Spring has finally arrived. I feel rejuvenated, even though the weather has fallen back to a chilly temperature range.
At our Sunday gathering tomorrow, my siblings and I will again reminisce about our early days arriving to Minnesota 25 years ago, fresh off the planes and into the whirlwind of new lives in America.
A quarter of a century in America, we are becoming Americans, slice by slice, with a Vietnamese core.
O left very early yesterday for his flight to Boston and eventually a three-hour drive to Vermont to visit his American Mom, the woman who is responsible for O’s cultural learning and success. They met just a few short years after O settled in America. She provides emotional support and guidance, more than what his mom has given him in his entire life. In O’s heart, she is the true mom that he has been fortunate to have.
Her days are numbered, and this might be their last meeting. O told me that she has physically become frail and weak, but her mind is still sharp and clear. She has been staying in a living community for elders where we visited her two years ago during our last trip to Boston. It’s a serene place of the beautiful Vermont, but not too far from Dartmouth College where her daughter lives. That woman has great children, who all have taken breaks from their work to be with her during this crucial time.
Death frightens me, even though I know it’s an inevitable outcome that is expected for all of us. Still, knowing that a loved one will soon depart from this place is unsettling.
Anyway, O is now back in Boston, and hanging out with my friends in the North End. He flies back to us tomorrow.