Published: November 2, 2021
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
After surviving a childhood under the oppressive rule of Chairman Mao’s “Cultural Revolution,” a young, courageous teenager abandons her life in China for the freedom of the unknown in America. Arriving at the New York City doorstep of family members she’s never met, Ying-Ying has been promised they’ll help her learn English and accomplish her dream of attaining a college degree. But weeks later, she’s kicked out without explanation. Now a homeless immigrant, Ying-Ying must learn who to trust, how to find work, and how to succeed in a bustling metropolis that looks the other way. Overcoming obstacles of abandonment, heartbreak, and injustice in a foreign land, she remains fiercely determined to become a woman who will impact the world. An incredible story of second chances, Wings of Silk reminds the reader that underneath the fragile form of an individual, a strong and resilient heart is always ready to take flight.
About the Author
Li-Ying Lundquist was born and raised in China under the strict regime of Chairman Mao’s “Cultural Revolution.” The daughter of intellectual parents, her life was in constant danger and she grew up believing academic performance and perfectionism were the keys to survival and fulfillment. After high school, following a strong desire to find freedom and get to know family members who lived in the United States, Li-Ying left her life in China to pursue the American dream.
Overcoming the plights of a young immigrant who did not speak the language, Li-Ying obtained her master’s in computer science from a prestigious university and became a successful lead engineer. While working for AT&T Bell Labs, she and her team made the world’s first “text message” for mobile phones.
Today, she is happily married to a wonderful man and has two darling sons whom she loves with all her heart. An advocate of freedom founded on self-respect and happiness, she hopes readers of Wings of Silk will be inspired by the lessons of forgiveness, grace, and God’s powerful love.
I believe there is not a single soul in this world that understands my disappointments, exhaustion, and hopelessness. I assume both Francis and Kaito are married and have their own children now. I don’t want to burden them, plus they must hate me: I am the one who broke up with them. I even start to think I am a horrible human being, unworthy of any happiness.
Soon I think of suicide, and the negative come without reprieve. Life is too hard. I’m such an imperfect person and I deserve an awful marriage. This overwhelming pain is also impacting my child. I have little happiness in my life, and nothing I’m looking forward to. The American Dream I’ve worked so hard for isn’t enough. I am extremely depressed and my hope is so nonexistent that I just want it all to end. I research methods of suicide and ruminate over which way I should go about it.
One night, I’m determined to do it. I decide I’ll try to overdose on pills. I scour all of our medicine cabinets, and have my pill cocktail all ready to take before I go to bed. Dylan is working late downstairs in his office, but he’ll be up later, and I want it to be him. I want it to be him who finds me and has to explain this to everyone. When it’s time to go to bed, I burst into tears. I sit on the bathroom floor, my face soaked and my body shaking as I talk myself into the commitment for what I’ve decided is the only answer for my future. There is no other. It’s terrible. I see no way out of the life I’ve buried myself in, and I tell myself that if I do this, everyone else will be better off too. No one wants such an empty and sinful person around.
Yes, that’s it.
I stand on shaky limbs. I fill up a cup with water that will help me swallow the handfuls of pills I’ve laid out. I watch the cup fill until my eyes are blurry and it begins to overflow in the sink. I never imagined this. I never thought my end would happen in such a manner. I never understood why someone would do this, but now I do. I thought death was the worst thing that could happen to a person, but now I know better. Suffering without any hope of a way out, that is worse.
I take a deep breath, and feel peace that soon this will all be over. I grab the first pill and take it. I grab the second pill and take it. I grab a third pill and take it. I grab the fourth, but hear Isabella. She is crying and calling for me. I can’t ignore her, and it’s probably best I say goodbye, take one last look at her.
I go into her room, and immediately take her into my arms, soothing her and telling her all the words I wish someone would say to me.
“It’s okay, my darling. It’s all going to be okay. You are safe. You are loved. I love you.”
She’s had a nightmare and tears have wet her face like they have mine. I stroke her hair and take in her face as she calms. As her breathing settles and she starts to fall back asleep, a smile creeps out from her lips. The sweetness of the moment makes me smile as well. I watch her sleep, and take in her room. Hanging on the wall is my butterfly kite. I hung it in her room when we moved into this house, but had forgotten it was there. I stare at it, and remember what it feels like to look back and see how far I’ve come. Though I’m ashamed of so much of my life, perhaps it shouldn’t be over yet. Perhaps, I’ll get stronger. Perhaps something more is out there for me. This thought is enough of a pull that when I go back to my room, I throw the rest of the pills away. For today, I want to be able to see Isabella’s smile tomorrow. I can’t miss that just yet. Deep down, I’m terrified one day I will lose control again to let this episode repeat.
I cannot do this to my darling Isabella.
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