Sixty three years ago, our dad married our mom. He was 23 and she was 16. He was smitten by her, but she was “too innocent” to notice him. Our dad said that his best volleyball & soccer friends (our mom’s older brothers) wanted him as a brother-in-law and routinely beat and chased the other suitors/competitors away. To this he is forever thankful.
In those days our mother’s family fortune was waning down as her dad passed away years before, her mom was ill (I suspect Hep B infection) and our matriarch great grandmother recently passed away. It was our dad and another brother-in-law, Uncle Uan, helping them out as the communists were taking over North VN. It was as you can imagine, very difficult in those days. Our dad confided to me that they did not consummate their marriage until mom was in her 20’s.
In 1954 pregnant with their 1st born, they escaped from North VN. His parents “disowned” him “for abandoning them”. In turn our parents returned every wedding gift, down to the downy blanket and the wedding money to his parents. They were not able to convince his parents that the commies are badass who’d kill and maim and would not take bribes.
After settling in South VN, he joined the ARVN and worked under President Diem then Thieu. Finally tired of corrupted politics he left the ARVN and worked for the Radio Station “Mother of Vietnam”, a subsidiary of the CIA; and that was how all of his kids get to this country.
Our mom always had big dreams that were never materialized. She is extremely intelligent and blessed with photographic memory and unable to go to high school or college. In a way she was unsatisfied with our dad who had great potential of becoming a big wig as he was working for the presidents of VN and that our dad was simply a happy-go-lucky guy. Now looking back, she could not be happier with choice she made with a husband, whose principles could not be compromised by money or fame and that together they were blessed with successful children and beautiful grandchildrens.
Years ago our dad said to his kids, “I’m challenging you kids to raise your kids like we did.” Huh? It’s almost impossible to do what you did: 4 doctors in the house, engineers, nurse, teacher, etc. Are you kidding us?
My paternal uncle about my grandparents