When I attended my friend Nate’s funeral, Mrs. Tra Hun thanked me for coming. She still recognized me even though I had not seen her in over a decade. I could tell she was devastated by her youngest son’s death. I could see the tears in her eyes. I could feel the pain in her heart.
I completely froze when I found out this morning that Mrs. Hun had just passed away on Monday—only three months after her son had gone. My heart ached when I learned that she had Covid. Her passing has reaffirmed that this deadly virus is far from over. We can’t let our guard down.
When my mother passed away from Covid, I was in town and wanted to come by their house to see Nate to rekindle our friendship, but I only drove by their house and left. Although I tested negative, I did not want to get them infected, especially Mrs. Hun and her husband. When I saw her daughter at Costco, I asked about the family and she told me that everyone was doing fine. I was relieved.
I knew Mrs. Hun when I started hanging out with her children. Their house was a block from my sister’s old house. Even though she barely spoke English, she made sure that I knew her rule when I came over and she only had one rule: “Sit down and pee.” Mrs. Hun kept her house spotless clean. Her hardwood floors were always shiny that every kid ever came to the house had slipped and fell.
Mrs. Hun worked hard everyday to raise her family. In addition to her full-time job at the greenhouse, she loved to grow vegetables, herbs, and melons in her backyard. She woke up early to water her plants before going to work and spent more time in her garden after work. She was a kind woman who would feed us whenever we stayed at her house. Her love extended beyond her own children. She treated us like her own kids. She always smiled and asked how my mom was doing. She let us hang out at her house through the night as long as we kept our noise to the minimum.
I miss the good old times hanging at their house, playing video games, and eating raw steak with white rice. I miss seeing her smile and hearing her yelling in Cambodian, which I did not understand. Mrs. Hun will always have a special place in my heart. May her body and soul rest in peace.