For the first time in my life, I feel I really have too much. I always knew I have a lot of things, but never felt it is too much until now. My parents who have the minimum of items in their 1300 square feet apartment. Each item has been used daily and some of them have been in the family over 20 or even 30 years. I still see the same rice bowl as 20 years ago. The indoor slippers are old which looks dirty because the color has changed. The pillows are so old that they can't even hold up my head for one night. If you don't know my parents' history, you would think they were working class all their life. But there are few giveaways in the room. My dad's shining golf clubs, my mom's brand bags and me.
I always knew that my dad is thrifty person. In Chinese, we say he "use the money on the edge of knife". My dad only use money on the "must needed" items. But his "must needed" list is very small. My mom, on another hand, is like me. She likes to enjoy life and likes to shop. But she hasn't able to do it much since my dad is the one who controls majority of money.
When I was leaving Chengdu to Guangzhou, my mom told my dad that I only had $160 yuan ($26 USD) with me. My dad gave me $600 yuan ($100 USD) even I insisted I don't need it. "You need to have some money with you. Don't save it, buy something to eat." My dad said to me. At that moment, I once again truly know how much my dad loves me. For a person who doesn't even spend $1 USD for a supermarket well cleaned and packed ginger but buys from fresh market dirty ginger for $0.80 USD, to tell me don't save the money is a huge deal for me. I felt shamed when I thought about how many pairs of shoes that I have, how many only wore once clothes that I have, and how many things that I bought only because they are nice looking.
I feel I am trapped in between the western life style and Chinese life style. One life style tells me to enjoy today and have better quality material life, but another life style tells me to plan for the future and have a basic material life. I agree on both life style and all I need to do is to find the middle ground.
The 2 months in China with my parents was a true bless for me. 3 of us have more understanding about each other and I feel my love for them is stronger and greater than before. It is a sad thing that my mom is sick and still trying to get better. But I also think this is a chance from God to let 3 us to united as a family once again. It is a chance to let my dad know that it isn't easy to do all the house work, a chance to let my mom know that my dad is a great husband, a chance to let me know the truth of my parents and a chance to let 3 of us have a 2 months together like a normal family.
I pray to God for my mom's health. And I truly hope she can win this war and my dad and her can have a great life for long long time.