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I have a good friend back home who occasionally sends me spiritually-uplifting e-mails usually containing inspirational photos, PowerPoint presentations, touching poems, emotionally-moving stories, and the like. For the most part, I think they are nice but rarely am I as touched as I was when I read the one I received this morning titled “Enough.”

I think I found this to be as emotionally poignant as I did because it’s been almost six years since I’ve been home and I recently had occasion to communicate with family and friends I haven’t seen or spoken to in years, in one case since elementary school. At any rate, I felt this was worth sharing with our readers as I’m sure there are a lot of other “old-timers” in China who also haven’t been home in quite some time.


Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, “I love you, and I pray you enough.”

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I pray you enough, too, Mom.”

They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a ‘forever’ good-bye?”

“Well…I’m not as young as I once was, she lives so far away and has her own busy life. I have some challenges ahead and the reality is… her next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

“When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I pray you enough’. May I ask what that means?”

She began to smile. “That’s from a prayer that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more. “When we said, ‘I pray you enough,’ we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.”

Then, turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory:

I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Then, she began to cry and walked away.

They say, it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but an entire life to forget them.

Take time to live.

To all my friends and loved ones who may have occasion to read this…

I pray you enough.

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Middle Kingdom Life is the premier award-winning educational website for foreign teachers and Western expats in China. It was founded by an American professor in psychology and sociology for the purpose of disseminating valid and reliable information about living and teaching in China. The site's mission is to protect and enhance the interests and social welfare of foreign teachers and Western expats in China.

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