A Letter Never Sent
By Yoke-Yin Cong
How are you doing?
Itís been a while since we talked on the phone -
a week after September 11. Please do not worry about me for I am safe here.
Furthermore, Iím sure the security in the
Ching told me that you have to go back to the doctor every once in a while to have a check up. I hope you will follow the doctorís schedule and you will not worry about the expenses. There is nothing more important than oneís health. So, no matter how much money we have to spend, it is worth it. You have to be honest with the doctor and with yourself. Please let the doctor knows as soon as possible if you think your heart beat is abnormal.
I would like to invite you and mother to my graduation in June. Yes, I did it, finally. Iíve spent 3 1/2 years getting my Bachelorís degree. It has been difficult since I had to work full time while going to school. After I graduated, Iím afraid that I canít go home right away because I have to find a job first.
You would be
impressed by the freeways in
I will stop here now.
I wrote the above letter a week before my father passed
away, and I didnít have a chance to send it. On
an early morning in April of 2002, after I came back from spring break vacation,
a phone call woke me up. It was my sister,
After I hung up the phone, my heart was beating very fast
and my whole body felt weak. My mind was unclear and I didnít know what to do.
I then decided to call my other sister and my
brother who were staying with my parents. My brother answered the phone; he was
crying and couldnít talk at all. So, I let him go and told him that I would
call back later to check on my fatherís condition. When I called him the
second time, my mother, sister, and brother
were in the hospital next to my
father. I heard my sister crying. I tried to ask my brother what was happening.
He said that father had been unconscious since the moment he was sent to the
hospital. He couldnít recognize anybody, and he was acting strangely. All of a
sudden, I heard my sister screaming, ďFather is gone!Ē
At that moment, I felt like my heart stopped beating. I
didnít even know for how long my cheeks were full of tears. I was hoping that
I was dreaming, yet, it was all true. I could only sit on the floor holding the
phone and repeating what my sister had said, ďFather is gone!Ē
I didnít go home for the funeral due to my course
commitments and visa issues. Iíve been feeling guilty all these days because I
wasnít there for my family, and I had to miss my fatherís funeral. My sister
told me that my mother dressed my father in the western style for his funeral -
slacks, jacket, suit and bowtie. Also, he was wearing the shoes that I had
bought him when I went home last time. They were a pair of black leather shoes
that cost only thirty five dollars. According to what my mother told me, father
always told people that these were the most expensive shoes that he ever had in
My father was a simple man who worked hard to
support his family, and he was also a man who
believed in the philosopher, Kung Tzu, Confucius, and in the principles of
Confucius. On researching an
encyclopedia, I learned that my father therefore ďchampioned strong familial
loyalty, ancestor worship, and respect of elders by their children and of
husbands by their wives, and used the family as a basis for an ideal
Until today, I still canít accept the fact that my father
is gone. I will never see him again, and he had never had a chance to meet my
husband, his son-in-law.
Oh, Father! You donít know how much I miss you and how much I would like to chat with you again since weíve never chatted longer than five minutes. I could tell when we talked that you had a lot of questions you wanted to ask me. But, it is too late now, for you are gone and will never come back again.