Tribute to My Mother: Xialian Lu

Lovingly submitted by: Jane Lu

My mother is the most independent woman I have known in my life. And because of the way she has lived her life and the way she brought me up, I have learned how to be a woman with the kind of self-respect that all women need to have but a lot of other women are lack of. As I look around and see how many women ruin themselves for the lack of self-respect, I feel so grateful to my mother for being the best role model for women and having expected the same from me.

My mother was born to a Chinese father in Vietnam. She lost her parents when she was still a young child. Her father was involved in politics and was poisoned to death by an unknown assailant. Her mother was killed by the French army. Without parents, she had to support herself by doing manual jobs. Still she managed to finish school and went to college and became a medical researcher.

At work, she worked hard and smart. She never counted on personal connections. Because of that, she never got promoted. She was disappointed with the corruptions at her work place. And she thought that it was because of the corruptions in the Vietnamese government. So when a war broke out between China and Vietnam and Chinese Vietnamese like my mother were asked to leave Vietnam, my family left Vietnam. However, instead of traveling to Hong Kong for an opportunity to resettle in North America, Europe, or Australia, where my parents would not have to work and could get plenty of assistance through welfare, my mother decided to resettle in China where both her and my father could start working as soon as we settled down. To her disappointment, she found a lot of corruptions in China as well. She again thought that it was because of the Chinese government and that capitalist countries such as the United States would be better.

Because of my mother's influence, I tried my best to get a chance to come to the US. Thanks to her demand that I had to try my best to excel in schools, I have always done well in school and so got the opportunity to come to the US to study and get a higher degree in the US which helped me find jobs in the US.

I used to hate my mother for being too harsh on me since I was a child. But now I think that it was better that she had high expectation of me. She wanted me to be able to support myself and be independent. It is very important for women to be able to support themselves and be independent. When people are independent, there are fewer corruptions. Corruptions do not help the society as a whole. Neither do corruptions help build people's self-esteem or help gain respect for them.

What I most admire of my mother is her courage to accept the fate of not being able to see me while she is dying. My mother only has two children, me and my brother. My brother has already passed away in a plane crash. It was a huge blow to her because she loves my brother the most. I think the sadness of loosing her son eventually brought her cancer. She was diagnosed rather late. And I was not able to go home to be with her when she had to go through very painful cancer treatments. Luckily she survived it. However, she has always been suffering from the pain of cancer treatments since then. Now she has become so weak, she does not think that she can survive much longer. She really wants to see me again. But because she knows that if I go back to China to see her, I will not be able to come back to the US any more, she is willing to miss that last chance to see me.

I feel so guilty that I do not go home to see her as she is dying from so much pain. But I know that she wants me to be able to stay in the US more than anything else. I don't want her to worry that I can not come back to the US.

In order to comfort myself, I have asked journalists from big news organizations to go to interview her for her life story because of her unique family and historical background. I have not got any response yet. I hope that with the publication of this article, someone will go to interview her.

Xialian Lu Jane Lu
Xialian Lu
Jane Lu