¡°Only mothers truly love their children; a child embraced by his/her mother is a sparkling diamond¡¡± Every time I hear this Chinese folk song, my childhood memories flash before me, especially the time when my parents left me in my grandmother¡¯s care to seek job opportunities in Switzerland. It was Laolao (¡°Grandma¡± in Chinese) who took guardianship of me and helped me create remarkable memories to last me a lifetime. Although I lacked having a mother role model during this time, Laolao was more than enough to give me a nourishing environment. Laolao was my mother, my role model, and most importantly, my best friend!.
Today, Laolao is over seventy years of age; years of hard work and strenuous toil have left their marks on her face. Deep wrinkles are evident throughout her benevolent face, illustrating the vicissitudes of her life. Over the past eighteen years that we have been together, we became the best companions and intimate friends. She watched me as I experienced growth, and I watched her as she continued her last stage of life.
Laolao was born in China, during the revolutionary times. When World War II broke out in China, when thousands of Chinese youth contributed their efforts in supporting the country, Laolao was one them. Regardless of the danger in front her, Laolao bravely and loyally joined the army. Along with other courageous soldiers, Laolao challenged her strength and determination, and battled the enemy. Her army not only lacked advanced ammunition, food, and supply, but the soldiers also had to combat disastrous and disadvantage environments. Despite all the adverse conditions Laolao encountered, she nonetheless continued her journey and with a determinate mind, pursued her goal to assist the country. When she finally returned, Laolao narrated to me numerous exhilarating stories. As she shared her adventures, both trials and triumphs, I felt as though I was experiencing the harsh circumstances myself.