The Call of Home at the End of Life

My Quanzhou-Born Father Needed to Say Goodbye to China Before We Said Goodbye to Him


“In his condition, you’ll have to take him home business class,” the doctor in Beijing had said. “Bring sleeping pills.”

As we boarded our flight back home to Washington, D.C., I steered my dad toward business class, while my husband continued with my mother and two young daughters toward coach.

Dad started to follow them. I pulled him toward our premium seats, “We’re sitting here.”

Puzzled, he looked toward our family walking away.

“Abby!” he called out to my 8-year old.

“Huei-Chen!” he called to my mother.

“Shhhhh,” I said. “our seats …

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