Grandpa Zhang, an elderly man, had a devoted son named Zhang Jun. He was a proud firefighter who had won numerous awards for his service. Grandpa Zhang was ecstatic about his son and would beam with delight whenever he had the opportunity to talk about him with relatives and neighbors. Grandpa Zhang was in poor health because his wife died young and he now lives alone in a village. Zhang Jun’s father tended to his garden every day, where he grew a variety of vegetables.
He cooked and ate the vegetables he grew. Zhang Jun would give his father a portion of his monthly earnings so that he could live comfortably. When Zhang Jun was first accepted into the fire department a few years ago, he would visit his father on a regular basis. Grandpa Zhang would hurriedly say to his son, “If it’s only 1-2 days off, it’s better not to come home, I know you miss me but it would be too much trouble for you.”
“It’s okay, father, you’re all alone at home,” Zhang Jun would say. Despite my busy schedule, I need to know you are well and healthy. “If I don’t do at least that, I won’t be fulfilling my responsibilities as your child.” Because of this, Zhang Jun would take the time to return home and visit his father in the village where he grew up. His visits became less frequent, and at one point, Zhang Jun went almost five years without seeing his father.
Grandpa Zhang became increasingly concerned about his son after not hearing from him in a long time. He dialed the department where his son worked, and the person on the other end of the line informed him that Zhang Jun was currently occupied and that he would forward the message. After several hours, Zhang Jun finally called his father. “Father, I don’t think I’ll be able to come home in the next few years,” he said.
You don’t have to be concerned about me, father; I’ll continue to send you money so you can live comfortably. Oh, I must depart; the department requires my services.”
Grandpa Zhang had calmed his nerves and felt better when he knew his son was okay, despite the fact that his son said he was busy and the phone call was less than a minute long. Days turned into years, and Grandpa Zhang grew older and trailer.
Every month, his son never failed to send money to his father. Zhang Jun did not return to his father for the next five years. Grandpa Zhang’s health deteriorated one day when he experienced severe chest pains and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctors told him that if his health continued to deteriorate at this rate, he would not live much longer. Grandpa Zhang had come to terms with the prospect of his life ending because he believed he had lived a fruitful 65 years.
He was aware that his health was deteriorating and was not surprised to learn that he might die soon. He had a premonition that this would happen and was resigned to the end of his life. He could only hope to see his son one last time before he died. Grandpa Zhang dialed his son’s fire department and was quickly connected. “Son, your mother is waiting for me to come see her,” he said. I’m running out of time. “Could you please come home soon?”
Grandfather Zhang called his son again, and this time his phone connected quickly. Zhang’s grandfather immediately said: “Son, your mother has asked me to go see her; Daddy can’t wait any longer; can you come home one last time before you leave?” As the recipient remained silent for a brief moment, the line fell silent. On the other end of the line, he heard a soft voice say.
“We sincerely apologize, Grandpa. Your son died in a fire five years ago while attempting to save us.” “We know Zhang Jun was very devoted to you, and he repeatedly told us not to break the bad news to you, grandpa. As he let the phone fall to the ground, Grandpa Zhang’s hands began to tremble. He recalled all the years he had hoped for his son to return home and how disappointed he had been when Zhang Jun could not even call him.
Warm tears streamed down his cheeks, and Grandpa Zhang was soon sobbing uncontrollably over his late son. “My boy, you were so young, you aren’t married yet…” he thought to himself. You never had the opportunity to truly live life… to start a family… to say farewell” Grandpa Zhang’s heart was breaking. He felt as if he could die right then and there because he was consumed by grief.
His hands and body trembled further, but he smiled. He knew that because his time was coming to an end, he would be reunited with his wife and son in the afterlife. He consoled himself and calmed himself in this way, looking forward to seeing his family again. Grandpa Zhang did not make it through the night and died peacefully the next morning. He appeared content as he held a photograph of his family in his hands. Hopefully, he was reunited with his family and they are all happy in the heavens.