After making a trip to Beijing and spending some time in Siping (a traveler from the very beginning), I settled in Changchun for the time being, and celebrated my first birthday. There I spent the next few years with my grandparents and uncle, with my parents visiting once in a while. Life presented many challenges, but I grew from a baby to a toddler to a kid, intellectually stimulated and surrounded by unconditional love.
Even though my not-yet-five-year-old life was quite simple, there was much to write about. In order to keep these posts reasonably short, I decided to do four separate pieces.
- Work and Study (mine)
This chapter of my life ended when my uncle’s illness got worse. My grandparents were not able to take care of me anymore, and they didn’t want to expose me to suffering at such a tender age. So my parents brought me to Siping for the second time. Thinking back, I can’t imagine how heart-broken my uncle must have been, knowing that he would never see me again, and how much my grandparents had missed me.
A year later, my parents’ quota application was approved, and the three of us were able to move back to Changchun to live with my grandparents. I thought I would never set feet in Siping again, little did I know that 15 years later I went there for my sister’s wedding – Siping is my brother-in-law’s hometown. Therefore, my sister, who happily grew up in Beijing, far away from all the hardships I lived through, now visits Siping once in a few years to see her in-laws. My mom often mused that our family’s tie with Siping was so strong that my sister had to find a husband there to make up for all those time she missed as a child.