most Chinese people. He kidnapped, tortured, killed, and took the organs of the most innocent and kind group in China. Ten of thousands of families, like ours, were ruined.

When I see pictures of people doing the Falun Dafa exercises in other countries, I dream about China having that freedom someday. We simply want a country where everyone can breathe freely, without fear.