17237 Duan XX, 9th Grade, Male
Translated by Sara Qiu
The land was infertile at the place I was born, and cultivable land was rare. In the last years the transport facilities were improved but the villagers were not harmonious, there was misunderstanding between people. The speed of development was very slow. The income of my family was low, but they paid much. My father worked outside sometimes, and migrant workers were seriously behind payment. When urgently in need for money he couldn’t have it, he had to borrow it from someone. The economy of our home relied on picking tea leaves, but this year the price went down and the burden at home increased.
My parents worked hard for earning money, but they didn’t earn much. They were often blamed by grandma. In her eyes, in life you only need three meals a day and that’s enough. She only cared about the grains that grew from the fields; she didn’t care about other family’s economic matters. From all the elder I met, she is the coldest, stubborn and extremely unreasonable person. No matter how my parents persuaded her, she was indifferent, she insisted on doing what she wanted to do, she rarely was thoughtful with family. Every Sunday, no matter how busy we were, grandma walked six or seven kilometres to go to the market. She barely took care of the animals at home. At most she feed a couple of buffalos. She lives careless and carefree; she does not seek for progress in life.
All grandma’s sentences and words were ugly, making people annoyed. My mum was at home by herself and she quietly had to bear all her scolding with no reason. My mother was compassionate and didn’t quibble for every detail, she occasionally stared at her or refuted at her. Grandma would be angry; she even had rat poison to suicide herself to coerce others. I felt sad when I heard she looked for trouble for no reason. Why grandma did not understand mum and dad, they worked hard all-day long. They struggled earning money for the family, and then she said she wanted to die. We now are having a better time; we have to eat and to wear. How many people do not want to die, but she however wanted to, she might have a brain problem. I told my parents many times to bring to the hospital for examination, but we have no money at home so we never went. Grandma was very unreasonable with mum. Apart from feeling sympathy, I feel helpless.
Mum said she didn’t care of grandmother blames; she only cared about me and my brother studying hard and one day being able to leave the village. Every time we went back home from school, mum said: “study hard, do not be fond of playing every time”. A simple sentence but full of expectations. At first, I didn’t understand, I did not think about it. Now, I understand her intention. I understand now the meaning of life, with goals and motivation.