WANG JIN LONG: My father had this dream after he got lung cancer. Usually people dream of what they think about during the day. So maybe my father had this dream because he wanted to get cured, or maybe for some other reason. He told me about this dream in the morning when I helped him get out of bed.
    He called me by my nickname and said: “Long, I just had a dream, I think it’s a good dream. I dreamt that I went to your uncle’s place to get treatment, and I was cured. On my way back, I saw a lot of people who travelled without having bought a ticket, and some train guards took us all to a very dark and cold place and questioned us one by one. They looked rather fierce, as if they would beat you if you didn’t answer their questions.” My father told me he was scared. When the guards questioned him, he said he had bought a ticket, but they called him a liar and wanted to beat him. So my father said: “I travelled to Shijiazhuang to see a doctor, I’m very seriously ill, if you beat me I may never make it back home! Please be kind and forgive me, please let me go!” He didn’t know whether those guards felt sorry for him or not, but they let him go. Out of curiosity, he stayed outside to see what was happening in there. He saw the guards questioning other people, then he got scared and ran away. He told me he ran very fast and he didn’t fell sick at all.
    I guess my father had this dream because he was hoping to be cured. He knew that his family needed him. I told him: “Dad, you will be cured soon, don’t worry about anything, just take care of yourself.” He was touched by my words and smiled, for the first time since he got ill. I saw him smile and felt happy, too.
    My father didn’t have an easy life. He had three children to look after: my older brother, my older sister and myself. He had to work a lot so we could go to school. We lived in a small village in the countryside, there weren’t very many ways to make money. There was a factory in the village. The factory owners asked my father to work for them, they promised him good payment so he could send his kids to school. My father thought about it for some time and then accepted the offer. He started working at the factory and stayed there for two years.
    My father leads a very simple life, he doesn’t spend much money on food or on anything. I’m very grateful to him. He is a very nice person, he has a good reputation in our village because he is kind and honest. In fact my father got ill because he doesn’t take care of his health. He worked really hard in the factory, other people would only work there for half a year, but he stayed for two years, to support his family. He is such a good person and such a good father, I think he should live longer, at least 10 more years.
    I’m very grateful to my father. In a way he got ill because of us. It was also our fault not to urge him to see a doctor earlier, he only went to the hospital when he started feeling really bad, but then it was late already. My uncle helped my father find a doctor, but the doctor said it was too late, that my father could not be cured anymore, and that he should go home and get palliative treatment. My father doesn’t know the doctor said this, only my sister, my brother, my uncle and I. We are afraid to tell him, we don’t want him to get disheartened. So he received treatment in Shijiazhuang for a month and then I took him back home. My uncle had a talk with me and said: “Your father is very seriously ill, if you think you could quit school, maybe you could come home to help your mother, she has to do all the work now and she isn’t in such good health, either.” So I quit school and went back home.