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

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“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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