For Haixia, My Little Sister


It was at 4:26 a.m. in the morning of the Dragon Boat Festival of the year 2019 that you, my little sister, departed this life. Together we spent 38 springs and 37 autumns, that is, 13899 days or 333556 hours. I, as your elder brother, was fond of you; I cared about you, loved you, and always tried my best to protect you—and you knew that. I wish I could once again hold your little hand and take you to the school and to fields, mountains and seas; I wish I could once again carry you on my shoulders and let you enjoy the view in the distance; I wish I could once again read textbooks with you, trying to improve my academic performance; I wish I could once again do morning exercises with you...


You never uttered a word, and yet demonstrated the greatest filial piety. You accompanied Father and Mother for 38 springs and 37 autumns and had never abandoned them. You set an example for me and did your best to support the family. Mother was the happiest in those days when you were there with her. You kept Mother’s company when she went to work in the fields, gathered green fodder for pigs, plowed the field with an ox, collected firewood, and cooked meals. You always gobbled up all your food like a boy. Mother was always happy looking at you when you were eating meals. While Mother is indeed good at cooking, it is always pleasant to be appreciated by others ( it’s a little secret, don’t tell her). Wherever you were, Mother had peace of mind; wherever your laughter was to be heard, Mother would laugh heartily too. Father fell ill on the very same day ten years ago. I wonder whether you two had agreed on that. You never left Mother even for an inch during the ten years since Father departed us. You were always with her when she wept or laughed. You gave Mother the courage and confidence to live on, as well as the power to live a happy life. In this world, being there with someone—and most sincerely—is the best expression of love. I know, understand and will always remember the fact that you have been the most dutiful child.


You never uttered a word, and yet were the one who loved studying the most. From time to time, you would walk along the road leading to the school and look at the pupils who were on their way to school and the campus buildings which stood so near, while listening to the pleasant sound of reading books aloud. When I was back home during vacations, you would join hands with me and finally march through the school gate. Holding our heads up high, we walked into a classroom. As happy as a lark, you smiled, thrashing your arms and legs. You touched the blackboard, knocked the desks, and sat in the chairs, before you looked a little lonely. You stared at me. Suddenly I understood what you wanted. I handed my books to you and gave you the middle seat in the front row. You sat there and looked at me silently. I stepped up, stood behind the teacher’s desk, and found some pieces of chalk. “Lesson One for Haixia” were the words I wrote on the blackboard. When I was writing and reading aloud, you watched me and listened to me attentively. Your bright eyes glittered with eagerness. You wanted to study! You wanted to go to school! Obviously I understood what was in your eyes and your heart. Later I said to Mother, “Maybe one day Haixia will be able to speak, write and read. Who knows?”


You never uttered a word, and yet showed great perseverance in your pursuit. You had been very frail since you were born. However, you never gave up life even though you could not speak or walk. When you were seven years old, I missed you so much in the summer that I went back from the campus to see you. It turned out that you were ill at that time. Maybe this was the tie between a brother and a sister, or the “sixth sense.” I held you up and gave you a massage like a traditional Chinese doctor. You began to smile and looked determined. You told me with your eyes, “It’s nothing at all. Don’t worry!” When you were just able to toddle at the age of eleven, you copied me and did exercise. You kept on doing exercise for several years before you began jogging. Step by step, you were pushing yourself to the limit. On a chilly winter day, you walked a long way all by yourself because you wanted to go to somewhere far away and take a different view there.You found a place to hide yourself when it was dark at night, trying to get away from the coldness of winter. It was lucky that Mother found you soon. I also remember the day when I left you alone amid the complete darkness of the kitchen. I know that you always wanted to go to somewhere far away to seek knowledge. I know that, my little sister!


My little sister, thank you for having accompanied Father and Mother; thank you for teaching me to be both a dutiful son and a self-motivated man who is determined to contribute to the society. I am extremely ashamed every time I think of you: as a child, you were one million times as dutiful as I am; as a person seeking knowledge, you were ten million times as eager as I am; as a person in pursuit of dreams, you were hundreds of millions times as diligent as I am.


My little sister, let’s be brother and sister again and let me love you and protect you if there were indeed a “next life.” In a dim dream I see you again, who was seeking knowledge in the classroom. I could not stop imagining how I will be able to find you in the next life; my love will always be with you, while there will never be any regret.


In a mysterious connection you have been constantly warning and reminding me:

When dealing with other people—

Listen not to the rain beating against the trees.

I had better walk slowly while chanting at ease.

Better than a saddle I like sandals and cane.

I'd fain,

In a straw cloak, spend my life in mist and rain.

When doing my job—

Drunken, I am sobered by the vernal wind shrill

And rather chill.

In front, I see the slanting sun atop the hill;

Turning my head, I see the dreary beaten track.

Let me go back!

Impervious to rain or shine, I'll have my own will.


My little sister, I miss you.

作者简介 About Author


Dennis Chi, of Han nationality, was born in Xiantao, Hubei Province in 1970. He received his Master’s degree in Management Science at Wuhan University of Technology, where he studied under Professor Liu Guoxin, and received his PhD in Economics at Fudan University, where he studied under Professor Hong Yuanpeng. Dennis is now Chairman of CNOOD ASIA LIMITED, which he founded in 2008.

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