“I can only raise you. I have no money to support you, so you have to work harder. Your dad and I will get old and die one day, and your elder sister will get married. Your younger brother will get married too, so you will have to learn to take care of yourself.”
When I heard those words from my mother, I thought she was so cruel to me. I am blind, but my mother always forces me to do chores such as sweep the floors, wash clothes, and even chop plants to feed the pigs. Despite the fact that I cut my fingers many times, my mother insisted I continue doing it because she thought it would be beneficial to me.
I used to think that she wasn’t my biological mother. Now that I’m more mature, I understand why she has always been strict to me and that she really loves me with all her heart. She wants me to form skills to live independently.
My father used to work for a state-owned company, but he got fired because he took too much leave to take me to doctors. He is now working as a manual worker for a plastic bag manufacturer. My mother stays at home, raises livestock, and grows rice.
I once asked her why she gave birth to four kids when our family was so poor. She just smiled and explained to me that my father is the first son of the family, so he wanted to have a son to continue his family line. Even when she smiled, I could tell how many difficulties she has gone through to raise her children.
“Mom, do you feel sad to have a daughter with a visual impairment?” I asked my mother when she was taking me home for summer holiday.
My mother stayed quiet for a while and then rubbed my head and said, “Your father and I used to feel very sad, but not because of you. We were sad because we wished we had more money so that I wouldn’t have had to work so much when I was pregnant with you so that you wouldn’t have been born this way. I feel sad because I dropped out of school too early. Now that you have an opportunity to study, you should work hard at school so that you don’t have to live a difficult life like we do.”
I remember that when a man from the District Blind Association came and introduced me to Nguyen Dinh Chieu Blind School, my mother didn’t mind putting her work aside and taking me all the way to Hanoi to enroll me in the school.
She waited for two hours to meet the principal to apply for my studies. When she was told that only Hanoi citizens were eligible to enroll in the school, she didn’t give up. She did everything she could to get me into the school. I will never forget the things that she told me—they have not only become my life mottos but also my motivation to overcome difficulties when I have to live away from home.
Thanks to the care and support of Samaritan’s Purse at the school, I no longer feel alone. I know there are still many good people who care for us. I have realized I am uniquely made. No one in this world is exactly the same as me, so I don’t need to try to be someone else.
The music classes provided by Samaritan’s Purse have lent me wings to pursue my dream. I hope that I can continue my studies at the National Academy of Music after I finish ninth grade so that I can make a living playing music and live independently. If it hadn’t been for Samaritan’s Purse, I would have been just like a shy, young bird that doesn’t have enough confidence to spread its wings wide to touch the sky.