Goodbye Bố

May your soul rest in peace. Although we’re missing you madly, we know that you’re in a better place. The deadly lung cancer claimed your life, but not your spirit. I could see it in your eyes. You battled it to your last breath and I respect you deeply for that.

In fact, I had great respects for you even before we met. When I dated your little girl, she had always spoken highly of you. The first time she introduced me to you, I had nothing but admiration for a man who would be my father-in-law even though I almost blew my chance. By the way that I was holding the wrench, you knew that I had never done any fixing around the house. Not only you didn’t hold that against me, but you also took me under your wing. I still wish I had a tiny bit of your craftsmanship.

Thank you for being a loving father to me in the past few years. Life won’t be the same without you. I will miss those dinnertime moments when we rolled fried tilapia, sipped wine and chatted about Vietnamese culture. I loved our little discussions on music and lyrics. These last few days, Trịnh Công Sơn’s “Ở Trọ” reminded me of what you had explained to me. These lines have become clear to me: “Tôi nay ở trọ trần gian / Trăm năm về chốn xa xăm cuối trời.” You’re just leaving this temporary place and eventually we will see each other again.

Bonjour Vietnam