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Who could imagine that the decisions of a woman in Vietnam, during and within a few years after the war, would have such a profound impact on our lives? The decisions that Hue made led a decade later to a young man named Au entering our lives as a dancer and the dance partner of our daughter Alicia as they studied at Illinois State University. He brought an amazing story of hardship, endurance, and perseverance, that was matched by his extraordinary determination to do well in his studies, his work, his willingness to tackle any challenges, his open-heartedness, and his love of family. They married in 1990 just before Au’s first return to Vietnam, with his brother Long, to see his mother and grandmother, and to reassure them that their difficult decisions had been worth the sacrifices they had made.

In the next five years came our three wonderful grand-daughters, who have each grown up in the security of parents who have been devoted to their nurture and the development of their minds, hearts, and talents with a depth that few children have known.

We owe a lot to Au, computer and communications technician that he is, and cook, repairman, hunter, painter, martial artist, fisherman, runner, dog-lover, care-giver, mechanic, audio-visual specialist, volunteer….husband, son-in-law, father, son.

Thank you, Hue Thi Nguyen, for the decisions and sacrifices that you made, and for the life that you led. May you enjoy the blessings of heaven forever.   Hue Thi Nguyen, 1950-2015.