There are those, with so very little, and this, is a young man’s wish for himself, and his grandfather who’d raised him when he was a young boy, from the Front Page Sections, translated…
Li-Wei Chen who was raised by his own grandfather never had any toys growing up, “I feared that if my grandpa couldn’t afford it, it would make him sad”, the poverty, however, did NOT break the bond this young man has with his grandfather; at age sixteen, now, he’d worked on his art nonstop, hoping to get enough money, for his grandfather to get treatment for his cancer.
Last night, as the grandfather’s chemotherapy session ended and went home, and Li-Wei Chen saw him after school, he was so excited that he’d started hugging his grandmother and kissed him nonstop too; the elderly saw that there were strangers inside their place, he’d then learned, that his grandson had often stayed up all night long, to paint, and the grandfather couldn’t help but cry, “this grandson of my is very grateful, and it’s been more than worth it.”
At age sixteen, Li-Wei Chen was raised in a cross-generation household, he’s the youngest child of his family; when he was just two, his father was murdered, and the mother handed him over to his paternal grandparents to raise.
Without Money for Toys, So He’d Made His Own Using Wood
“The toys I had in my childhood years, my grandfather had taught me how to make.” Li-Wei said, that since he was a young boy, he’d often envied how other children have toys, but his grandfather was poor, and he didn’t dare ask him to buy, fearing that it would break his grandfather’s heart; his toys, are all made of wood, by himself and his grandfather, and he still had fun, playing with them.
When he was in the elementary years, he’d taken along the tops he’d made to school to play, and the classmates all gathered around him, because the top he’d made would make a son as it turned, and was too different from store-bought; in middle school, when he’d taken stones to class, and everybody started making a fire, and the teacher mistook it for someone’s smoking in class.
He Loved to Draw, and His Grandfathers Would Ride Bicycle, to Take Him to Lessons
He’d often doodled in front of the house where they would put grains on the ground to be sun-dried, and in elementary school, he’d learned to draw comics too. Seven years ago, the Children of Convicts Protection Agency had an art instructor, and the grandfather took him out on his bicycle, so he could go and learn art, and the weekly trip to the art lessons, the two of them treasured the most.
“My grandson will use this pen to draw, to make his living.” Chen did NOT let his grandfather down, he’d entered multiple competitions, and won, Last year, he’d managed to test into the Advertising Major of Zhushan High School, where he’d made good use of his abilities in artwork.
The Quilt He’d Shared with His Grandfather Had Become Hard as Wood Now
“My biggest hope for the New Year is to have brand new quilt.”, at last year’s dinner hosted by the Children of Convicts Protection Agency, he’d listed this hope, and put it on the “Wishing Tree”, the social workers, after reading it, felt too sad, “In this cold weather, there is someone, who is cold and lacking a quilt”; in over ten years, he and his grandfather shared the same quilt, and the quilt had gotten hard that it’s like wood now.
The agency gave them brand new quilts, to help the grandfather-grandson pair to have a warmer winter; but this winter, Li-Wei Chen felt especially cold, the grandfather who could finally get warm from under the quilts had been transferred to the VMH in Taipei for his chemo. He’d wanted to come up for a visit, but the cost is his meals for two weeks, so, he didn’t go.
Worked on His Art into the Night, Thought about How He Could Earn Money, He Is No Longer Tire
Chen wanted to help make money for his grandfather’s treatments, after he’d gotten off school, he’d started chopping up wood, to heat it up, to boil water, to prepare the dinner, and took care of his grandmother; and, on the weekends, he needed to work in the fields, and that leaves the hours in the nighttime for him to work on his art, “When I’d thought about earning money from my paintings, all of my tiredness goes away.”
“We’ll help you sell your artwork.”, the CEO of the Children of Convicts Protection Agency, Ming-Jen Yeou, after learning of how Li-Wei Chen grew up, and saw his “Field Side Visions” in watercolor, had found a buyer for the piece, and was able to sell for him, his three paintings, for $30,000N.T. immediately.
With the support of the Children of Convicts Protection Agency, Li-Wei Chen feels encouraged. He said, my grandfather is in his third stage of oral cancer, and it cost a LOT of money to treat in the hospitals, “I will keep on painting, to make more money, to put toward my grandfather’s medical care.”
And here, we still have a young boy, who was forced to grow up too fast, and, he was raised by his grandparents, and, even though they have very little, they are ALL satisfied and thankful with what they’d been given.