A familiar last journey


A photo of us from 2015

I remember the date was 28 September 2018. You were with her, with your neck still wrapped in a cast from a fall at work. It was all smiles during those few days. But what we didn’t know was that illness had already been creeping up deep within you. 

Fast forward to last week.

It was only day 4 of my trip in Europe. Mom had told me to call her – she’s never been one who’d ask that I contact her. Something was amiss. When I called, she was in the middle of something and said something had happened with the folks in Taiwan. I knew I couldn’t wait around and made the call.

It was terminal stage cancer. And I saw through the screen a frail body breaking down in tears, saying “He won’t make it, I can’t take it anymore.” 

It broke me. But for the next few days, I pushed the thoughts aside, even after I found out that he’s passed three days later. 

Perhaps it was all too sudden for me to digest, and I was overwhelmed by the new environment that I was in, and the emotions ran high – both good and bad. 

Now it’s all set in, as I sat on a familiar train journey down to Hualien. Except this time, there was no longer a familiar face waiting for me at the train station. Who would know the next time we “meet” was for your last journey.

Thank you for being the fatherly figure and for doting on me like the daughter you never had. Thank you for putting me first and being so hospitable whenever I’m here in a faraway land. 

May you be in a better place now.


Olivia L.

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