“We are all pure perfection,
Desperately trying to be something we already are.
Life is not a struggle, life is a song
And we were all born to dance.”
~ Anita Krizzan

Celia was born Chi Mei Keung, but she chose Celia as her English name. She was born in Hong Kong April 20, 1962. She was born to parents and was the sixth child of eight. Celia remembers living in a small flat in one of the oldest public housing estates in Hong Kong called "Choi Hung estate" (meaning rainbow). It was only 300 square feet with no separate bedrooms. Everything was just one large, open room.

It was not an easy life, they were not cared for physically or emotionally like they should have. Though things were hard at home Celia still felt love from her parents. There were times in her life that she questioned their love. They showed love differently than most, but she had moments in her life that helped her know that they loved her.

Like most young girls, Celia has dealt with self-esteem issues. It started from an accident where Celia got injured in her left eye three separate times. The effects changed how she thought others saw her, and how she felt about herself.

As a curious six-year-old Celia stood and watched a painter outside of their apartment building. Celia watched him move the brush up and down, deliberate strokes that brought so much joy to Celia. Suddenly the man looked at her, he cursed her for staring at him and he threw his paint brush. She watched as the brush soar through the air, but she didn’t realize what was happening. Suddenly the brush hit her left eye. The pain was excruciating. Celia kept herself composed, but could hardly stand the pain.

Not long after Celia was sitting watching other children play soccer. As she watched the children play one child kicked the ball out of bounds and as though it was in slow motion the ball headed straight for her left eye. The ball hit her face and knocked her over, again the pain was unbearable for a young child. On a slide at a playground Celia was kicked in the eye by another child. Celia’s sight was severely damaged by her injuries.

She had told her parents that she was having trouble seeing, but there was not much they could do to help her. She later learned that she had only 30% of her sight in her left eye. Her right eye became the dominant eye and slowly as she used only that eye began to betray her as well as she became farsighted. Though there was nothing that showed the effects of her injury on the surface, the loss of sight made a huge impact on how Celia felt about herself, which still affect her to this day.

“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”
~Audrey Hepburn

Celia was raised by her parents believing in Buddhism. They were very dedicated in their beliefs, and had never thought to question that. One day when Celia was only eight years old there was a knock on their door. As the children opened the door they welcomed the strangers in to their humble home. Their family had been receiving food from a charity and her mother thought these boys were delivering the rice. Once her parents realized that the two boys were missionaries from another church they told them to leave. Celia’s parents told the children they must not let them in again and have no contact with those boys.

The children did not listen to their parents and went to church with the missionaries. Celia came home feeling happy. She remembers feeling loved by so many nice people. When her parents found out that they went they were furious. All the children were hit. The physical pain was not as bad as the spiritual pain. Celia was so young and confused. She knew that going to church she felt good and felt more of a spirit than she could ever remember in her life.

Celia and her siblings were not allowed to eat dinner that night. Her stomach growled as her knees ached. Her parents made them kneel in front of Buddha statues all night. They needed to repent and be forgiven for what they did. The pain helped her know that she did the right thing. Celia and her siblings continued to go to church with the missionaries. No amount of pain was going to stop them from the spiritual light they felt.

“We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.”
~ Malala Yousafzai

Celia remembers one time that the missionaries brought over a whole cart of rice rolls from a hawker in the street for them. Coming from a home where there was never much food, it was something she would never forget. A love that meant more than the physicality of it. It felt like a gourmet meal. They knew that it was a gift from heaven.

“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems
holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.”

Life was hard for Celia and her siblings, but also for her mother. Celia learned that her father was already married to another woman and affected her mom so much. Celia’s mother showed many signs of emotional problems and at times she acted on those emotions. Though life at home was difficult she felt love. It wasn’t a spoken love, but there were moments that love would shine through the darkness. Celia remembers a time her parents were fighting, not just yelling, but there was a physical fight. The children were scared—between their father’s anger and their mother’s instability they didn’t know what to do. Celia’s father was screaming and picked up a knife, he threw it hoping to hurt someone. Celia’s mother was not in the mental state to protect her children, but she didn’t want them hurt. Celia’s mother caught the knife in mid-air, and saved them from getting hurt. That was a moment that Celia knew her mom loved her children, more than herself.

There were a few times that love embodied Celia at home. It was when her mom made her a dress. It was not fancy, but it was the time and effort that she put into it that made her feel love. Another time she felt her mom loved her was when they didn’t have a lot of money, but her mom decided to make her a steamed fish. Celia could not believe that her mom would be so selfless and she could have a fish of her own.

“We don’t need magic to transform our world.
We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.”
~JK Rowling

Though love did not come naturally between Celia and her dad she knew that he loved her despite his hesitations and misgivings. One day, Celia asked her dad why other children get held by their fathers, but not her. He immediately picked her up in his arms for the first time that she can ever remember and he held her. His love for her was felt in that moment more than she had ever before.

As Celia grew she kept those special memories of her parents love in her mind, but her fears and sadness was stronger. She was embarrassed about her loss of sight and though it wasn’t physically seen, it held her back. Celia’s self-esteem was crushed.
Celia always felt that she was different, she didn’t see her own beauty. Celia could feel beauty inside of her and gets it out by art. Celia draws and paints, though she cannot see in three-dimensions she is able to create a three-dimensional picture on paper.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others;
for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness;
and for poise walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
~Audrey Hepburn

Celia has found more confidence through the years. Through the eyes of her children and those around her they see a beautiful woman filled with love and talents. Celia shows the person she is through her beautiful art. The gospel of Jesus Christ is still a big part of her life. She is a child of God and I hope and pray that she can see herself through His eyes.