A letter to Auntie Zheng – by 16096 Zhang Hua Biao
Translated by George Wang
Dear Aunt Zheng,
How are you? This is Zhang Hua Biao. I am grateful for your help and kindness. I appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to read this letter. Your support and inspiration have been the impetus for me to face down the obstacles and to reinvent my life.
I had dreams about the future, however, those dreams dissipated with my ailing body. Once I was at my wits’ end. Confronted with such uncertainty, my heart was filled with trepidation and terror.
I had been under a lot of pressure even before my illness. Four years ago, we had an earthquake. To rebuild the house, we borrowed seventy thousand RMB from the local credit union. This debt is still outstanding. Both of my parents are in their fifties and the financial burden of providing for me and my sisters weigh heavily on them. As the eldest son I would like to help out. I was constantly under the pressure and had no one to talk to.
At the time, my grades were declining despite my efforts. I studied hard yet the results continued to be dismal. With my illness persisting, things turned worse. My parents scrambled to borrow money for treatment in hospital. The stress was unbearable.
The physical pain and the medical bills drove me to despair. Sometimes I felt l wanted to give up but I couldn’t. The impression of my father running between doctors and hospital offices tormented me. The encouragement of my classmates and teachers, on the other hand, strengthened me. With so many people backing me up, I just couldn’t give up and had to fight for their sake.
Fortunately, many people stepped in and lent me their hands. I am grateful for the donations arranged by my classmates, principal teacher and the party leaders. The school raised more than fifty thousand RMB for my medical bills. Through the crowd funding website of Qingsongchou, I received an additional thirty-plus thousand. I am grateful for the generosity of all the donors. Your kindness lights up my heart and sparks my spirit against all odds.
Now, I have returned to school and have recovered from most of the physical pain. The disease crippled my right leg and the disability is likely to be permanent. However, I consider this disability as a price for my recovery. Overall, it is a triumphant experience. I have learned to meet the challenges with poise. There are so many people supporting me during this difficult time. My parents, friends, classmates, teachers, relatives all have been cheering me up. I cannot give up.
Every morning, I say to myself, “Cheer up. The sun rises today just for you.” I am not content with where I stand, I want to accomplish more. I don’t mind living an ordinary life, but I don’t want to subsist without giving my best. I want to plot my own future.
Dear Aunt, I am thankful for your help. In addition to the financial support, your encouragement and caring boost my spirit. Although I may have lost a leg permanently, I shall travel far with your love and good wishes. With you on my side, I shall not walk alone. I will extend your kindness to other people as well.
I wish you a happy, healthy life. May your family always be blessed.
Your Child, Chang Huabiao