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If you feel pain, it is actually alright!

Mother-in-law sobbed, “COVID is too serious, and you’d better not come back.”

A poem By Christina Yuhong Liu, current student in MA in Leadership Mandarin program

Translated by Jane Zhang, Program Manager for MA in Leadership Mandarin program

The last day of 2020

I woke up in the morning

and looked back upon

this unforgettable year.

 

In May, Father-in-law finished his journey in this world.

At the other end of the phone,

Mother-in-law sobbed,

“COVID is too serious,

and you’d better not come back.”

 

Former employer

expanded his business without restraints

And ran out of cash.

Faced with pressure,

He tore apart his splendid mask.

Lawlessly audacious!

 

While COVID was still on rampage,

I started my studies in TWU.

During lunchbreak,

I opened my book.

Countless messages rang in.

My 80-plus-year-old parents,

called from the other side of the city,

“are you coming to visit this weekend?”

 

Came home after overtime work,

And waited until Son went to bed.

Rushed to catch up with studies

while renovation and moving was underway.

Moodle got stuck.

Staring at the seemingly forever loading screen,

I could not hold tears any longer.

I wanted to tell myself,

“I don’t want to be a mediocre student.”

 

In son’s class WeChat,

numerous messages from the teacher

were still unread.

They were

requests from different subjects’ teachers

and other parents’ detailed replies.

At that moment,

I tasted the mixture of

sourness, sweetness, bitterness, spiciness and saltiness.

 

Feeling unwell,

I squeezed time to visit the hospital.

Waited and waited,

I was forced to pause,

which was so rare.

An unknown panic suddenly gripped me:

What if I fell down now?

……

The doctor ended her inquiry.

Printing the check request,

she carelessly said,

“If you feel pain,

it is actually alright.”

Thankfully,

There was nothing serious.

 

Before going to bed on Christmas Eve,

son said,

“my classmates argued if God exists.

Some shouted,

If He does, why did he allow this virus

to be unbridled?”

I was at a loss for words.

……

Last day of the year,

On the way home from work,

Called mother-in-law,

who was busy registering granddaughter for calligraphy lessons.

 

Arduous process of shareholders’ rights restructuring

finally finished.

 

Inspired by

our class motto,

“To achieve the mission together”;

Spurred by

The professors’ warm insistence,

I did not quit.

……

It is a habit of mine

on the last day of the year,

to summarize the 365 days that are going to be closed.

I realized that I had not given up

trying to answer my son’s question.

 

I suddenly remembered

the words from that smiling senior doctor.

……

Tonight,

the last night of 2020,

before going to bed,

I asked my son,

“If you never had pains,

what would your world be like?”

 

Then,

We together

prayed for the New Year!

Christina Yuhong Liu is a current student in the MA in Leadership Mandarin program. She was born in Helongjiang Province, China and currently resides in Shenzhen City, China.

Jane Zhang is Program Manager of the MA in Leadership Mandarin program. She was born in Hebei Province in China. She has lived in Beijing and currently resides in Langley, B.C.

2020最后一天

清晨醒来

回望岁初

这无法释怀的一年

 

5月,家公离世

电话那端

婆婆哽咽着

疫情严重

你们都不要再回来啦

 

前东家

无节制地扩张

资金出现赤字

面对压力

扯去漂亮的面具

胆大包天

 

 

疫情中

线上开启西三一课程学习

午休时间

打开书

手机的信息送达声纷纷响起

住在城市另一边的

80多岁的老父母在问

这个周末你们回来吗

 

加班归来

孩子睡下

开始赶作业

期间伴着装修、搬家

网络卡顿时

看着屏幕上长时间转动的圈圈

那一刻

想流泪

想对自己说

我不想作不优秀的学生

 

儿子的班级群

有未及看的

班主任督促家长做的N件事

各科目老师的叮嘱

以及其他家长们长长的回复

那一刻

五味杂陈

 

身体不适,

挤出时间去医院

候诊

难得被动闲下来

鲜有的

滋生出一份对未知的恐慌:

如果这时自己倒下了

会怎样

……

结束问诊

医生边打印检查申请单

边不经意地说

痛的,反而没什么

感恩

果然无大碍

 

 

圣诞前夜

临睡前

孩子说,

同学们争论到底有没有上帝

有同学大声说

如果有上帝

为什么他允许疫情肆虐?

我不知道该如何回答

……

 

临近岁尾

下班路上

与婆婆通话

她在忙着为孙女报寒假书法课

 

艰难的股权结构重组

终于在昨天划上句号

 

被17班同学

”一起,使命必达”的集结令驱动着

被老师温暖的坚持

牵拉着

没有停下来

……

 

习惯地

在最后一天

盘点即将作别的365天

发现自己一直没有放弃

尝试去回答孩子的提问

 

忽然想起

那位年迈医者

微笑着对我说过的话

……

 

今晚

2020最后一夜

临睡前

问问孩子,

如果从未痛过

你的世界将会怎样?

 

然后

一起

为新的一年

献上祷告