A letter to Uncle Wang – by 16091 Zhang Shun Pin
Translated by George Wang
Dear Uncle Wang,
How are you? This is Zhang Shunpin, a student sponsored by you. Three years ago, I was on the verge of quitting school, and fortunately you came to my rescue.
I came from a single-parent family. My mom is blind and my father had mental issues. He was lucid only part of his lifetime. When I was in sixth grade, he couldn’t stand the pains any longer and gave up on his life.
After my father’s death, our misery deepened with the bullying of the neighbors. My elder sister quit school even though she was doing well academically. Barely a teenager, she left town for work to support the family. My brother had been a top student in the junior high school. He suffered and endured in his own quiet manner. One time, in elementary school, he almost fainted due to hunger. Two potatoes lifted him back to life. In high school, most students ordered two or three dishes for their meals. My brother would always order just one dish to go down with the free rice and soups. He would act nonchalant in front of me, boasting about the bountiful meals he had. It hurt me since I was fully aware of the truth. His ego and pride prevented him from accepting handouts from others. Working household chores, he would take on the most daunting tasks: digging potatoes, transporting corn on the back, splitting fire wood, etc. We all have encountered numerous hurdles and challenges, nevertheless we plodded forward.
Currently, I have been admitted to Yuxi Normal University. It is one step closer to my dream of becoming a teacher. There are several things that have always haunted me. I am constantly reminded of the sacrifices my sister has bestowed to the family, by the diligence and frugality of my elder brother, by the sadness that my younger brother when he failed the high school exam, and by the helplessness of my mother staying home by herself. There are so many obstacles in my path and so many things that I worry about. I just keep on reminding myself, “I have to strive for a better future so that I can provide for my family.”
Dear Uncle Wang, I am grateful for your help. Without it, I would not be what I am today. I am glad that I persist in studying. Your compassion warms me. I am thankful of you. Again, from the bottom of my heart, “Thank you.”