Amanda’s Grandmother

Grandma was a graceful bad ass…

For those who do not know, I have been out of town 2/2 to 2/15 with my family in Arizona. On January 30th, my grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Since the day I heard my grandmother’s health was quickly declining, I haven’t been able to process her death – until now. My grandmother’s legacy is like no other and my grandma was a graceful badass. She was quiet and a force to be reckoned with. My grandma has lived for a long, beautiful ninety years. All at once, my grandmother clearly articulated the truth and had so much love behind her words. As she aged, she moved through life with a purpose that affected thousands of people’s lives.

Ha Nam, Vietnam

In 1933, my grandmother was born in the mountains of Lat Son, Ha Nam, Vietnam. At eight years old, she and the family went hunting and my great grandmother stayed behind because she did not feel well. When they came back from hunting, they found my great grandmother dead and her feet were in the fire. After my great grandmother’s death, my grandmother was raised by my great grandfather – the village medicine man. Later in life, they moved to South Vietnam.

One day while my grandmother was selling Pho at the street market, she was approached by a man. If my grandmother would not marry this man, my grandmother and her family’s safety were threatened. Therefore, my grandmother agreed to marry this man, and they supported four children together. After the war started, my Vietnamese grandfather died while in combat. My grandmother raised four children on her own. Then my grandmother met an American soldier, and he claimed to love her – until she became pregnant with his child. The unknown American man told her to have an abortion and promised he would be back for her. In the 1960s, my Vietnamese grandmother refused to get an abortion and raised five children on her own. That is absolutely incredible! My grandmother hustled and while cleaning at an army base, my grandmother was approached by another American solider.

Eventually, that American soldier had to come back to the states and my grandmother accepted he was gone. After one year, he came back to Vietnam and found my grandmother. He couldn’t live without her and he asked her to marry him. They were married for twenty years. My grandparents had two children together and raised seven incredible children. All of those children became powerful and unique individuals.

Build communities with understanding

Throughout the years of loving her family, my grandmother was a powerful woman to thousands of people. My grandmother’s actions created ripples in the world. From the United States to Vietnam, she was loved and respected. My grandmother helped start a Vietnamese catholic church in Phoenix, Arizona. She fought for what she believed in and became a light in people’s lives. Throughout the years, my grandmother affected thousands and spread unconditional love to people from all walks of life. While my grandmother was graceful with love, and she was a force to be reckoned with. To come from the mountains in Vietnam to being able to affect thousands throughout her lifetime, that is a legacy most people cannot even compare to. In my own way, I hope to carry my grandmother’s legacy and make an impact on this world.

My father

Now, when I look at my father, I see my grandmother. All of those lessons, her loving character, her motivation to create a loving next generation – those traits have been passed down to my father. While my dad couldn’t be there in person while I was growing up, my dad has always and will always love all of his children and his grandchildren. I am incredibly lucky to be a part of such a powerful family. The powerful legacy comes not only from my dad’s side, but from my grandmother’s side is another force to be reckoned with. All I hope for is to carry my family’s legacy of love and happiness..