(Note: TypePad, the hosting service for this blog, was hit with a big denial of service attack and was offline for awhile. This is posted a bit late because of that attack.)
I write this blog mainly for myself, though I know there are a few folks who never turned off their RSS feeds.
This is a story of a new baby who arrived in this world as clueless about its history as all babies are. Her name is Nhiên (say nyee en) and I’ve known her mother for nine years.
Nine years - really that long? She was a first year university student then - more high school kid than college student. But she stood out from the other students. Besides wanting to learn for the pure sake of learning, she did the extra things to keep learning. She was a regular visitor to our apartment in Huế. She invited me to visit her parents. She read books in English.
(Click on the photos to see larger versions.)
And that mind was too good to be left to the vagaries of the Vietnamese educational system. We always saw her for coffee or a meal or conversation during our many return trips and kept up with her life.
And so it was that Ái Nhân became the second daughter we never knew we needed. We’d brought Trang here to US for graduate school in 2008. In 2011 we brought Ái Nhân here for her Master’s. Both of these young woman burrowed deep into our hearts. That was totally unexpected. We thought we’d just bring some bright minds to the US to further their education. We certainly didn’t anticipate adding to our family.
After her first year, Ái Nhân returned home to get married to a truly fine man. I’d met Kiên before and knew they were a great match. Of course we went to Huế for the wedding - and it was our privilege to be considered part of the family. All brides are pretty, of course, but when Ái Nhân stepped into the room in her wedding ào dài (say ow yie), my heart skipped a beat.
Little time for a honeymoon, the newlyweds flew back to the US for her to continue her graduate work and Kiên to start his. Last May was the time to celebrate her graduation and make plans to work as a lecturer at the university.
Then last fall came the news - the two were expecting their first child.
And this was special for me. I wasn’t around when my son Keith was born - he was six months old before I saw him. Ironically, I was in a place called Vietnam when he was born.
I missed the birth of my first grandchild too. We were living in Albuquerque at the time Dani arrived in Orlando. Strangely, we were living in Albuquerque when Brie was born - but I was on a trip to Orlando, of all places. Both Zach and Elie were born in Orlando while we were a long ways off.
I wasn’t even around for the birth of my first great grandchild.
But finally, at age 70, I could be “Grandpa”, relegated to the waiting room, but knowing a new life was arriving just a few yards away.
My sainted wife knew just how to make the introductions. She was in the delivery room and as Nhiên gave her first cries, Cindy sent it to me via her cell phone.
I’ll let photos tell the rest of the story.
I am a very blessed man.