Mother's Six Lies

1. I was a son of a poor family in Africa. We did not even have enough food. Whenever meal times came, mother would often give me her portion of rice, saying "Eat this rice, son. I'm not hungry". That was Mother's First Lie.
2. When I was growing up, my mother gave her spare time to go fishing in a river near our house. She would cook fish soup. While I was eating, she would sit beside me and eat the fish still on the bone of the fish I had eaten. I gave the other fish to her. She refused and said "Eat, son. I don't really like fish." That was Mother's Second Lie.
3. When I was in Junior School, to fund my studies, mother went to an economic enterprise for used-match boxes that needed to be stuck together. It gave her money to cover our needs. In winter, I woke up and looked at my mother, still awake, by a little candlelight and she would continue sticking used-match boxes. I said, "Mother, go to sleep, it's late." Mother smiled and said "I'm not tired." That was Mother's Third Lie.
4. Final term arrived. Mother asked for leave from work to accompany me. Mother waited for me in the heat for several hours. As the final exam finished, mother welcomed me and poured me a cup of tea she had brought in a flask. Seeing mother covered with perspiration, I gave her my cup and asked her to drink. Mother said "Drink, son. I'm not thirsty !" That was Mother's Fourth Lie.
5. After studies I got a job. Mother would still go to the marketplace every morning, to sell vegetables to fulfill her needs. I sent her some money to help her, but she would send it back. She said "I have enough money." That was Mother's Fifth Lie.
6. In her old age, mother got stomach cancer and had to be hospitalized. I, who lived miles away, across the ocean, went home to visit her. She lay in weakness after an operation. The disease had weakened mother's body. I stared at my mother with tears flowing. My heart was hurt seeing my mother in that condition. But mother with the little strength she had, said "Don't cry, my dear. I'm not in pain." That was Mother's Sixth Lie.