By Ngan Nguyen, APIASF/GMS Scholar
As I get caught up in my own life and my own relationship questions, I stopped to think about my parents and their relationship. One of my favorite stories over the dinner table is how my mom and dad met. It’s ironic how I don’t believe in love at first sight, but that was how my dad fell for my mom. My dad was in his late twenties when he met my mom at sixteen. They were introduced to each other through a mutual friend in Nha Trang. “He was supposed to meet with my sister, but she couldn’t come that day so I went instead,” my mom says. “Your dad liked me right way. He threatened his mom that he would die if he couldn’t marry me,” she laughed as she told me the story. My dad worked to get enough money so he could ask for her hand in marriage and yes, grandma approved.
Little did they know the difficult life that would be waiting for them ahead. I don’t know the details of the hard life they led before and after 1975, but I do know that they had suffered through separation when my dad was in reeducation camp after the Fall of Saigon. Despite living in poverty, my parents made sure their children would never go hungry by starving together. Sometimes I listen to these stories and wonder how those struggles have made their bond grow even stronger. We recently celebrated my parents’ 45th Anniversary, and being the inner reflective person I am, I wanted to try and express my admiration for their relationship.