Mothers’ Hearts

In the chapter “Magpies,” mothers’ hearts are stated clearly. Being a girl, especially a Chinese girl, An-mei’s mother learnt how “to desire nothing, to swallow other’s misery, to eat [her] own bitterness” (241). Indeed, it was only her daughter, An-mei, who realized her miserable life until the day she agreed to go with her to Tientsin. She made her choice to keep all secrets at the bottom of her heart, where no one could touch. She exchanged her sorrow with others’ happiness. She was ridiculed, sworn, and coerced to go out of home because she had tainted her family’s reputation, yet she did not disclose the reason why she became a concubine. Her tears were changed into magpies, birds of joy and laughers of her innocent children. At first, An-mei seemed to be lured because of Wu Tsing’s affluence; in fact, she took for granted that her mother lived a comfortable and happy life. However, it was her mother who died due to the so-called happiness and comfort. Her mother held so much sorrow and depression that her stomach explored one day, and she reached to Death to escape from her miserable life. Like her mother, magpies would die one day because of peasants’ anger and sorrow. Another reason for her mother’s death was to bring happy and respectable lives for An-mei’s brother and her. In fact, after her mother’s death, Wu Tsing promised to take care of them and give them important position in his house. What beautiful mother’s heart!

An-mei’s cries after her mother’s death awoke and pulled me to the present while I was being impressed by the story. I reminisced about my childhood, when I used to misunderstand my mother. I disliked her whenever she used power of a mother to coerce me not to cry loudly, not to express my feelings, or not to desire something for myself. I got indignant whenever she complained about something because to me, she had a dreamlike life, so there were no reasons for her sorrow. However, one day when I saw her crying, I understood everything. I learnt that she was suffering from a miserable life. She had never had a nice night because she had to worry about many things: money for rice, clothes, and studies, and my father’s temporary sickness. All burdens of my family were being put on her small shoulders. Moreover, I learnt reasons for her illegitimate complaints and wrinkles on her face. I wanted to apologize to her, but I could not open my mouth. I learnt to “listen and watch” whatever she did or taught. Luckier than An-mei, my mother did not reach to Death, yet she looked much older in comparison with her age. Therefore, I felt deeply remorse for my misunderstanding. Also, from that day I have learnt that mothers’ heart are the most invaluable pearls in the world.

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One Response to Mothers’ Hearts

  1. tausifa says:

    Dear Tram, I have also same experience. I’ve never loved my mother. I never tried to undertand her, and i always thought she was not a good mother. She is! Everything she did before is for our happiness. She brought shame for our family. One day i wished her to be died because she scolded me. Now, being apart from maa, i know she is the most valuable gift in my life. She always wishes good luck to me. Really, mothers are the epitome of love and altruism.

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