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The Rising Sun
The founder Mr. Chou Chin-Hua of the CTK Foundation
My dear son Ta-Kuan:

      Daddy, mommy and your younger brother sent regards to you! Where are you now exactly? Is everything all right? 
      You had been a perfect fairy tale and a wonderful chapter of life music.
      You had been a life philosophy and poetry of a ten-year path in a hundred-year life.
      You had been a volume of life religion and history that faced death without fear.
      Daddy, mommy, your younger brother and numerous caring uncles and aunts around the world read about you every day! We never get tired reading about you even thousand or tens of thousand times.
      In the early morning at 4:50 a.m. on May 18, 1997, in the pouring rain, you completed the last page of your fairy tale and your musical chapter, philosophy, poetry, religion and history in life. Your right hand pressed on the Cancer Devil on your leg and your left hand held daddy and mommy’s firm grips tightly. What’s been more impressive is that you had been trying to live peacefully with the Cancer Devil and you held yourself up in this life and death tug of war. You calmly participated in the assessment meeting, you held a walking stick and walked out bravely in one leg, you encouraged other cancer children and their families with the power of compassion and determination, and you challenged the fate firmly to live to the future. You had never shed one drop of tear. You refused to accept any painkiller until the last breath of yours. You didn’t lose. You had won the entire life. Daddy, mommy and your younger brother are all proud of you.
      “I want to go home!” You said to daddy before you passed away. You were such an unusual and thrifty child. Your savings of NT$405,000 from pocket money, New Year’s red envelops and income from writings, and each penny from the publication of your poems “I Still Have One Leg” and books “Ta-Kuan-- Voice from a Cancer Child” and “The Light of Life-- Chou Ta-Kuan”─ dedicated to life-fulfilling you and all those cared for you that was written by aunty Song Fang-Chih of the Universal Gate Magazine who loved you so much and had spent almost two years to complete were all contributed to the “Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation”.
      After a simple cremation ceremony on June 15, 1997, we followed your wish to decline the kindness from all different circles that would donate graveyard or columbarium pagoda to you with great courtesy and placed you in our home – our life community located in Chingtan, Hsindian City that you thought about all the time. Here, we have too many happy stories and the joy of growth that cannot be fully told. Your brother Shang-Kuan plays violin and blows saxophone in front of your every day after school. Mommy chants sutra and daddy tells you stories. We wish that we shall not separate from each other any more. We wish that people around the world may unite together like us in a very unique way.
      You were such a nature-lover, a darling of the heaven and earth. You liked the mountains and water along the Northern and Southern Cross-island Highways, the sunrise in Alishan and the sunset in Tamshui, and you liked even more the chirpy insects and birds in Fushan Botanical Garden, the Holly Wood in Daguan Mountain, the Kenting seashore, and the beach along the Dadiao Bay… And, you would like to accompany daddy, mommy, your brother and the Cancer Devil to places on this island where you hadn’t been to before-- the Confucius Temple, Chihkan Tower, Eternal Golden Castle and the Canal in Tainan City. We had already booked the flight on April 9, 1997. Alas! Uncle Doctor would not allow, nor did Aunt Nurse as your white cell count was only 390, hemachrome 7 and hematoblasts 12,000.
      You were such a cute international observer. You liked the cable car and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the overpass and church in Las Vegas, the Disneyland and Universal Studios in Los Angeles, the Miami Airport and beach. You also liked the watermelon in Belize, the golden sculpture in Costa Rico and the stone carvings in Guatemala. You liked even more the beach in Mexico, the prairie in Honduras, the volcano in El Salvador, the Panama Canal… And, you would like to accompany daddy, mommy, your brother and the Cancer Devil to see the Ocean Park in Hong Kong, the Sentosa Island in Singapore, the Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, and places like the Yellow Mountain, Dunhuang, Lasa, the West Lake, Confucius Temple, the Yangtze River and Yellow River in China. We had already booked the international flight on April 26, 1997. We also had two of your most favorite doctors, Dr. Yang Jin-Mu and Dr. Chen Chih-cheng of National Taiwan University Hospital, to come with us. Alas! You were sent to the intensive care unit for an urgent treatment in the early morning of April 24. For maintaining the dignity of life, you refused to have tubes inserted all along, and insisted to return to 7D06 cancer wards the next day to stay with daddy, mommy and brother. But you had to let Uncle Oxygen to put a mask on you and Aunt Intravenous Drip to cuff you as you didn’t have enough oxygen in blood and your urination was not fluent.
      You were an honest little prince, and also a life art worker. When you were one year and two months old, you liked to visit daddy and mommy’s study room to touch here and there. When you were two years and five months old, you and your one year and six months old prematurely delivered younger brother Shang-Kuan took books out of the shelves. One after another, one after another. See who could take more? Who could take faster? Books are your toys and also your playmates. Gradually, you would open those books, looked at the pictures and started to have dialogues between yourselves. Whether you understood or not, this was your first step of searching for knowledge. For the second step, you would call daddy and mommy teachers to test you this and that, and you were able to give the right answers. For the third step, books were your teachers. You read all the time. Your readings covered The Three Word Classic, The Thousand Character Text, The 300 Tang Poems, The Analects, The Mencius, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, a full collection of Aesop Fables, The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Nobel Prized Literature, Chinese and Foreign/Current and Ancient Scientists Collection… Many relatives and friends were awed that you were able to respond fluently to questions they asked you out of curiosity.
      Besides study, music was your favorite. Every night you had to hold on your violin to fall asleep. On May 17, 1997, we sat together and watched your performance in the first orchestra concert of the Hsindien City Da Feng Elementary School for six times. Daddy could not hold back tears when I watched you lying on bed and making the gestures of pulling strings with the music. I was also worried that you might be too tired. Reluctantly, I turned off TV and asked you to take a good rest. How would I know that this was the last day of your life? So the next day after you passed away, daddy had to hold back the most anguish and managed a way to thank those uncles and aunts who had contributed so much love to us and helped us silently. Finally, on June 7, the “I Still Have One Leg” Gratitude Concert was able to take place smoothly to show our gratitude to people from all circles that cared so much for you.
      In order to expand the care that people showed to you and to care for more children in need, we had formally established the “Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation” on June 4, 1997 to promote the Fervent Global Love of Lives series public benefit activities. We set up “Loving Daddy”, “Loving Mommy”, “Loving Sister” and “Loving Brother” support groups, held all kinds of life-caring activities, established the “Love Children’s Home - Ta-Kuan Cancer Children Family Caring Center”, created the “Ta-Kuan Life Questionnaire Research Center” and “Ta-Kuan public benefit website (http://www.ta.org.tw)”, organized “Life University” growth program series, held the selection for winners of the “Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal” - to publicly praise those institutes, groups or any individual that have outstanding achievements or contributions in the scope of Global Love of Lives, promoted to establish a specialized hospital for severely ill children. The hospital and its devices are meant to be shaped like a fairy world of Disneyland to provide a more humane, children-oriented, consistent and overall treatment process including consultation, family doctor, out-patient visit, examination, treatment, nursing care, surgery, hospitalization, teaching and research, hospice care, etc. and maintain life dignity for all children.
      Moreover, on May 25, 1998 in Taipei, daddy and Dr. Gerlind Bode of the Germany Leukemia Association, CEO Dr. Liebermann of the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation U.S.A, and Mr. An-Kuo Cheng of the Highwise Service Foundation Limited and others signed up together to initiate the “Declaration of Fervent Global Love of Lives Day” to set up the day on the May 25th (euphony: I love I) each year as the “Global Love of Lives Day” to promote to fervently love your life – to greet a wholesome future, to honor others’ lives – to surge into the hope of great love, and safeguard the earth’s life – to strive for a harmonious coexistence.
      Ta-Kuan! Where are you? Is everything all right? A body of 7 feet tall living for tens of millions of light year compared with a few decades of life or even shorter in the endless eternity is equally called “life”. Ever since the beginning, this “life” has been coming and going repeatedly for numerous times like the sudden appearance and disappearance of night-blooming cereus or bubble shadow. Ten years were your whole life! Your whole life was so short and yet so long at the same time. The father and son connection between us was so thin and yet so profound at the same time. In the long river of life, you were entirely free to come and go as you wish and you had sublimed to become the “Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation” that belongs to everyone.
      Ta-Kuan! Ta-Kuan! Where are you? Are you well? Daddy sang many times at your life’s bank in dreams. The sound of singing enshrouded with tears filled in both sides of your life’s bank. The breeze on the water surface is mommy’s hands and the waves on water are your brother’s feet. Life is priceless. The earth is full of love. I live and you stand up. We cannot decide the length of life, but we can decide its richness.
      Ta-Kuan! Ta-Kuan! Where are you? Did you come back again as you promised to daddy, mommy and brother before your died? On April 7, 1998 at 2:07a.m., when Dr. Liu Hsian-Ping of Cathay General Hospital held the crying baby and came out, Shang-Kuan yelled happily, “Brother has come back!” He also said to mommy considerably, “Thank you mommy for giving birth to brother again. I will not ask for a brother from you any more.” Shang-Kuan said he would take care of brother “Tian-Kuan” just like you took care of him before. They will play violin and blow saxophone together, and will study the “solar power cancer elimination accelerator” mentioned in your life poem to help all cancer children in the world to get rid of the bullying of Cancer Devil.
      Ta-Kuan! Ta-Kuan! Where are you? You really come back! Your little brother Tian-Kuan is very much like you, every smile and move of his including the corner of his eyes and birthmark, his habit of getting up and sleeping early and having books as toys, and that special spirit, cleverness and cuteness. Actually, you have become Ta-Kuan──Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation that belongs to everybody. You have never left. You have lived a wonderful life. What more can you ask for? My son, how strong you have been! As an adult, daddy has given you too little while you have taught me so much. Even though we cannot tell the safety and danger of tomorrow, we can make full use of today. Every day I raise my head to take a good look at you and the photo of our family, and I look toward the far-off east, at the rising sun – how magnificent it is! I wish you:
      Safe and sound for everything!