My “sick retirement” back to the city

It has been more than thirty years since I retired from the Inner Mongolia Corps and returned to the city, and my youngest child, who returned to Tianjin with a hand-tie in his arms, has long been sheltering me from the wind and rain, and has taken on a heavy responsibility in their respective jobs. But before and after the sick retirement back to the city that scene a scene of the past is engraved in the bones, but often in the mind, appear in front of the eyes.

My road back to the city twists and turns full of intolerable heartache, really a heart never heal the wound, when to uncover to see, it is silently dripping blood, the blood must be dripping for life.

After the second division of the 15th regiment began to handle the procedures for sick retirement back to the city, Hua Lin and I knew that our married status did not meet the conditions, but for the future of the children, in order to have an account of our parents who have been opposed to our marriage, has long run through several places in Beijing, near Tianjin and Tangshan area, want to land in a place closer to home, but spent a lot of money, but always to no avail.

At the end of 1978, I had already spent nearly four years in the isolated and desolate coal mine in the back of the 15th regiment. The next mountain, back to the city wave surging, all sorts of things, although I did not witness, but the mountain a dozen young people have gone, my heart day by day anxiety up.

My family was even more anxious about me. My father ran to the youth office and asked the street office, but the answer was that the policy of permitting the youth to return to the city did not include my case, there was no relevant policy, and when asked more, the answer was straightforward: I had married a local person and did not meet the conditions for the youth to return to the city sick, and would not be processed.

I began to hate myself for being a rat, and began to ask myself why I got married in the Corps, and I began to lose sleep and weep for no reason.

One day, Hua Lin drove back from the mountains to send coal, walked into the house with a very ugly face, has not looked directly at me, I hastily hugged my daughter and him to talk. I did not expect him to suddenly take out the sick leave certificate for me, said solemnly: “I have approached the police station Liu Yuwa, why don’t we divorce, the children are awarded to you, so that you three mothers can return to the city, tomorrow go down the mountain to do the formalities.”

This sudden decision is really a head-on, immediately knocked me blind, tears then flowed down, could not say a word. He picked up his daughter and turned his head, also already in tears. My daughter was terrified and cried out, struggling to jump at me. The four-year-old son also sensed what was going on and tugged on my arm, crying in a whisper all the time. The family huddled together like that and cried bitterly.

That night, Hua Lin and I sat with the candle lit until dawn, looking at a pair of sleeping children, we discussed, argued, squirmed, and comforted each other. I don’t know how many tears were shed.

For about a week, we did not reach an agreement. Sometimes we discussed, sometimes we argued, and finally, Hualin finally swayed me with his hard-hearted persuasion, and now and then with what is now called “cold violence”.

We went down the mountain to the regiment to do the formalities, when the police station chief Liu Yuwa and police officer Guo Di was taking the risk. In order to keep the people around them from knowing the details, the smaller the range of people who know the better, until late at night, when the children were asleep, they quietly came into the guest house where we were staying with the official blank divorce formalities.

Liu Yuwa talked to us very seriously for a long time, said a lot, also advised us, can we then entrust people to find other ways, do not use the divorce method. Hua Lin said very firmly: “want to go back to the city now only this one way, for the sake of the children we will not change our minds!” I was on the sidelines, already sobbing.

At that time there was no divorce certificate, divorce procedures are just a national standard printed official form, in addition to men and women to fill in personal information, is the division of property and child support belonging to the content.

I remember that at that time, Liu Yuwa and Guo Di were also moved by the scene. The four of us sat in silence for a long time, with Liu Yuwa smoking his head down and never letting us sign. Finally, he put out his cigarette and said to us in a trembling voice: “These can be the official procedures of the state, is to be archived, this is not a joke, you just do not sign and do not press the fingerprints, but also what is too late.” Then he looked at Guo Di and said, “If we really want to do the formalities, our brothers will be responsible for this.”

Hua Lin and I did not speak, what else can I say? At that time, nothing could be said.

We signed and pressed our handprints, and then put away the paper that belonged to us. Liu Yuwa and Guo Di and said what, how to leave the guest house, I can not remember, only remember that the head was empty, the body was floating, no tears, no sadness, the son woke up and called his mother’s voice as if far, far away ……

The next day, I took the two children back to Tianjin to do a medical retirement. Because it is close to the Spring Festival year root, the train is overcrowded, there is no place to get down. I led the older one, holding the younger one, and could not easily reach home, so I ran up the street without stopping.

Although I had a divorce and became single, there was no precedent or policy for taking two children back to the city, and although I saw sympathy and received understanding everywhere, it was still a planned economy, and people were rigidly dogmatic and timid, so who was willing to risk anything for an ordinary youth?

At one time, my father was too worried to eat, and my mother was so anxious that her mouth was full of blisters. I had to ride my bicycle to the telegraph building at ten o’clock in the evening when the long-distance calls started to be charged at half price to talk to Hualin, who was waiting for news from the coal mines in the back of Inner Mongolia and must have been more anxious than us!

That Spring Festival, the matter of sickness retirement is at a loss, how can there be thoughts of New Year? The family’s life was also in chaos.

After the Spring Festival, my classmates from the Long March team helped me inquire about a high school brother who had been transferred from the army and was a leader in the district committee, and inquired about a classmate’s beloved brother who happened to be in my street office, and found a few relationships around and around, and then after a few twists and turns, inquired about each family’s address.

That year, it snowed a lot. My mother, who was still working, had to accompany me every night with a large bag, deep and shallow to a home to send gifts to help, I do not know how many good words, almost to give people kowtow.

The work does not disappoint, and the hearts of people are indeed flesh long. I have no policy on this situation, but the divorce certificate is real, the child was awarded to me clearly written, and I am a serious countryside youth. The actual fact is that there is no rule that you can’t take in, and there is no reason to give your mother a household without giving your child a household! In the end, there are a lot of good people in the world, and the street is still understanding and sympathetic to the side of the net, will receive my material down, reported up, let me go back to Inner Mongolia and so on notice.

Just after the 15th day of the first month, we returned to the back of the 15th regiment of the mother and son coal mine.

After nearly a month, finally received the notice of approval of sick retirement, and began to do the procedures, the moment of separation of flesh and blood really arrived.

At that time, my parents lived in the city house only twelve square meters, and my younger siblings have not started a family, we three mothers back simply can not live. It just so happened that several families over at the coal mine were interested in our furniture, and Hualin insisted on selling the furniture and living in a group dormitory.

The afternoon of the furniture pulling, my son said nothing to play, quietly leaning against the door out of the way, watching a piece of furniture was carried away by others, has been crying in a small voice, crying to buy furniture people are put down furniture sad: “this child is too understanding, it is really better to cry and make people feel better”. Whenever I think of that scene, I remember it vividly and it makes me sad.

The day after the sale of furniture, I took the two children on the road back to the city. The whole family did not say anything, the children also perceived what, seemed particularly good.

The afternoon arrived at the Wuyuan train station. Not long into the platform, Hua Lin to buy the children on the road to eat just returned, the train into the station. I held the child carrying a large bag and did not dare to turn around and rush to the car, while tears while settling the luggage. My son, who knows how to behave, immediately cried in a low voice, and my daughter lay on the window and shouted: “Daddy, come up! Daddy, come on up!” Hua Lin only waved his hand at the platform, and then hurriedly turned his face back.

When the train started, my daughter, who didn’t know any better, saw that her father hadn’t got on the train and cried out, and my son cried out, and I cried out, too. The cries attracted many people to look around, people keep saying: really poor, really poor. I have written here, I have tears in my eyes, the wife and children of the scene reappeared in front of the eyes ……

In April 1979, the formal procedures for settling in Tianjin were completed. I ended a full decade of Corps life at the cost of divorce, and retired to the city.


After I returned to the city with my two children to complete the formalities, Hua Lin found someone to replace me in the local area and re-registered the marriage, fortunately the marriage certificate did not require a photo at that time. Three months later, he was transferred to a central unit directly under Langfang, and I left the children’s accounts in Tianjin, transferred to Langfang to settle. The family was reunited.

In 2012, Hualin passed away.

June 28, 2013, I ended more than thirty years of Langfang household registration, moved to Tianjin to return to their roots.

2013.08.14 Night