17510 Lu XX, 10th Grade, Female

Translated by Sara Qiu

When I was little, I always asked my grandmother: where did dad go? And after taking a look at the sky she slowly stated: he went to a very far place……

My grandmother is a self-reliant woman. When I was very little, my father passed away because of illness. In the fourth day after his death, my mother returned to her parental home, she said: “I am still very young, don’t want to spend a lifetime in you and your sister.” We depend on each other for survival. Grandmother works from dawn to dusk doing manual labor, and this brought her a lot of illnesses and often has headaches.

In my fifth year, my uncle was imprisoned for drug addiction. Aunt told this to my grandmother and her chronic problem reappeared. Maybe the shock was too big that she fainted, I helped her out and gave her a glass of water. She shook her head, broke down to tears, and said aloud: why the fate happens to be like this?

Our family has no income. Whenever we have a holiday, my grandma, my sister, and I will go to the carpet processing plant to collect garbage bottles. Squeezing one kilo gives you 3 RMB. We went every day at 6 in the morning, and get back at 8 o’clock at night. When I and my sister were fast, we could earn 70-80RMB. We work one month in each vacation, then when the school starts we have enough for paying school material.

In prison, my uncle had a correct attitude and he seriously corrected his mistakes, so he could leave prison in a year and a half. But as he was an alcoholic by nature, he passed away only half year after. When he died, he left behind a 6 year-old girl. After his death, grandmother’s hair was whiter and whiter and her health was getting worse and worse. I want to study hard and try even harder to pass high school, to let my grandmother live a life without worrying about food and clothing.


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