(Minghui.org) When my father-in-law asked me for money and tried to take my daughter away after my husband died in a car accident in 1993, I thought I would never speak to him again.

I may never know how much I hurt him when I cut ties with him and didn’t let him see his granddaughter. But thanks to Falun Dafa, my resentment and hatred was dissolved. I fulfilled my duty as a daughter-in-law and avoided a lifetime of regret.

I Thought My Hatred for My Father-in-law Was Justified

My husband used to work in the railway bureau and I taught in an elementary school, where our daughter was a second-grader. We made just enough to get by but we were happy.

One afternoon in April 1993, two strangers came to look for me at school. They told me they were from the traffic bureau but seemed hesitant to tell me more. I got nervous and asked what had happened. They said that someone had been hit by a car and rushed to a hospital. They weren’t sure if he was my husband because he was unconscious.

I remembered that it was my husband’s day off and he’d planned to run some errands. I had a feeling that something was terribly wrong. On the way to the hospital, my coworker tried to comfort me.

I saw my husband in the emergency room: his brain had been injured and his left arm and right leg were broken and discolored. He was at death’s door. The doctor said that even if he survived, he’d be a vegetable. I almost fainted. My coworker reminded me that I had to be strong and said, “Call your relatives to come to see him as soon as they can.”

I tried to calm down and remember who to call. Relatives from both sides of the family quickly came. Facing that depressing situation, my mind was blank. Everything seemed surreal and I wasn’t sure what to do.

Three days later my husband was still in a coma. Suddenly I remembered reading somewhere that when someone is in a coma, a family member’s loud voice might wake him up. I said to my husband, “You can’t go. If you leave, what are we going to do? We can’t lose you.”

I stepped up right next to him and shouted his name. After I called his name a second time, my father-in-law came out of nowhere and yelled at me, “What do you want from him?!” I was caught off guard. What did I want? I just wanted him to wake up. What was wrong with that, I thought to myself.

I felt terribly wronged that my father-in-law would attack me. I wasn’t the reason his son was in this situation. I couldn’t stop crying, lost control, and started to argue with him. Other relatives had to break up the fight. My older sister pulled me aside and consoled me.

All that commotion didn’t wake my husband up. He died that night.

The men from the traffic bureau told me that when my husband merged into traffic on his bike, a car hit him. The car was carrying officials from the mechanical bureau in a hurry to get to a meeting in Changchun, the capital of Jilin Province.

My older brother and I spent a month taking care of my husband’s funeral. None of my in-laws offered any help. Instead, they did things that blew my mind. At first they wanted to take my daughter away from me, claiming that she had their last name and shouldn’t stay with me. My husband’s younger brother later talked them out of it.

Later on they went to my husband’s employer and demanded his funeral expenses. One of the supervisors explained that the money could only go to his wife. Even then, my father-in-law refused to leave unless he got his share.

With my husband’s sudden passing and my terminally ill father in the hospital, my father-in-law’s behavior was the last straw. I collapsed and fell down in the reception room. My heart was about to explode with surging anger and hatred. “What kind of father is he, rubbing it in like this,” I thought. My daughter grabbed my arm and sided with me, “Mom, don’t be angry. Grandpa isn’t my grandpa anymore. I don’t want to know him.” My older brother and sister told me not to take my father-in-law seriously: “Just live your lives separately from now on.”

“Of course, why would I want to have anything to do with him?” I didn’t think I would ever forgive and forget. That hatred went deep.

Our Paths Cross Again

Three months after my husband passed away, I requested a transfer and my daughter and I moved back to Changchun. I did not tell any of my in-laws. I didn’t want to see their faces. However, one of my father-in-law’s relatives worked with me and probably told him that I’d moved back. One day as I was getting off work, I spotted my father-in-law outside the school entrance. I quickly grabbed my daughter and left by another exit. Over the next four years, he came to the school three times, but I never went out to see him.

I lived with my older sister after I moved back. I was now a single parent and the only breadwinner and had recently lost two of the most important people in my life, my husband and my father. The stress and the pain of loss were constant.

I kept losing weight and became haggard and lethargic. My health took a downturn. I was diagnosed with rheumatism; inflamed reproductive organs, gallbladder, and stomach; and anemia in the brain. I consumed bottle after bottle of medicine. Being the head teacher and in charge of two classes, I was often out of breath if I had to lecture for three hours in one day.

My supervisor was a caring person and brought in someone else to share the teaching load. That someone else was a Falun Dafa practitioner. She suggested that I practice Falun Dafa. “You will definitely get better once you learn this practice. It has miraculous healing power,” she said. I didn’t have a social life and had never heard of Falun Dafa even though many in China were practicing it at the time.

My health continued to worsen and I could no longer lecture for three hours straight. I frequently took sick leave. The other teacher patiently reminded me of the benefits of practicing Falun Dafa. I could see that she was a decent person and genuinely cared about me. I agreed to practice Falun Dafa and she got me a copy of Zhuan Falun, the main text.

Hatred Vanishes

The first time I read Zhuan Falun was during the winter break in January 1998. Before I finished, I knew that there was something unusual about it. I found answers to many questions that had puzzled me all my life. My heart had never been so filled with joy, light, and wide open. I made up my mind that I would never quit the practice.

I learned how to do the five exercises by reading The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection. Before I noticed, all my health issues disappeared in a few months. My body was light and I felt out of this world. When I rode my bike to work, it felt like someone was pushing me. Climbing stairs had never been so easy. I was a brand new person and felt amazing. That was the best time of my life.

Master says,

“You are a practitioner. Thus, to gradually assimilate to the the universe’s characteristic and release those bad things of yours, you must be a good person.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)

“Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence—it is compassion.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

When I studied the Fa and looked within, I wondered if I had understood Master and met the requirements of the teachings. It occurred to me that perhaps I should let go of my grudge against my father-in-law. It seemed like an impossible mission, like trying to untie a knot so tight I didn’t even want to touch it. But if I didn’t do anything to improve myself, I wouldn’t be qualified as a practitioner or even as a good person. I didn’t want to disobey Master and distance myself from the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

A relative told me that my father-in-law was having health problems. I asked the relative to let him know that I would go visit him. Before I did, he came to school to see me. It was awkward seeing him, and I had nothing to say. I couldn’t help remembering what he had done to me years before and had to control myself and stay calm. I noticed that he’d aged a lot in the years since and seemed exhausted. I felt sorry for him and realized that he must have had a rough life. I took him to see my daughter, who was a student in the same school. As soon as he saw her, he started to cry and so did I. I knew that he not only missed his granddaughter, but he missed his son even more.

I couldn’t calm down after I got home, not because I resented what he did, but because I sympathized with him and blamed myself. It had never occurred to me that it hadn’t been easy for him either. His wife had died young and he’d raised his children alone. He’d put in a tremendous amount of effort to see them grow up, get jobs, and get married. For him to have to witness his son die as he did, I could understand why he’d reacted so irrationally.

I regretted the fact that, for all those years, I couldn’t see things from his perspective and refused to get over my resentment. I hurt him by stripping him of his right to see his granddaughter, the only connection he had to his son. I wondered what went through his mind when I hid his granddaughter from him again and again as he waited outside the school.

While all these thoughts were going through my head, I realized that I wasn’t the same person anymore. I’d become considerate and was able to put myself in someone else’s shoes, which I never did before. I guess this was the result of trying to be a good person. From the bottom of my heart, I thought, “Wow, this is what it means to practice. It feels great to practice and listen to Master!”

Through this experience, I had the motivation to improve further. I invited my father-in-law to my house. Although we both felt awkward, I followed Dafa’s teachings and did what I was supposed to. I wanted to be kind to him and let him see the compassionate side of a practitioner. I cooked him his favorite food and chatted with him. I wanted him to have quality family time even if his son wasn’t with him. My goodwill and sincerity gradually moved my father-in-law.

The moment I told him that I practiced Falun Dafa, he turned silent. I guessed that he was scared because of the persecution. I reassured him, “Please do not worry. I will be rational when it comes to the practice.” I explained what Falun Dafa was and why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecutes it and that the practice helped me recover from my health problems and was the reason why I’d changed my mind about him. After I helped him quit the CCP and its affiliates, he smiled.

My father-in-law lived by himself for a while before he moved to a nursing home. I visited him often and brought him food, clothes, and daily necessities. His family and those who worked in the nursing home knew that I respected and took good care of him.

One day he wasn’t in his room when I went to see him. I chatted with his roommate, who said, “Your father said that, of everyone in his family, you take the best care of him.” I responded, “I am not doing as well as I would like because I am not financially well off. I am a single parent and my daughter is still in school. I’ve tried to do the best I could for my father.” As we were talking, the roommate looked towards the door and quieted down. I looked behind me and saw my father-in-law standing there, wiping away his tears.

He got sick in 2005 and passed away. In his will he left his savings to his children and me and my daughter.

Fulfilling My Wish

I remained calm after my father-in-law passed away. I regret nothing I did when he was still with us. I took the best care of him I could even though my husband wasn’t around. I did what I was supposed to as a Dafa practitioner and as a daughter-in-law. I clarified the truth to him, which ensured him a good future.

Master says,

“Cultivation is a process of elevating the soul, and it begins by becoming, bit by bit, a good person, and progressively becoming ever better, such that you become more virtuous than non-practitioners and, ultimately, someone higher.” (“To the Practitioners of Vietnam”)

From what I understand, it was because of the teachings of Falun Dafa that I was able to forgive my father-in-law and treat him the way I did. I went from being resentful and swearing that I’d never see him to seeing him often. In the process, my mind changed step by step as I cultivated well and improved my character.

Master’s compassion and Falun Dafa dissolved the cold, hard hatred in my heart. Then I was able to treat others with a forgiving and benevolent heart molded by Falun Dafa. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Master’s teachings.

My profound gratitude to Master and Falun Dafa! I am inspired to continue to listen to Master and be a better person.

Chinese version available

Category: Dafa Day Perspectives