Despite marrying and becoming the mother of three children, 93-year-old Chang Shuying (張淑英) has never forgotten her first husband, who she last saw 77 years ago.
Last month, the Chinese woman traveled to Taipei so that she could pay tribute to Chung Chung-hsin (鍾崇鑫) one last time.
According to a report by Chinese Web site QQ.com, Chang met Chung in 1935 and they became engaged shortly afterward and later married.
Chung was called away to defend the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government capital of Nanjing when the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted in the summer of 1937.
His fate, as with many of the other men in the 259th Brigade, was a mystery to Chang until one of Chung’s comrades told her in 1944 that he died in battle at the age of 32, the report said.
At the end of the war, most of Chang’s family followed the KMT government to Taiwan, but she decided to stay in China, the report said.
“My husband was a native of Chongqing. I am staying here my entire life,” the QQ.com report quoted her as saying.
Chang remarried in 1949 and raised a family of three children with her second husband, the report said, adding that Chang chose to keep her feelings for Chung to herself until her second husband passed away in 1983.
“My husband treated me very well, but Chung was my first love, one which I will never forget; I only wish to know where his grave is,” the report quoted Chang as saying to her children.
In September, Chang’s younger son saw a volunteer group for veterans of the Second Sino-Japanese War on TV, the report said.
After he contacted the group, they found a photograph of Chung.
Using an image editor, they blended the photograph with another of Chang before giving the composite to her as a gift, the report said, adding that Chang cried silently when she received the new image.
Upon discovering that Chung’s remains were kept at the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine in Taipei, Chang embarked on a journey to Taiwan — thanks to the 20,000 yuan (US$3,230) raised by a charity group — to see Chung again, the report said.
Chang arrived in Taipei on Nov. 22, accompanied by her son, and cried over the plaque bearing Chung’s name, saying: “I’ve finally found you,” the report said.
“I have cried only three times in my life, and all three times have been because of you,” the report quoted Chang as saying.
Chang made a second visit to the shrine before leaving Taipei to make another promise to her beloved.
“We were set apart by accident 77 years ago. Now, 77 years later, I have come to bid you farewell. I am already 93 years old and cannot visit you again, but hopefully we will meet in another lifetime,” Chang said at the military shrine, according to the report.
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