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Posted on May 9th, 2012, by

It was one of the happiest moments in my life.  And yet, one of the saddest.  Something was missing from my life and that was spoiling my happiness.  That day I won my first piano competition and was standing in the middle of the stage with all lights shining down at me.  It seemed like the center of the Universe was somewhere there.  I saw hundreds of faces in the audience and heard the applause.  But there was just one face I wanted to see more than anything else.  But my Dad was not there.  He who supported me throughout all of my life in good moments and bad was not there for me.  He was half the way across the world, there, in China, when I needed him the most.  He could not share the happiest day of my life.  All the other prize-winners were waving to their parents.  And I was ready to cry.  I put my hand in a pocket and found something worthy of Thoreau’s advice.  I had my necklace with a jade bamboo in the pocket, and it made me feel so confident and assured in my success, as if my Dad was there, proudly smiling and patting me on a shoulder.

     Dad was with me smiling happily, when I got principle’s award best student of the year.  He was sharing joy with me when I was awarded diplomas for Beijing State writing, Math, and English competitions.  He was never so proud, I guess, as when I received major’s award for being the best student in my school.  The schoolmates and teachers nominated me for that award.  It was the greatest honor I could receive in school.  And the clearest recollection from those days is my Dad’s pleased eyes.

     When I was leaving China, Dad put a necklace over my head.  The same very bamboo necklace I carry in a pocket now.  He called it a reward for all my accomplishments in China and for future outstanding achievements.  It will also be your protecting guard from the bad things and decisions, he added and gave me the last hug.  I have not seen my parents since.  It is probably the end of one chapter of my life, I thought boarding the plain, and the beginning of the next chapter.  I have to be even more successful and hardworking now.  I cannot disappoint my Dad.

     This necklace always reminds me about my past and gives me confidence in everything I do.  I have hardly ever been more scared then when I had to do my first oral presentation in English during the first month in Canada.  In China I used to be in a Student Counsel and had to speak in front of a big audience quite often.  I never feared to be a speaker before.  This time, on the other hand, I felt very unsure.  I touched the jade bamboo and told myself that everything was going to be fine.  And it was.  Thank you Dad for making me believe in myself!

     This necklace makes me feel always surrounded by my family.  It makes me always remember my roots and where I am from.  It is so important for me to know that I have a home (even though it is very far away) where I can always come back and where someone always waits for me.

                There is a saying in Chinese that bamboo is like a climbing ladder.  It looks like it connects stairs.  I know, with my bamboo necklace I will always go forward and will always try to go up another step on a way to my goal.

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