厄运降临(A Fallen Misfortune)
one day morning, an administrative official dropped in father’s shop and announced a governmental decree: “no incense business is permitted since it is for feudal superstition.”
just like a lightning bolt, my mother and father were shocked because our family life had immediately been driven to a corner. without this self-support means how could a 9-folk family with the majority of the elderly and little kids make its life?
they had no way to survive but selling their possessions gradually.
after a while, some of our neighbors felt pity to our situation and asked my father to assist them in construction work. my father was a craft man not a labor. with less physical strength, he was really suffering in this heavy-duty work.
came to the year end of 1950, it should be the holy time for ancestor worship as per local custom. however, since new government firmly forbade such practice, all such activities associated were considered illegal. even though, there were still some countrymen constantly came to our shop and asked for incenses slinkingly. it really scared my honest and timid father.
my mother was a strong and determined person. she insisted in selling out all inventory. “it is my idea and determination. none of your business.” she said to my father who was trembling and full of fear. “if someone considers it as crime, put me into prison. ok?” she was inspiring awe by upholding justice, “how could a business be stopped just by one word without buffering time to treat those raw materials and products on stock?” mother’s words sounded reasonable, but we all knew it was an excuse caused by the cornered financial situation. as saying “necessity knows no law”, she was risking a danger by desperation.
sure enough, father’s business was recovered in secret way. customers came to our shop in front door and carried incenses with a towel covered basket out from back door.
the sales income made my parents very happy, because they would have enough money to celebrate new year feast.
nothing happened until september 29.