This I Believe

Luan - Rosemead, California
Entered on October 18, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

Notice Your Surroundings

I was once a happy kid until I reached the age of eighteen. Every aspect of my life was ruined after I encountered the adolescents’ disease. All of a sudden I felt like the world had turn its back on me and the sun had stopped shining for me. Everything under my vision was dimmed, shadowed, and colorless. I became pessimistic and my entire existence became hopeless. Despite all the bad experiences I’ve had, however, my perspective and the value of my family has changed ever since.

My immune system couldn’t resist the invasion of the viruses that were attacking my body. The outcome was one hundred times worse than what I had imagined, once I was infected. When I saw my reflection on my mirror, I saw myself disguised as a monster. The monster had grown a cluster of warts on its mask, its hair style was bushy, and its personality was emotionless. At first, I was confused and mystified at what exactly I was looking at. Soon I realized that it was me in the mirror. I figured that this was just a phase and it would soon pass, but the worst was still to come. I wasn’t able to attend school for four weeks.

In my family tradition, we believe there are limited types of foods which a person can consume when infected with the chicken pox. I had to consume the same types of food for three consecutive months, because the only way to cure my sickness was to have a healthy diet. Porridge, rice, steamed pork with water chestnuts, and celery soups were parts of my healthy diet. Fried food, sea food and all varieties of meat with the exceptional of pork were all harmful to my body. It was the worst period that I’ve ever encountered. It endured my life, but it’s horrified even mentioning it again.

Someone who smells like cucumbers and looks thirty years, even though she’s in her fifties, guided me through this horrible experience with her heart. While I felt everything was hopeless, my mom gave me the impression of anticipation. During the process of treatment, she was the one who was actually suffering. She woke up before the sun rose and started her daily objective; preparing the most extraordinary breakfast for me, which warmed my heart up. After I was finished with the heart-warmed breakfast, she would deliver the medicine into my stuffy room. I still remember the times when I couldn’t fall asleep until the sun rose, the itches would always win the war during the middle of the night. The time she took to take care of me was more important than her bed time.

Before this incident, I was totally annoyed and careless by the life lessons which she had infused in me. I didn’t pay any attention and didn’t realize how important she was until I was in the toughest struggling part of my life. My mom once mentioned, “In our lifetime, we must face several difficulties to upgrade ourselves into a better human being. Do not give up while you’re trapped in a terrible situation, but instead, try to confront it.” Finally, I’ve learned the true meaning of the quote and I’d appreciate every single thing she has done for me, especially after this experience.