Farewell to My Beloved Mother

  Jim Horng

  It's been almost a month since you left us, and I still 
  haven't got over the loss of you not being here with me.

  I always thought my family, except for me, will live out 
  their lives and die naturally with age. The moment I heard 
  that you were missing, I said to myself that you're 
  probably depressed and needed some time alone. However, 
  when I saw dad's worried looks, I knew, somehow, that I 
  have to prepare myself for the worst.

  Three days later when dad hastily came home to take us to 
  Kaoshiung, I was still hoping that you would appear before 
  us and say that everything's alright. The miracle that I've 
  hoped for did not happen, as I later found out. When I saw 
  your body out there, I still refuse to link the image with 
  the memories of you inside my head. Then I did cry,with 
  despair and anguish.

  Several days later, when we brought you out to Taipei, I 
  was glad that some of my high school friends came to see me, 
  despite the fact that I was angered by the f__king 
  reporters pushing around us that morning. Later that day, 
  when I finally had some time alone, I thought about how we 
  used to live, the good and bad times we had together, and 
  the one year that we had spent in America when you were 
  studying for your Master's degree. We had heck of a time 
  there, learning to deal with everything new to us: learning 
  to drive, learning how to deal with the harsh 
  temperature...etc. Everything seemed like it just happened 
  yesterday.

  In the last few days, when the guests are few and we had 
  more time to ourselves, I was thinking how I should move 
  on. I always wanted to leave the "jail", as I called it, 
  but if this is the price I have to pay, I wish with all my 
  heart that I could stay in it and bring you back. Now, 
  studying seems rather......um, meaningless. Nothing could 
  go in and I would just sit there and waste my time. I did 
  study a little, due to my friends' invitation to the 
  library.

  I always joked to myself that the "afterworld" probably 
  needed a feminist, so you were taken to fight for their 
  rights over there. Still, it seems rather cruel to us and 
  the world you loved. I've never believed in god, and now 
  I'm sure there isn't one, or else he must be an idiot.

  Despite the fact that you're gone, we still have to move on 
  with our lives. There's only a few days until January, and 
  your funeral ceremonies will be done by then. Reluctant it 
  may be, but it is time...... to say goodbye. You still live 
  on, in the deepest place of my heart.

  * Jim Horng is the only son of Peng, Wan-Ru.