17183 Li XX, 9th Grade, Female

Translated by Sara Qiu

When I was little, all my friends’ parents worked in other parts of the country. My dad’s health wasn’t good, he couldn’t do heavy work, he had no choice but to do home farming. At that time, my grandparents were healthy, I was the only one to go to school, life was still decent. 

In the recent years, two brothers were studying, grandparents were growing old and getting ill all the time, they couldn’t work. Only my parents could work. We didn’t have much land, my parents forced themselves to go out to work for living. Mum is illiterate, she didn’t talk Chinese. Dad wasn’t in good health, he relied on medical drugs to sustain himself.

A year ago, bad luck came into my house. My little brother was by the house playing in an open space, suddenly he was hit by some cattle. He turned unconscious on the spot, with no perception. Grandma used neighbour’s telephone to call my parents who were working abroad. They came back on the same night.  My brother was already in the hospital, still unconscious. The doctor informed us to transfer hospital so my parents brought him to a bigger one. Grandma self-blamed for not taking care of my little brother before the accident. Since then, she fell gravely ill and never recover. All the home tasks relied on me, taking care of grandma, and grandpa went to remove weeds. Fortunately, my brother finally was rescued back, he was on a vegetative state. Mom and dad waited and waited with hope, he was hospitalized for a long time. One day his finger moved and mom and dad shouted happily to the doctor.

My parents kept watching my little brother every day, accompanying him in conversations, keeping him awake. After a few days in observation, he finally was discharged from hospital. He had to go hospital for receiving a drip infusion. At first when he woke up, he couldn’t walk. Dad carried my brother every day to go to hospital. After one year, my brother finally recovered. For this accident, all home’s savings were gone, we also owed a lot of money to relatives. My parents had to go to work elsewhere again. 

In the village, houses were reinforced with steel. We needed to return our debt. We had no money for reinforcing our home. We lived in a house with earthen wall, once it rained the house leaked. The roof had little holes, it sank at any moment.


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