A Tale of Unconditional Love and Sacrifice

The story began when I was a child. I was born as a son of a poor family.

Even for eating, we often lacked food. Whenever it was time to eat, my mother would generously give me her portion of rice. While transferring her rice into my bowl, she would say, “Eat this rice, son. I’m not hungry.”

That was Mother’s First Lie.

As I grew older, my persevering mother dedicated her spare time to fishing in a river near our house, hoping to provide me with some nutritious food for my growth.

After fishing, she would cook the fish into a fresh soup that whetted my appetite. While I savored the soup, my mother would sit beside me, contentedly eating the remaining fish meat, still attached to the bones.

My heart was touched when I saw this. I extended my chopsticks, offering her the other fish. She immediately refused, saying, “Eat this fish, son. I don’t really like fish.”

That was Mother’s Second Lie.

When I entered Junior High School, my mother sought additional work to fund my education. She went to an economic enterprise to collect used matchboxes, which she would later assemble.

As winter approached, I woke up one night to find my mother still working by the light of a small candle, steadfastly sticking together used matchboxes. Concerned, I said, “Mother, go to sleep. It’s late, and you have to work tomorrow morning.” She smiled and replied, “Go to sleep, dear. I’m not tired.”

That was Mother’s Third Lie.

During my final term in school, my mother took leave from her job to accompany me. On exam day, she waited patiently under the scorching sun for hours until the bell rang, signaling the end of the final exam.

As I emerged, she greeted me with a warm smile and poured a glass of tea she had prepared in advance. The tea was as thick as my mother’s love. Despite her perspiration, she insisted, “Drink, son. I’m not thirsty!”

That was Mother’s Fourth Lie.

After my father’s death due to illness, my mother became a single parent, continuing to support us with her job. Our family’s life became more complicated, marked by daily struggles. Despite our neighbors’ advice for her to remarry, my mother, stubbornly, rejected their suggestions, saying, “I don’t need love.”

That was Mother’s Fifth Lie.

After I completed my studies and secured a job, it was time for my mother to retire. However, she insisted on going to the marketplace every morning to sell vegetables, determined to support herself.

Despite my attempts to send her money, she adamantly refused, stating, “I have enough money.”

That was Mother’s Sixth Lie.

Having earned my Bachelor’s Degree, I pursued a Master’s Degree with a scholarship from a company in America. Upon starting my job, I planned to bring my mother to America to enjoy life. But she resisted, saying, “I’m not used to it.”

That was Mother’s Seventh Lie.

As my mother entered old age, she was diagnosed with flank cancer and hospitalized. Despite living miles away across the ocean, I rushed home to be with her.

Weak and frail after surgery, my mother lay in bed, staring at me with longing. Trying to put on a brave smile, she said, “Don’t cry, my dear. I’m not in pain.”

That was Mother’s Eighth Lie.

After uttering her eighth lie, she closed her eyes forever.

Journey through Deception: A Son’s Reflection on His Mother’s Selfless Acts

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