My friends told me that if they were to write about a close person they would write about their mother. As for me, I think of the person who “lights up my dream” since I was very small. They are my teacher Phan Thi Lien and my benefactor Nguyen Thi Oanh.
I still recall with fresh memories the first day I went to grade 1. Every body was accompanied by their mother in his or her first day to school, while I was taken by my grandmother to the school-gate. When I was standing alone timidly, teacher Lien came and guided me to stand in a queue to attend the new school-year ceremony. We were given a present to memorize our first day to school, which was a notebook and a small, nice-looking pen.
I was so happy, but upon returning home, I did not have a mother to tell about my joy. Every night, I opened the notebook and admired it, recalling my teacher’s words “from now on you are first-grade pupils!”
I felt so proud.
The first year flew in the guidance and encouragement of teacher Lien, and I got the rank of “excellent pupil”. I moved to grade 2 but could not forget my beloved grade 1C. In our last class in grade C, teacher Lien announced “all of you qualify entering grade 2.” She was so happy and she read the poem “Goodbye grade 1”
When she read to these:
“do what I taught
and you will see that I am always with you”, I thought I did not want to move to grade 2. Was it funny, my friends?
During the break-time, every body tore off a page or two from their notebook to write for her. And, without anybody telling to anyone else, we all slipped our letters in her bag.
When the class was over, I saw tears in her eyes. I thought – “so everything ended now, from now on there will no longer be anybody who cares me.”
When I moved to grade 2, I felt it was so difficult to comprehend the lessons. Then one day, I received a letter from her. She wrote “I still always follow each of your steps. I have trust in you”. Whenever passing by my classroom, she would never failed to look in and smiled with me. I felt so happy. At such time I wanted to call out loud “Mom!”, but my mother was so far away, how could she hear me!
Then, a great amazing event came to my life when I learnt that teacher Lien proposed to the school executive board that I received a scholarship of 400,000 VND from benefactor Nguyen Thi Oanh. She told me about the life and work of Ms Oanh, who refrained from spending for herself to save for charity work and assistance to children in need in many places. Ms. Oanh has the kind heart of a fairy, a Buddha, who helped such children as me and inspired us with dreams to overcome hardship.
I listened passionately to what she told me and no longer felt bad for myself for losing my father and not staying close to my mother, which none of my peers suffer, but in return, I have teacher Lien and the benefactor, who light up my dream.
And I got encouraging results in my study – I was ranked “excellent pupil”. Fondling the certificate of merits, I kept wishing that I could meet my benefactor to tell her about this.
I kept writing for teacher Lien but, for some reason even I myself could not explain, did not send her the letters. However, time is the best test for love. Now, though I stopped being her pupils, I always feel deeply respectful and grateful to her.
My dream may not turn true, so I do not dare to tell it out loud, but I know that right now I have to act to realize that dream, don’t I?
I am deeply grateful to teacher Lien for initiating this writing programme that gave me a chance to express my love to my teacher and benefactor over the years.
Since I cannot visit my teacher and cannot meet my benefactor either to extend my best wishes for health and happiness to them.
Cao Van Tam