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Tickets

I was afraid of Mother's Day since I was a child,
Because soon after I was born, I was abandoned by my mother.

Every Mother's Day, I feel uneasy,
Because around Mother's Day,
On TV shows are all songs that sing maternal love,
This is especially true on the radio,
Even a cookie advertisement also has a Mother ’s Day song.

For me, I can't stand every such song.
I was abandoned when I was more than a month old,
I was found at Hsinchu Railway Station,
👮‍♀The policemen near the station panicked by my loud crying and tried to feed me,
These big boys find a woman who can breastfeed,
If it weren’t for her, I’m afraid that I would have been starved to death.

When I am full of milk and sleep peacefully,
These police officers took me to the Delan Center in Baoshan Township, Hsinchu County,
💒Those Catholic nuns who are smiling all day long are scratching their heads.

I have never seen my mother,
When I was young, I only knew nuns brought me up.

Other big brothers and big sisters have to study during the night,
I have nothing to do, so I have to pester nuns,
They went to the church for evening prayers, and I followed them in,
Sometimes I got under the altar to play,
Sometimes grimacing at nuns who are praying,
More often fell asleep by a nun,
The kind nuns will not wait for the evening prayer to finish,
Just carry me upstairs and go to bed,
I always suspect that they like me,
It's because I gave them a great excuse to slip out of the church.

Although we are all children whose family has been changed, most still have a family,
Uncle and aunties and even the elder brother will come to pick up during the Chinese New Year
Only me, even if there are family members somewhere, do not know.
Because of this, the nuns are particularly good to us, the truly homeless children and others are not allowed to bully us.

I’ve been studying in the orphanage since childhood,
The nuns even found a large number of volunteers to be my tutors.
There are a handful of people who have been my tutors. They are graduate students and professors of Jiaotong University and Qinghua University, engineers and Researchers from the Industrial and Manufacturing Park.

The teacher who taught me physics and chemistry was a doctoral student, and now he is an associate professor.
The one who taught me English is simply Professor Zheng. No wonder I have been good at English since I was a kid.
The nuns also oppressed me to study the piano. In the fourth grade of elementary school, I was already an organist in the church. During the mass, I was responsible for playing the piano.

Due to my influence in the church,
So, my tongue is clearer,
In school, I often participate in speech contests,
On one occasion, he also served as the representative of the graduates' reply.

But I have never played an important role in a program celebrating Mother's Day.

Although I like to play piano,
But there is always a taboo,
I can't play the song on Mother's Day.
I think unless someone forces me to play,
💔 Otherwise, I would never play it myself.

I sometimes think about who my mother is,
After reading the novel, I guess I am an illegitimate child.
The father had illicit intercourse at the beginning and deserted her at the end, the young mother had to abandon me.

Probably because of my good talents, plus the enthusiasm of the tutor,
I successfully graduated from the Hsinchu Provincial Middle School,
By the university joint admissions, I was also admitted to the Department of Civil Engineering of Chenggong University.

When I was in college,
I finished my studies by working part-time,
Sister Sun who raised me up sometimes came to see me,
My big and rough male students,
As soon as they saw her, they became very in good manner and elegant.

Many classmates will comfort me after learning the story of my life, 
saying that I was brought up by nuns, No wonder my temperament is good.
On the day of graduation, everyone has parents coming,
My only relative is Sister Sun, and our head of department also took pictures with her.

During my military service, I went back to visit the Deland Center,
Sister Sun suddenly wanted to talk to me about a serious matter,
She took an envelope out of a drawer,
Aksed me to look at the contents of the envelope.
💓 There are two tickets in the envelope,
Sister Sun told me,
When the police sent me,
These two tickets were in my pockets,
Obviously my mother used these tickets to travel from her place to Hsinchu Station
One bus ticket goes from a place in the south to Pingtung City.
Another train ticket is from Pingtung to Hsinchu,
This is a cheap slow train ticket,
I immediately realized that my mother should not be rich.

Sister Sun told me,
They usually don’t like to find out the past life of abandoned babies,
So they kept these two tickets all the time,
They have been waiting for the right time to talk about it when I grow up.

They have watched me for a long time,
They always felt that I am very sensible, 
Now the time has come that I should be able to deal with this matter.
They used to go to this small town,
I found very few people in the small town,
If I really want to find my loved one,
It should not be difficult.

I always wanted to meet my parents at least once,
But now I got these two tickets,
I hesitated.
I am living well now,
Have a college diploma,
I even have a girlfriend who is willing to discuss about marriage with me,
Why should I go back to the past,
Looking for a completely strange past?
Moreover, there are eight out of ten,
What I found might be an unpleasant fact.

Sister Sun still encouraged me to go,
She thinks I have a bright future,
There is no reason for the mystery of my life to always be the shadow of my heart
She always advised me to prepare for the worst,
Even if the facts found are unpleasant,
It should not shake my confidence in the future.

🔐 I finally went.
This small town I have never heard of before,
Is a mountain city,
It takes more than an hour by bus from Pingtung City,
To arrive.

Although it is in the south, I could still felt the chilly winter,
There is only a police station, a town office,
A national elementary school, a national middle school,
Except that there was nothing else.

I ran back and forth in the police station and the town office, and finally found two pieces of information that seemed to be relevant to me. The first one was the birth record of a little boy.

The second is that the little boy’s family came to report missing, the mysterious disappearance was the day after I was abandoned,
When I was more than a month old.

According to the records of the nuns,
When I was found at Hsinchu Station,
Only over a month old.
It seems that I found my birth data.

The problem is: all my parents have passed away,
Mother died a few months ago.
I have an older brother,
This brother has long left the town,
I don't know where to go.
After all, in this small city, everyone knows each other,

An old police officer at the police station told me,
My mother has always been caretaker in that middle school,
He immediately took me to see the principal of Junior High School.

The principal is a lady and warmly welcomes me.
She said that indeed my mother worked as a coworker all her life,
Is a very kind old lady,
My dad is very lazy,
Other men go to the city to find work,
Only he refused to leave, occasionally did some odd jobs in the small town,
There is no odd job at all in Xiaocheng,
So he lived on my mother's income as a caretaker.

Because you don’t have a proper job, you’re always in a bad mood,
My father had to borrow wine to drown the sorrow and get drunk,
Sometimes he beats my mother, sometimes he beats my brother.

Although he regretted it afterwards, his accumulated habits are difficult to change.
Mom and brother have been troubled all their lives,
When my brother was in the second grade of junior high school,
Simply running away from home, never returned.

Your mother did have a second son,
But one month later, mysteriously disappeared.
The principal asked me many things,
I told the truth one by one,
When she knew that I grew up in an orphanage in the north.
She suddenly became very excited,
🗃 She found a big envelope in the cabinet,
This big envelope was found on her pillow after my mother died,
The principal thought that the contents inside must be meaningful,
Decided to keep and wait for his relatives to pick it up.
I opened this envelope with a trembling hand,
I found all the tickets inside,

📨A set of round-trip tickets from this southern town to Baoshan Township in Hsinchu County,
All are well preserved.

The principal told me,
Every six months my mother will go to the north to see a relative,
No one knows who this relative is,
She just felt that my mother would be in a good mood when she came back.
Mother believed in Buddhism in her later years,
She was most proud of persuading some wealthy people who believe in Buddhism,
To donate thousands of Taiwan dollars, then she
Donated this money to the orphanage of the Catholic Office,

On the day of donation, she also went to the orphanage in person.
I remembered it,
Once a large tour bus brought a group of good-looking men and women from south to north.
They brought a cheque of one million yuan,
Donate to our Deland Center.
The nuns are grateful,
Convene all the children to take photos with them,
I was playing basketball, and I was caught,
And reluctantly took a picture with everyone.
Now I actually found this photo in the letter,
I also asked others to recognize my mother,
She was standing not far from me.

What moved me more was the yearbook I graduated from,
One page was copied and placed in an envelope,
That's a page where our classmates wear party hats,
I am among them.

💌 My mother, although abandoned me,
Still come to see me all the time,
She may even have attended the graduation ceremony of my university.

The principal's voice is very calm,
she says︰
"You should thank your mother,
She abandoned you,
Is to find a better living environment for you,

If you stay here,
The best result for you is find a job in the city after graduating from junior high school,
Very few of us here can go to high school.
If you don’t do well, you can’t bear your dad’s daily scolding,
Maybe you will run away from home like your brother, never return. "

The principal gradually found other teachers,
Told them a story about me,
Most of them congratulations on my graduation from National University,
One teacher said,
They have never had students here who graduated from the National University.
I suddenly had an urge,
I asked the principal whether there was a piano in the school,
She said that their piano is not very good,
But the electric organ is brand new.

🎶 I opened the lid,
Facing the winter sunset outside the window,
I play Mother’s Day songs one by one,
I want people to know,
Although I grew up in an orphanage,
But I am not an orphan.
Because I have always had kindhearted and educated nuns,
Raised me like a mother,
Shouldn’t I treat them as my own mothers?
Not to mention, my biological mother has been caring for me,
It was her determination and sacrifice that enabled me to have a good growing environment,
And bright future.

My taboo is gone,
Not only can I play all Mother’s Day songs,
I can sing softly,

The principal and teachers sang along with me,
♥ ️ The sound of the piano came out of the campus,
The valley must be full of music from the piano,

In the sunset,
Residents of the small town will definitely ask,
Why is someone playing a Mother's Day song today?
For me, today is Mother’s Day,

This envelope full of tickets,
From now on, I am no longer afraid of Mother's Day.


👨‍⚖‍This is a touching story. The author is Li Jiatong, president of Jinan University.

Li Jiatong is a professor who teaches the orphans English in the story. However, the main character of the story was mistaken by readers as the author himself when it was circulated on the Internet. Li Jiatong himself has clarified this in an interview. The story was written according to his experience of teaching children in the monastery.

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