A stranger called me yesterday and asked how my Mid-Autumn Festival was. She repeatedly said that she once received help from lawyer Li Heping, and asked what she could do for us. At last she said, although Li Heping wasn't home, she still wanted to wish us a happy Mid-Autumn Festival. I was very touched, and said, “We have to have a happy Mid-Autumn Festival!”
I never thought about the fact that even if Heping could come back for this Mid-Autumn Festival, it still doesn't mean that he could come back for every Mid-Autumn Festival. In the current China, some people can go home for Mid-Autumn Festival, and some definitely cannot (leaders' monitoring does not count). Given such a situation, it isn't important anymore where one spends Mid-Autumn Festival, and whether one can go home for it. Rather, what kind of person you are is the key!
A few days ago I met with a family member of one of the “709 Incident” victims. That whole family is very sad. The parents are ill and the children young and fragile. This family member said to me, “Sister, I feel so weak. I don't know how long I will have to endure this, I don't know if I am able to endure this.” I was very sad too.
But I know if we don't have any news of our detained family members, the best thing we, on the outside, can do for them is to “Live well. Live very well. Live especially well.” Therefore, please be sure to have a happy Mid-Autumn Festival. I’m not contriving some “happiness” to comfort everyone. Rather, we do really have the reason to be happy. If you don't believe it—I'm going to explain to you.
First, why did our loved ones get “disappeared”? To put it bluntly, it was because, in the course of their practice as lawyers, they spoke the “truth” and emphasized handling cases in accordance with the law; they themselves set the example for doing this and urged the judicial authorities to do the same. They have not been “shuanggui-ed” [disciplined by the Party outside of the judicial process]—thank god they are common people and weren’t qualified to be “shuanggui-ed.” As their families, we don’t feel ashamed, we feel, instead, proud. If today our families were disappeared for being corrupt—that would really be a tragedy. Why? It's because that kind of family, even before you are taken in, you live every day by lies, and after you’re taken in, all the family members live every day in shame—and that’s hardship. This is the first reason why we should be happy.
Second, only after our loved ones have been disappeared did we start to truly know them. That is what we call, “true feelings are revealed in tough times.” We never expected. We had thought our friends would distance themselves from us—but in fact we realized they are all trying to comfort us, saying “the children's dad is a good person; nothing should happen to him! If you're going to petition, we'll help take care of your children.” Well, I have already petitioned. But I didn’t have a chance to run to the U.S. to block President Xi's vehicle. I thank all my friends for their support.
Moreover, there are always strangers who call to ask after us or come to visit. They always say, “Lawyer Li is someone we respect and admire.” I’ve come to think, over the past two years, the influential and powerful people in China, when they’ve got detained—I’m just guessing—the numerous people who had helped them get promotions in officialdom in the past, those people, who’d do anything to get near them in the past, can’t get far enough away from them now.
Also, no matter how mighty they had been in the past, when they got taken away by police, nobody would call their family and say, “I respect this person who has been taken away”.
Therefore, families, you should be happy! Because you must have received quite a number of supportive calls.
Third, no matter how tough my situation is, I know some people whose lives are tougher. A friend of mine got cancer when she was nine. Doctors said it was incurable. Yet she didn’t give up, and she got better. The illness recurred when she was 15-16 years old. Doctors said it was incurable. She still didn’t give up, and again she got better. When she was around 30, it came back again. Doctors still said the illness should have already been incurable 20 years ago, yet she still believed she would be well again. She went to university, married and had a child, living a good life. Whenever I think of her, I always feel what is happening to us is not a big deal. Aren’t we still doing pretty well? If it happens that we get sick, it is even more important to be happy! It is because a happy mindset is the best medicine. So you must be happy at Mid-Autumn Festival!
If I am to continue with this, I can write a lot. We have once taken a piece of plain white paper to write down everything in our lives that we should be grateful for and happy about. Who says difficult times inevitably bring suffering? Whenever I think of my children’s father, I tell my son, “Nobody is as lucky as you! In the future, you won’t be ‘the second generation of an official, of the rich, of the corrupt, of the Red, of the military, of the celebrity.’ You’re the second generation of a rights defense lawyer.” What can children inherit from their fathers? It is the perseverance with which their fathers seek fairness and justice in difficult situations; it is their unwavering sympathy and kindness towards the poor and the underprivileged common people.
Therefore, I am wishing all the families of those involved in the “709 Incident” a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, and you must have a happy one! I also wish the members of the “709” special investigation team, whom I haven’t met, a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! I think some of you must not be able to go home for the festival, but I wish you a happy one too!
I am sincerely wishing, that the things—that caused sadness—that happened to us, the families of the “709 Incident,” will never happen to your very families!
Wishing you a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! And you have to be happy!
Lawyer Li Heping's wife
September 27, 2015 Morning, home