Today is Feb 11, 2018, four days before the Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, a time for families and friends to get together and have fun at the end of the past year and the start of the new one.
When I woke up in the morning, having a phone call with my parents far away on the other side of the world, I could not stop thinking about the past 15 years. Looking back on those days, how young I was, how nice and thoughtful they were, how delicious every dish my mom made, how hard my dad tried to help me with my studies, and how they put every effort into making my life better and sweeter, supporting me to join everything that I am interested in and never forcing me to do anything that I do not like.
It is so hard for me to imagine celebrating Spring Festival without them this year, the first time since I was born in 2002. Around 10 o’clock in the morning, we headed to the Banquet Hall on Olive Blvd, with icy roads beneath our rolling wheels. On the way, I played the song 春暖花开 in order to practice for my coming performance. I knew that in two hours I would realize my childhood dream, standing in front of everyone and singing a favorite song.
When I closed my eyes, trying to rest a while before we reached the restaurant, I found myself crying. I remembered clearly the relieved and joyful looks on my parents’ faces every time when I sang to them, how they applauded after my every “performance” and commented me as a singer-to-be.
They have always been encouraging me to sing out aloud because they know I am a girl who truly loves singing and performing. So today, it was my great pleasure to stand on that grand stage and sing in front of all those who I knew and I did not know. But it was also a pity that my parents were not there to share the happy moment with me. I really miss their warm smiles and tight hugs, and all those “you were awesome!”s.
When I walked back from the stage, thinking that I messed everything up, I heard people clapping their hands and cheering for me. I also saw the smiling faces towards me and heard some of them calling my name. I was amazed and deeply moved although I knew I didn’t do my best this time. But I could imagine my parents’ delight and satisfaction. I could also imagine them saying “it was amazing”.
And I knew one thing for sure: our hearts are always tied together despite the 11600-kilometer distance and 14-hour time difference.
Today, before the beginning of the Year of Dog, it was so fun to have this grand Chinese New Year Banquet with teachers and students from SLUH and some other schools.
First of all, I want to thank my parents for supporting me to join this program to be here. Then I want to thank my host family — the Fallons — for trying to make me feel like home all the time. At last, I want to thank all of you present today to share this wonderful time together. Happy Chinese New Year and with best wishes.