Da Ai Radio Saved My Family

Compiled by Chang Yu Ming (張佑民)

Da Ai Radio Saved My Family

Compiled by Chang Yu Ming (張佑民)

Lu Bi-e worked day and night on her sewing machine to support her family. Da Ai Radio was the only thing keeping her company in the wee hours. (Photo provided by Da Ai Radio)

Radio's reach is far and wide, and it can even change the fate of a whole family. When Gao Yu-jing's (高瑜菁) mother, Lu Bi-e (呂碧娥) started listening to Da Ai Radio regularly, everything began to change for the better.

Lu raised her three children by working as a sewer, and the programs on Da Ai Radio were what accompanied her while she worked on her sewing machine. "As I sew for the whole day, I'd tune in to the radio for company. Sometimes I'd tear up when I hear a touching story, so I'd be crying while I sew," said Lu.

Lu not only had to shoulder the family's financial burden, she also had to bear with her husband, Gao Bing-huang's (高炳煌) bad temper.

"Back when I was little, I was very scared of my father," recalled their son. One time, Gao was so angry at his son's mischievousness that he smashed the television on the floor. Lu said that sometimes she was so heartbroken that she felt like fainting. "I'm the quiet, tolerant type. Sometimes he'd lash out for two to three hours, and I won't say a thing," recalled Lu. "There were many times that I was so filled with hate, I wanted to pick up a knife and…"

Things began to change when Lu started playing recordings of the programs on Da Ai Radio at home. "Because my mother would record them, when my dad came home, she'd play the recordings loudly for him. Somehow, after listening to them, he started treating her better and the atmosphere at home began to change," said Yu-jing. "Da Ai Radio became like an alarm clock for me. When the program came on, I'd know it is 6 a.m., and it's time to wake up."

With her parents' encouragements, Yu-jing applied for Tzu Chi's nursing school in Hualien as they believed that she would be well looked after under the care of Dharma Master Cheng Yen (證嚴上人). With their daughter studying in Tzu Chi, Lu and Gao also started training to become certified Tzu Chi volunteers.

Thinking that he was being given a second chance to life, Gao Bing-huang worked tirelessly to benefit others as a certified Tzu Chi volunteer. (Photo provided by Da Ai Radio)

However, in the midst of training, Gao suddenly had a heart attack and was sent to the hospital immediately. Luckily, he was able to recover well and the near-death experience further strengthened his resolve to walk the path of goodness.

With the full support of his wife, Gao became a full-time volunteer, devoting the rest of his life to do good and help others. Be it volunteering at hospitals, old folks' homes, home visits for the needy, or even cooking sticky rice for charity sales, Gao would always give his all. He became the perfect househusband as well, doing house chores, cooking meals, and sometimes helping Lu in her sewing work.

"Though the financial burden was heavy, I think my mother was very happy as my father was like a changed man. However, the good times only lasted for about two years before he passed away," said Yu-jing.

The devastating news came right before her graduation from nursing school. While cleaning up after a charity sale, Gao suddenly had another heart attack and he succumbed to it this time. More than two hundred Tzu Chi members came to his funeral, chanting Buddhist sutras. Despite many objections and criticisms from older relatives, the family still decided to donate his body for medical research, as per his wish.

The loss of her father reinforced Yu-jing's determination in her pursuit of nursing and the promotion of health education. She later joined Tzu Chi International Medical Association and gave of herself in free clinics and bringing care to the needy and homeless. Yu-jing also completed her volunteer training and became a Tzu Chi commissioner in 2010.

Now, Yu-jing also listens to Da Ai Radio while she works, just like what her mother used to do. "Sometimes when I do home visits, my heart will feel very empty so I'll need mental support. I'd also like to bring Master's teachings to them if I can," said Yu-jing.

In one of the gatherings for the listeners of Da Ai Radio, Gao Yu-jing shared how it changed her life and transformed her whole family. (Photo by Huang Yu-ling)

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