Wednesday 14th March, 2012;12:34
Location: Dong Nai Vietnam
Why: My blood is thick. Poc thick.
After a tearful goodbye to Dad, Ryo and extended family, I am back in Melakatown Malaysia. As I settle back at Jalan Jalan Guesthouse (my home away from home), I keep thinking about my time back in Viet Nam. Figured I should download here to clear my head.
My second trip back to Viet Nam was another powerful trip back to my roots. This time was made more poignant with the presence of Dad and Ryo. Just thinking of the time spent with them the last two+ weeks leaves a lump in my throat and an involuntary impulse to shed tears of love and gratitude.
Ryo and I both landed at SGN on 26th February a couple of hours apart, to be greeted by so many family members, including Dad. My heart skipped a beat. Last time I saw Dad, he was dropping me off at YYZ and I was balling my eyes out. I wanted to do the same this time around but fought back the tears. What a feeling; the passing of A-Mah had brought us together. Kinda epic for me.
Ryo and I settled in A-Mah's old room to bunk for the next couple of weeks. It was just like ol' times when we shared a bedroom with Sue and Diane. I'm so grateful for my siblings that I'm starting to feel a lump in my throat again. Dad is still staying at A-Guu's house (Dad's younger sister)
Ryo, Me and Dad on our way to see A-Goong who lives with Gow Sook (Dad's younger half brother):
Friday, 16th March 2012
This post is kind of hard to write. Not that I don't know what to write, but more like how do I even begin to express what my family means to me. So I left this post and now I'm back.
A-Mah. The mere thought of her has my eyes brimming with tears. So many flashes of treasured moments, conversations and laughter race through my mind every time I think about her. I see her in Dad, I miss her so much when he talks about her. So many stories about her life; it has been a great history lesson with Dad and family. Ryo and I listened intently the past two weeks of fascinating stories told by aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws. We got so many different perspectives from different family members that I am left emotionally drained yet so blessed with my life.
The day we went to see A-Mah's grave and brought some of her favourite foods. She loved to eat:
Although I had returned to Dong Nai to pay my respects, Ryo and I found ourselves in Saigon for 11 fun filled days, including an overnight stint at the hospital - read my previous post. It will have you in stitches. Su-sie-ah and I had a great laugh about it when I spoke to her on the phone.
The rest of the time we were constantly being stuffed with food to the point of exhaustion. Family sure knows how to feed their Viet Kieus! And of course, copious amounts of shopping. As a backpacker, I'm extremely picky about what I buy since I have to lug it around. However, for Ryo, it was shopping heaven. Gotta say, I was impressed and slightly envious he was putting so many goodies in his suitcase to bring back to Canada. My gorgeous wooden spoons are in that suitcase. I'll get over it.
Ryo in shoe heaven captured with the Fish Eye effect:
Going for dessert with cousins after many a dinners that left me and Ryo near food coma status. But we soldier onwards like the Pocs that we are:
Along with old stories being told, so too were old photos being shown. Wow!! What a feast for the eyes and heart. We came across old photos that Mom and Dad had sent back decades ago.
I particularly love this one, especially Tai and Cam's expressions, so precious:
It was so much fun going through hundreds of old photos from all sides of the Poc Lineage. There are talks of other siblings going back for a visit for A-Mah's one year anniversary. I am so excited for this since Mom and Dad will be making the trip back as well.
Meanwhile, Ryo and I documented new photos of old memories.
Like this one: Here, he is reenacting having played hide and seek on A Guu's balcony:
And here we are bombing around Bau Ham on a scooter:
Tales of Dad's efforts to sponsor as many relatives to Canada is the stuff movie scripts are made of. Here, he is just an unassuming man on the back of a motorbike. But to me, he is my personal hero:
This second trip back has been even more epic than my first visit 6 months ago. I am excited for the future of me and my family, despite the sad loss of A-Mah. This event along with an exciting creation on the horizon fills me with so much sadness and happiness at the same time. But everything that has and will happen is as it should be. I embrace all of it. I couldn't belong to a better family.