My mom’s a little dynamo, always on the go: traveling, working on charities, special projects, helping friends. She’s generous, kindhearted, stubborn and strong-willed. She’s a fighter, a survivor of multiple wars and unfathomable personal sacrifice. She’s fearless to challenge. She tries hard to learn, to grow emotionally and spiritually. For an uber-conservative Republican immigrant, she can be downright progressive in her paradigms. She’s a force. And let’s face it, such a strong personality means that she can be a challenge, but it also means that she can be pretty great.
In 1999 we lost my dad and ever since my mom has struggled with the painful loneliness that can only come from losing your long-time spouse, your best friend, your other half.
Recently she has found a new joy and a new companion. She is 72, he is 79.
They’re an inspiration.
They travel together, drive the countryside, hold hands, go out to eat, commune with friends. They hit the gym every day and take care of each others health. They laugh and seem to delight in each others company. They’re headed off to Vietnam—he for the first time in more than 35 years—for six weeks of travel and later this year they’ll be taking a pilgrimage to India for a Buddhist retreat. They have fun at a pace that we envy.
Holy cow, what could we do for her on Mother’s Day to top all that joie de vivre?
Short of giving her another grandkid, which we’re working on (hello!), we knew we couldn’t make her any happier. So instead we tried to capture all those smiles on film.
Here’s mom and Truong, Mother’s Day 2011.