A Piece of My History
About 37 years ago, I was conceived. My parents left their home in Vietnam for the United States and they were faced with a serious decision on whether or not to keep me. During this time, my family had been living in Burma for a year after escaping Vietnam. There were rumors that if a family was expecting a child, it would delay or deny their acceptance into the United States.
Getting to the U.S. was a dream for my family, as it was for many Vietnamese families. After the Vietnam War, when North Vietnam took over, it turned into a communist country. Living under a strict dictatorship was not ideal and this led to many Vietnamese citizens planning their escape in search of a better life. To escape Vietnam, however, would not be easy. If the communist government found out, you could be locked in jail for many years. If you successfully escaped, you risked getting robbed, raped, and murdered by pirates. My father, an experienced fisherman, knew his way around the sea. In my family's escape, they encountered a ship of pirates. Fortunately, my dad was able to convince them that they were on a fishing trip and they went on their way. Regrettably, many other families were not so fortunate.
While residing in Burma, waiting for the interview to get into the U.S., my father attempted to persuade my mother to get an abortion. My mother could not go through with it and made the decision to sacrifice her entry to the States allowing my father and siblings to go ahead of her. When they finally got to the interview and physical examination, they saw my mother, a tiny, little lady with a big belly and an obvious battle wound. During the war, my mother’s leg had been severely fractured from a grenade. Her leg had healed leaving an indent along with scarring from this trauma. After seeing this, they expedited entry into the United States for immediate medical attention. I have to say, this was truly a godsend.
When I look at where I am now and how close I was to not existing at all, I feel so grateful for an amazing life. Never in a million years did I think that this little girl living off rice and soy sauce (which is delicious by the way) would grow up to start her own business. Nor did I expect to have so many wonderful patients and continuous referrals for the success of that business. There is not a day that goes by where I do not think about the opportunities I have been given, all based on one decision. My life, our lives, are truly something to be cherished and to be thankful for. I am forever grateful to everyone who has come along on this journey with me and has watched me grow into the woman I am today.
This Mother and Father’s Day, I would like to thank my parents for all they have sacrificed while putting their lives at risk for a better life, a better future, and for freedom.