The kids were elated to see me back. Little Vương joined his older brothers jumping up and down with joy. Being away just a month I felt like I missed a whole lot of actions. Vương seems taller and speaks more complete sentences. He knows all the Peppa Pig’s lines.
Yesterday, I drove Xuân and Vương to visit Buddhist temples in the area to make some contributions and to pray for my mother. I only visited two temples so far. The monks were kind and compassionate. They even offered to pray for my mother weekly to set her spirit free. I need to get to six more temples in the next few days.
I took my wife and kids to 99 Ranch for a quick lunch. The place was quite empty, which was good for us, but not for the business. After lunch and a quick grocery shop, I dropped my wife and Vương back home for his nap time. I drove the older boys to the skate park. It was a bit crowded and Đán refused to skate because most of the kids didn’t wear masks. He was right so I took them to a trail nearby. The trail was empty. We skated for 40 minutes and had to take Đạo to the dentist. Đán and Xuân didn’t want to wait around so we went to Dunkin’ for some donuts and wake-up wraps. I restrained myself from getting a coffee after 4 PM.
It felt great to be back home and to spend time with the boys. They gave me a sense of normalcy again after such a devastating time. I still am missing my mother a great deal and thinking about my sisters. I am dealing with my grief better than I had expected. For a long time, I could not imagine my life without her. I kept having thoughts about how I would survive when she leaves this world. It had been hard, but I had not collapsed. I cried violently in her room then I wrote. Getting all my emotions on the page had helped me cope with the reality. Writing about her and my memories of her helped me to reconnect with her. When I write, she still exists in my world. I can hear her voice, see her smile, and feel her presence.
She used to scroll through my Facebook timeline to see my boys’ activities. When we spoke over the phone she would tell me the specific video clips that made her laugh or concern. When Đán enjoyed sashimi, she disapproved of me feeding my kid raw fish. I assured her that he only ate a moderate amount. During lunch yesterday, Đán reminded me not to tell bà nội (grandma) that he ate raw fish. I told him, she will always know.
She will always be in my heart and on my mind. Although I am far from being a good writer, I have developed an ability, through years of practicing, to write openly what’s on my mind. I felt closest to her when I wrote down what I was thinking about her. I could still hear her voice from the other line. When I held her hand, stroked her hair, and asked her to let go, she responded with a teardrop when her breathing had stopped, I knew she could hear me. Our dialogue will continue until I leave this temporary world to join her in our next life together.