Closing a journey of 300 years
From Edo to China with love – A promise fulfilled
(Dr. (Mrs.) Dorcas Ejemeh Krubu, a university teacher, continues her fascinating account of her inexorable journey to China to lecture in Chinese universities. She departed Nigeria on 06 April, 2003).
In July 2006, I relocated to Jiangxi Province. During my first lecture with a new class of about 30 students, I tried to acquaint myself with them by way of getting to know their names; they all gave Chinese names, most of which were similar. For the purpose of my class and easy interaction with them a student suggested that I should give them English names. So, starting from alphabet A-Z, I wrote some names on the board so that they would have enough to choose from. In no time, we were done with the names and I had my class. After the class, a 19-year-old girl came and introduced herself to me. She told me the English name she chose during my class was Carla and that I should address her as such. Wow… I told her it was a pleasant surprise, that my daughter’s name is Carla.
This young lady called Carla was very warm and fond of me. We became very intimate in a unique way. Almost always, she would walk me to my apartment after my lectures. Close as she was, there was some caution as if she had something to tell me that she was not comfortable with. I sensed it and I kept looking for ways to make her talk. This made her to be more relaxed. One day she asked about my faith and beliefs with specific questions about religion and whether I believed in reincarnation. I was very careful with my choice of words because my employment contract did not permit me to discuss religion or any topic that tends towards spirituality with students and colleagues except with fellow foreigners. Hence, I explained reincarnation in the light of traditional belief in some parts of Nigeria. To this she heaved a sigh and said ‘yes, you have made the job easy for me.’ I asked her ‘what job?’ She said I should not worry but that I needed to follow her to her hometown to see her mother. To me, her request was a tall order. I told her I would need some time to think about it, but she would not give me a breathing space. After much pressure I promised to go with her at the end of the first semester which coincided with the spring vacation.
On the 12th of February, 2007, we embarked on a journey by train to Carla’s hometown, in the same province. Shortly before we arrived, she put a call through to her mother. Lo and behold, we arrived safely about 3.50 p.m. I was pleasantly overwhelmed at the warm welcome! Eight people came to the train station to receive us, out of whom two were ladies. Even before Carla introduced her mother, I could tell who she was. Carla’s mother, Liu Wei, gave me a very warm and long hug, and at a point it was as though I was resting my head on her shoulders, unconsciously responding to pull of an intimate bond arising from hidden connections that later came to light. Soon we were all home and had a meal together after which Liu Wei asked me to have some rest. She intimated me that she was looking forward to having a chat with me.
About 7 p.m., Liu Wei, her husband and daughter, (Carla) came to me in the guest room. She said they were very happy to see me at last: that they had been expecting to see me one day in the past 22 years. When I heard that, immediately one question after the other started coming to my mind, but I had to struggle within myself to let her finish before I could say anything.
Liu Wei’s soul moving story went like this ….. ‘When Liu Wei was about 15 years old, she took ill and was taken to hospital but unfortunately, after series of laboratory tests and medications she did not get any better. She also tried the Chinese herbal medicine but still no remedy could be found. The ailment was such that she was having pains all over her body but all efforts to locate the exact source or point of the pain came to no avail. The pain was worse at night and especially during the winter period when weather was very cold. She was taken from one hospital to the other without achieving good health. Due to this condition, she could not attend any formal school after the age the age of 15 but was being home schooled, a situation which led to her limited education.
At a point, this interminable pain became part of her life and she could not but live with it as the solution proved intractable. At the age of 22, an extended family member introduced her to a Chinese Herbal Medical centre where she was receiving treatment from time to time. After seeing her doctor during one of her visits, she decided to relax under a tree right in front of the herbal home. While there, she started thinking and overwhelmed by emotions, she burst into tears. In the middle of it all, a young man sited her. As he approached her, she wiped her tears and pulled herself together. The young man, a staffer of the Chinese Herbal Home introduced himself as Wang. He observed that for about six months she had been visiting the herbal centre for the same ailment but no improvement. He suggested that there might be need for Liu Wei to look at her situation from a different viewpoint. Then she asked what exactly she should do with tears rolling down her cheeks. Wang said he would like to take her to his father, a Seer, who would find out the source of the problem and perhaps proffer a solution. Right there and then, Liu Wei and Wang agreed to visit Wang’s father in two days.
When they arrived at the old man’s house, he asked Liu Wei what brought her. She explained everything and demanded to know why she had been having incurable severe body pains since the age of 15. After taking a look at her eyes and palms, with his eyes closed, the Seer told her that her sickness was not that of flesh, that it had no root in her physical body and consequently could not be cured either through orthodox or herbal medicine. He went further to say that her past earthlife in China, especially in the city of Taiyuan (where I had my first employment in the north of China); she was married to a rich man with a lot of influence. There was a family business which she was in charge of. It was a production business and the by-products were dangerous to health. Liu Wei knew this but she neither revealed it to her staff nor protected them from the effect of the by-product. Instead she was cruel to them, in addition to the work hazard they faced. She offered accommodation with employment and made people work round the clock without appreciating them. Worst of all, her staff were not well fed and were poorly paid.
It was so bad that most employees were taking ill one after the other following the effect of the hazardous by-product, and the acute pains from the extremely hard labour. Some abandoned their work when they took ill and went their way. Liu Wei had only one daughter then who was seen as a saving grace. She was the only one who cared about the ill-treated workers. She would see to their feeding, attend to their needs and even sometimes go the extra mile to see how she could make her mother understand the feelings of the people. And she kept appealing to the workers to forgive her mother because of her. The few ‘subjects’ who continued with their work did because of the little girl who was a mediator between the boss and her subjects. On a particular occasion, a lady died on duty and her last words were….
“Since she started working with Liu Wei, she had known nothing but pains and distress, were it not for her daughter, she would have been dead and now that the hour has come, she must go. But that Liu Wei must pay back all what she had done. She would experience pains and sorrows she had caused them and so shall it be until she has changed and be forgiven….”
After a couple of months, another lady was in the phase of passing on; she called her mistress’ daughter and said:
“….I can see that your mother would not change. I stand on the words of the last person who passed on at work and I am adding that when the repercussions come back to your mother, I pray that you will also be there to help her alleviate her pains, just the way you endeavoured to alleviate our pains.”
For Liu Wei, this revelation was a bolt from the blue! She had no choice but to ask the Seer for the way forward. To this, the old man said that her daughter of that time is alive on earth again at this time, but still a little girl from Edo part of Nigeria; that some time in the future when she is of age, she would come to China for her sake and for other things. Liu Wei asked how she would get to know when the Nigerian lady comes. The seer said that the Nigerian lady would be her daughter’s teacher.
She thought this to be improbable, burst into tears and asked the Seer “how?” As at then, having a suitor, let alone a child was an impossible dream for Liu Wei, not with her grave physical conditions. She further asked if there was anything she could do at least to keep alive before the Nigerian lady comes. The man said to her that she should go her way and be good to people and wait patiently for the lady.
After two years, Liu Wei got married to Wang, the son of the Seer. His full name is Wang Wei. Three years into their marriage, Liu and Wang had a Baby girl called Li Wei (Carla). All through Carla’s primary and secondary education, she had no foreign teacher. But in her second year in university and for the first time in the history of the institution, foreign lecturers were employed of whom I was one, a native of Edo State, Nigeria. Coincidentally, I was scheduled to teach Li Wei’s class and also, it so happened that of all English names I wrote on the board, the only name that appealed to her, Carla, is my daughter’s name. That was one coincidence too many.
After all the talk from Liu Wei that lasted for more than an hour, I was gobsmacked! The story so humbled my soul and as a result I was completely at a loss for what to say. Afterwards, I managed to ask her a few questions, the answers to which she obliged. However, the air was filled with a thousand unspoken words. Soon, silence so thick that one could slice with a knife followed. This made it difficult for communication to flow freely. Instead of talking as a sign courtesy, I rounded off by first expressing my gratitude and also letting her know that I heard and understood all what she said and that we would talk more.
The closing of the cycle
Shortly after they left my room, I dwelt on the astonishing revelation and along the line fell asleep. In the middle of the night, I had a very striking dream. I saw the picture of a lady who came to me and the impression I got from our conversation was that I have fulfilled the promise I once made to relieve Liu Wei of her Pains arising from manhandling of people and that we can now go our separate ways, for a cycle that once opened about three hundred years ago is now closed……I broke into sweat as I woke up, only to see that it was about 3.12 a.m. For the rest of the night, I could not fall asleep because I was deeply shaken by the reality that I was facing. What occupied my mind was how such an unpretentious and perhaps careless statement made in the past could be so strong that I had to journey from one continent to another to fulfill it.
As early as 6 a.m., Liu Wei knocked on my door, I let her in and she apologised for disturbing my sleep. She told me that she had been up since about 2.48 a.m. after a dream she considered outlandish. In the dream, she saw the following words inscribed on the wall but in Chinese characters: “Today, all your pains are gone and gone forever so long as you love all.” Afterwards, she woke up startled and actually saw the words on the wall but they faded out in seconds! The biggest piece of news she relayed to me was that she woke up light and very strong. And that the only time she felt like the way she was now feeling was when she was below 15. All her pains were gone! At this point, I had no choice but to tell her my own dream, too.
I was with the Wang Wei’s family for three nights; we dined and wined together, went for shopping and recreation together. The most rewarding part of our meeting, besides the primary reason, was the opportunity we had to share life experiences, the truths about life and my convictions on the meaning of life and the purpose of existence.
Although sharing this experience may lend yet another voice to the Creation reality of re-incarnation as a fact of life, yet it is more out of a desire to give outward expression to an inner perception of how even the slightest, and what we consider inconsequential actions whether in thoughts, words or visible actions can so strongly and inevitably impact on our lives and determine the course of our existence, not only in this life but in the beyond and far into the future. Life is an unbroken line, a continuum. Thus we cannot be too careful and watchful in our dealings with our fellow human beings and, indeed, our relationship with the entire Creation. By far and above this, we are invested with the natural ability to bring about peace and happiness, and spreading the high blessings which the spiritual can readily mediate. We stand in times in which the Will of the Creator demands that we live up to our full potentials. The Kingdom of Heaven must come within us, leading to a new world order of peace and helping love to the advancement of all creatures, to the Honour and Glory of God, the Almighty Creator of all.
A true life story by Dr. (Mrs.) Dorcas Ejemeh Krubu, a university lecturer, now back home in Nigeria after her stunning and shaken experiences in China.