S.N. Chang: I will never, never, never forget you

Grandpa is dead now. He passed away around noon on April 3rd, 2017, Taipei time. He died in his own bed — one of his favourite places in the whole world. He never got to eat fried chicken but at least he did not have to be bothered with chemotherapy and the strange lightning in the hospital.

Was there anyone next to him when he took his last breath? I don’t think so. Sister told me that at around 11am, Mother and Sister went to see Grandpa and asked if he wanted to turn to another side as he’d been laying in bed for a long time. He just shook his head.

So Mother, Sister and Uncle went out for lunch. When they got back which was already close to 1pm, Grandma said: “好像沒有呼吸了喔。“ So they rushed in and found that indeed, he’d stopped breathing.

And that was it.

The end of a very long and complex life of my Grandpa: S.N. Chang. Who was born in Beijing and lived in a huge family house with his mother and grandmother. He lived through the Japanese occupation during World War II and joined the airforce after university. He then flew to Taiwan under military order like so many other young men in his time. And he had never ever return to mainland China.

S.N. Chang who was the most selfish, quirkiest, shy person. I never knew how to spend time with him. And I want to talk about one anecdote here: one time when I was still studying at university, I went to their house around lunch for 祭爺爺. Grandma turned out to be out that day so there was only Grandpa and I. And guess what he’d bought for the 祭品?He bought 德州小騎士炸雞. I was totally shocked because I could never imagine using fried chicken to worship my Great Grandfather? But Grandpa thought it was totally fine and as a matter of fact, he wanted to eat fried chicken so bad. So we quickly consumed the entire 2 boxes after we put off the candles and threw away the trash before Grandma came home.

And now he is gone. Forever. I just spent the last 10 hours working on the plane, heading for home. Heading to say good-bye to him the last time, although he is dead. He is so dead that there is no turning back.

I miss you Grandpa. I cannot imagine a world without you. I am so sorry that I wasn’t there with you. I hope you are in a good place. I hope that you are now reunited with your mother, your grandmother whom you’d not seen since the day you escaped China from the persecution of the Communist Party.

S.N. Chang, I will always, always remember you. I will never, never, never forget you. I will never, never, never forget you. I will never, never, never forget you. I will never, never, never forget you.