17369 Deng XX, Male, 10th grade

Translated by Sara Qiu

I was born in a shattered family. From when I was born until I grew up my grandmother took care of me attentively. She was very kind and close, she did the most for our family and she devoted so much effort, but she was old. My mother was born mentally retarded, but in order to give my father a descendant to rely on, my grandmother was determined on letting my father marry my mother, regardless of relative’s refusal, and form this imperfect family. My father was born deaf-mute and my mum was born mentally retarded, this is very unlucky. But my birth and my little brother’s birth brought this family a turnaround, it brought hope and they pinned our future on the two of us. 

My mother’s amentia was only a brain deficiency, it didn’t affect her health. She was under the attentive teachings of my grandmother. She learned step by step how to do farm work. My grandmother brought my mother to do farm work every day, always doing the same work. My grandfather is helping taking care of the sheep all year round. Although my father is deaf-mute, he is very intelligent, he knows how to do all kind of farm work, he even knows how to plow. My grandmother recently bought a tractor for him, he knows how to use it, he is very clever. I have a little uncle that built a plant nursery in the city, he let my father help him. In Chinese New Year, our uncle brings my little brother and me some money for school expenses, usually we maintain our livelihood by selling livestock. Although life is arduous, we are still happy because our family relation is joyous and harmonious, with incomparable warmth. Only when we encounter problems, it is just as being hold down by a big mountain, being breathless. At this time, our big uncle does his best to help our family, we are extremely grateful to him.

The scariest thing from when I was little is parents’ reunions. When I was in elementary school my grandmother attended them but in secondary and high school, which was further and further away, I didn’t have any parent coming.

When in elementary school, my mum once had a stomach ache. We brought her to the hospital and the doctor said she had blood in her bile duct and therefore she had pain. After a long period of treatment, she fortunately recovered. Dad last year had an accident: when he was looking after the sheep, he grabbed a fig from the tree and fell from it. He broke his spine and vertebra, constricting the nerves. He couldn’t walk anymore. The situation was quite serious, we couldn’t send him to the county, he was after transferred to Kunming for surgery. He remained one whole month in the hospital. The doctor specially advised him to do rehabilitation, otherwise he could be paralysed. All our family were worried about my dad, my little and old uncle and my aunt they all had done a lot for us in a selfless manner.

Due to the heavy medical treatment expenses, we brought our family an incomparable burden. after going through an intensive care, my father finally recovered, but he could no longer work outside. Therefore, both my study expenses and my brothers became a problem. I am now in high school; my little brother is in secondary school. The pressure of the financial condition seems as a mountain holding down this incomplete family, holding down to us in a manner we cannot breathe easily.


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