Sunday, March 28, 2010

Honoring My Father

This March 28th was the day I will remember for the rest of my life. It is the day I lost my dad six years ago. Since he died, every year my whole family gets together to remember him. We call it Family's Memorial Day. This year is no different, only it is more special because it is the exact date and day. As always, my oldest brother requested a special mass to pray for our dad. All of my siblings, their families, children and grandchildren gathered at our church. This year my because my mom's health has deteriorated tremendously, we did not have mom with us. After church, we all went to dad's gravesite; we said prayers, sang his favorite song, and drank champagne. The champagne was one of my dad's favorite traditions. To toast him, like he is still with us, every New Year, Christmas, Vietnamese New Year, and also every joyous occasion within the family, we share champagne. And as we toast, it reminds us that he shared champagne for each of these occasions and for every one of us. The last day of his life, we were at the house, so we could be close to him, sing songs, recite Hail Mary and Our Father to him. We were trying to hold on to him since there were some grandchildren who schooled far away, and they were trying to make it home in time. At the last minute, the most far away grandson, Shaw arrived. My dad gained conscious. He looked at all of us for the last time and said, "Champagne."My oldest sister dabbed a drop of champagne on his lips. He then smiled and took his last breath.

Today, after the gravesite, we all went to my oldest brother's house to have lunch together, remembering dad, talking about mom and visiting with each other, especially, our two great grandnieces, Kylie and Madeline, the two newest members of our family.

Dad was our inspiration, courage, and a kind of glue to keep us all together. This year, even with dad gone and mom very ill, our tradition and love for each other live on. The love our parents had instilled in all of us will be the glue to keep us all together, no matter where we are or whichever paths our lives take us to. I believe we will always be there for each other, and I also believe that my dad is in heaven, looking at us with love and pride. Thanks Dad.
By Thai Le


  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate the life of your father. Through your story I've learned what a courageous man he was protecting his family and the country that he loved. Thank you for your inspirational story!

  2. Linda, Thank you for your nice comments about my dad. He worked hard for what he believes what is right and stands by his values. He loves Vietnam with all his heart. Thank you again for your encouraging words. Thai Le

  3. I appreciate you writing me to review your memoir page Child of South Vietnam. Your March 28 entry touched my heart as it is so full of emotion and very descriptive. And I couldn’t help but remember my mom who passed away five years ago. I was at her side when she passed away. And similar to your story, I was the only one she was waiting for, all my siblings were with her at the hospital. I remember how I cried in the bus as I was trying to pull time to reach the hospital before it was too late for me to even hold her. I missed her much and I wanted to start doing what I loved doing most, to express myself in writing and to capture all the years I spent with her in writing, and share my thoughts with others in the same field of interest. I know I cannot bring back time, but in a loving and creative way, to write a memoir about her will be my way of connecting with her even when she’s not with us. I know she watches over me amidst all the world’s challenges I am facing. I draw strength from her as my inspiration to be strong and survive life’s little bumps. Posted by Charming W. on Amanda Griffith's LinkedIn Page