Today, at 10:00 was your funeral.
We came into the sanctuary as the congregation finished the final strains of "Amazing Grace." Though I knew many of the words, I did not join in for the emotion welling in my throat. I've always thought of death of a loved one to be something like the amputation of a limb--your brain still thinks it's there, when in reality there is nothing. Sometimes I think I can still hop over to Ximen and visit you and your family whenever. Maybe have dinner over that low table with hotpot again. But then I remember. You're not there anymore. And there is a huge void, in all of our hearts. Look at all those people who loved you. The space you used to fill is sorely, sorely empty now.
In my short lifetime, I have buried three family members here in Taiwan. This one seems so wrong. It is too soon. My grandfathers' lives were long, full, and ripe--you were only just beginning to come in to the full blooming of your time. Your handsome face smiles at us from the picture under the cross. And how can I keep the tears from falling.
But there is not entirely nothing left. I have many memories of you. They flash in mind's eye as the music plays and the choir sings. Your little white pet bird. I have forgetten his name. You took it out of his cage and let me hold him. And like you, he was sweet. Gentle. Friendly. Little did I know that you both would also share in untimely deaths.
Hangouts with the cousins. A board game I didn't quite understand. Rides on the MRT. A joke about lip gloss. Waiting long at CKS Memorial station for the rare train home--being so tired I used you to prop myself up. You were ever accommodating.
The older you got, the busier you became. Remember that time we were supposed to meet for dinner but you were half an hour late? I have always hated waiting, but instead I chose to laugh it off. It was just amazing to me that you had two cell phones and both of them were ringing. And you never understood why I laughed so much, but you took it in stride and accepted it as part of who I was. And honestly, I laughed because you were so loveable, even though you were so busily preoccupied.
I remember taking your arm that night when we walked back to the car. You stiffened a little, unfamiliar to American ways. But I was happy because I had the chance to see you again before I left for the States.
Often you would ask me about phrases in English, or try using a few with me. I was always shy to use my Chinese but we laughed histerically when I got "Music Ed" mixed up with "musical anxiety" in explaining my major. More than once I have wished that we spoke the same language. I wanted to tell you about my boy problems back home. You knew I was having trouble and gave me your email address, saying I could write to you. I always meant to do it, but I never did. I was afraid of the communication barrier. Now I wish I hadn't been.
The last time I saw you was over CNY. I went over to your place for dinner and you were concerned that my feet were cold. Yes, ever protective and nurturing. SaoSao gave me tights to wear because of it, and they kept me warm all the way home.
Ge, I never knew you too well, but I always loved you. I know one day we'll make up for it and speak the same language.
We all love you and miss you so much.
See you soon, in Heaven.
P.S: If you can, please help the rest of our family come to know Jesus. It is so hard.