Embroider My Own Sky

Sitting in front of a half-finished embroidery work, Xiaohe smiled confidently. With the needle going up and down, a flower pattern was quickly completed. But she has not yet realized that herself has already become part of a beautiful picture.

Xiaohe was born in a small village of Peng Yang County in 1995. She lives together with her father, her disabled mother and her brother with paralysis. To take care of the family, Xiaohe’s father has to bear all the burden and stay at the village to do farm work. The born of Xiaohe once gave new hope to this family. But unfortunately, when Xiaohe reached the third grade, tragedy happened again to the poor family. Xiaohe’s legs got powerless and she could hardly walk by herself. The anxious father took Xiaohe to Beijing to see doctors. She was diagnosed as “muscle atrophy”. “When I received the diagnose report, I felt my world collapsed.” Xiaohe said.

Since the family cannot afford the expensive medical cost, Xiaohe’s father had no choice but took her back home. For the first three years, Xiaohe could still walk even not for long. So her father carried her to study with a motorbike every day, no matter how bad the weather is. However, after finishing the fifth grade, Xiaohe could no longer stand up and could no longer live without wheelchair. Neither could she go to school.

“I feel very awful at the beginning. It felt like that mom, brother and I have to live with the evil of ill for life. I felt guilty when seeing my parents living hard while I can do nothing to help them”, Xiaohe said. For this reason, she was always looking for opportunities to make herself valuable to the family.

Xiaohe learned about the cross-stitch from an occasional opportunity. She immediate felt her life got bright. “I can make shoe-pad by cross-stitch, and then sell them for money. It will help to relieve the hard life of our family.” Xiaohe asked her father buying her a pair of cross-stitch. At first, it was very hard. Because she got no experience, neither could she turn others for help. Her fingers were always pricked by the needle, however, never did she give up. She felt the happiness and satisfaction she had never felt when seeing the needle dancing on the clothes. However, after finishing the work, she could no longer afford to buy a new one. Xiaohe had to give up on cross-stitch, the happiness ended as well. “My sky becomes gloomy” She said.

After learning about Xiaohe’s situation, World Vision not only supported her to do recovery training, but also bought her pieces of cross-stitch. Xiaohe became so excited that she finished some of them very quickly. What made her more excited was that her works were finally sold. When receiving the money she made by her own hand, Xiaohe said “My sky is turning blue again.”

In early 2015, under the support of World Vision, Xiaohe attend embroidery training class held for people with disability. “These are the happiest days of my life. Under the instruction of tutor, I have made great progress. The tutor also praised me”, Xiaohe said gratefully.

The closing ceremony and auction was held together. A lot of charity groups were invited to support works of the disabled. When looking back to that day, Xiaohe said,” lots of people came that day. I have never been at such an occasion before. I’m very thankful to know so many people would like to help us.”

When talking about the future, Xiaohe said firmly, “I learned here not only the embroidery skills, but also that one needs to have self-confidence. The needle and thread carries not only my future, but also my strength and dream. I believe I can embroider my own sky.”

(Written by Yang Xubo)