life is awesome

Xuehong - China
Entered on March 30, 2009

Life is awesome.

My mother told me this story of how I came to my twenties today. She was overwhelmed by grief the day I was born. Owing to Chinese rural custom and family planning, I was destined to be a boy. What should have been the most joyous day for my parents was instead filled with disappointment and despair. After months of tears, they decided to give me up. Strangers who wanted a girl visited our gloomy house to mark a potentially decisive day for my life. The arrangement seemed perfect as both families would be happy. Unfortunately or fortunately, some emotion deep in the heart of the person who gave me life canceled the adoption and left the day as ordinary as any other. My mother said it was too much to give me away so she refused.

Every time I hear this story, I reflect upon what could have been. What would I be like if I was fostered in another family? What kind of life, what kind of values would I have if I called others mom and dad? There is always too much to imagine.

My earliest memory was of a brisk autumn day when I lost my mother. I was scared and felt emptiness inside as I stood alone. A gentle woman walked towards me on the winding path where I was innocently waiting for nothing, lost in time and space. She bent over, took me by the hand, and led me to her house. With a gracious smile, she offered me bowl of candy.

“What’s your name?” I shook my head.

“Where are your parents?” I shook my head.

“Where do you live?” I shook my head.

Again, I was alone. The woman left in search of my parents. I waited in the silence and emptiness until I could bear no more. I left the house and walked into the street until I wandered into another house with another woman with her two girls. There I spent my whole afternoon watching the girls climb a tree in their garden, until my worried mother and I at last reunited under the sinking sun.

I often ask myself, “would my life be absolutely different if I missed my mother that afternoon?” Nobody knows. Asking “what if” is like chasing after the rainbow. Nevertheless I believe in a conjecture along the way wherever I am lost. Whenever confronted with struggles, from medical misdiagnosis resulting in months of suffering, to periods of depression which nearly lead to abandonment of all hope, I still cherish my life and ultimately hold on.

I believe that I will always prevail; I believe in a positive outlook on life; I believe that The One who creates life will never forget me. No one can ever know where the path not taken would have led; perhaps to great fortune or great peril. Is it destiny or free-will that has led me throughout my life? Even though I will never know, I am grateful for life itself. For life is awesome.