T. T. Chang's Farewell Message to son K. T.

 


Koal's translation/transcript of KT's talk on the 100th anniversary of their father's birth. The following is KT speaking.



Since Kuo-hsia knows better than anyone else father's last years, we will let him cover that period. I'll talk is very brief, just a few words.

Father was the son of a minister and he was greatly influenced by the traditions of religion, such as saying a prayer before a meal. When I was about to leave for the United States after I had taken all the examinations, he - I think Kuo-ho had the same experience - asked me to go up to his room and, kneeling down together, he said a prayer ... I did not cry when he died ... now I'm crying. (Go ahead and cry ... it's all right to cry.) Father then gave me a photograph of himself ... first he gave me a wallet, a very good one, made of leather, with a gold trim. The wallet was given him by the company and he gave it to me. (More sobbing; Kuo-ho and Kuo-hsia went up to embrace him, patting his back.) He gave me a wallet-size photograph on the back of which he had written something. I was young then and did not pay much attention to what he had written, I just sort of skimmed through it.

The photograph was something of a surprise to me. Why? Because father was 56 then. Yet the photograph was of him when he was young, say, about 24. This was quite out of my expectation. The photograph was put inside the wallet and this wallet ... I carried all my life.

While I was thinking about this the other day, I thought I should take the photograph out, make copies of it and distribute it to one each. The photograph has an essay by him in the back. I did not read it carefully when I was young. Now as I study it, over and over, I find it full of meaning, it is well composed. This photograph is precious because it has father's handwriting and his composition and it is a picture of him, the way he wanted to be remembered, when he was very young.

Now I make the distribution of the photograph - one each. This was done by Kuo-hsia. Let's all look at the photograph. The essay was very educational, he knew when he wrote it we would not see each other again. He wrote an excellent piece. When I read it now I am deeply moved by it.

My talk is very short, this is all. I leave more time for Kuo-shia.


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