The story takes place in present day China. Chin was a young man of 36 when he was diagnosed as having terminal cancer. The doctors gave him 3 to 6 months to live. Accepting that his life would be short, he walked out of the hospital and went straight to the one to the one place that always brought peace and laughter to his day, the theater.
The Chinese have along history of telling stories through song and play acting. In fact, like the bards of old England and Europe who went from castle to castle spreading tails of knights and damsels in distress, these modern day bard of China tell story of hero and emperors that made a difference through out Chinese history.
Chin loved the stories and wondered if there was some kind of scripted that guided these actors and actresses, and help them keep the stories true to the tail, so he asked the director , who told him that the stories were handed down from generation to generation , from director to director. He wondered how many stories had been lost because the story teller had died and had failed to pass the story on to his successor. He made a pack with himself that he would begin that day to write the stories down and put them in a book. He began with a note pad, and a pencil and began a journey that would cover a period of 14 years ,before he would be able to publish his first book of stories. ( True Story)
When I heard this story, I could not help but remember grandmother who had developed polio as a child and always wore a brace. Despite the reality of being physically challenged she gave birth to 6 children .
I was her first grandchild, and my memories of her are not of a weak and useless person, despite the fact that as far back as I could remember she ware a brace on her leg or used a wheel chair to get around. Or the fact that she was diabetic and suffered from other health issues. My memories tell me she was a strong person and that she was always there for me. She was also a great artist , I have one of her paintings hanging over my fireplace mantle, and another pass down to my own granddaughter which hangs over her bed. My grandmother taught me ; “ That when life gives you lemons , you make lemonade!”
My memories of my mother are not as nice. My memories are of a women who was always drunk and abusive verbally and physically. My memories are of a women who never took personal responsibility for her own action and blamed everyone else , including me, for her own unhappiness. “ It is your fault! “, she would often say to me, accusing me of intruding on her life before she had a chance to live it. Her attitude never changed , and when she ended up in a wheel chair and living a life filled with pain , she took her own life. The memories I have of her are of a quitter!
As I began to deal with the reality of my own chronic illness and pain that had become a reality in my daily life, I began to look close at my own attitude and behavior towards my own illness, and realized that I could look at my illness as a death sentence, or I could look at it as a doorway to change. I realized that I could either leave a legacy of a quitter to my children and grandchildren, or I could find a new purpose in my life and move towards that goal. My grandchildren gave me that purpose as I took over their education and began to home school them. I have also taken my love of history and created historical worksheets designed for home schools .
I am not bragging, I am stating a fact that even as a physically challenged person we are still people of value…Even if our doctors tell us that are health issues will not get any better, we can find a sense of purpose like Chan did, and leave this world with the knowledge that we have left something important behind. It may not be a book of stories, or some great invention. It may simply be a memories of a person that never gave up, and some where with in them to face their physical handicap with a positive and calm attitude. We can leave a memory behind of a person that when life gives them lemons , they made lemonade!