This week has been a week of sorrow for Hy and I. Hy’s mother had left us into God’s hand Monday evening. We rushed to the hospital when we got a call. When we saw her, she was already gone, with a peaceful look on her face, as she was fallen asleep in God’s arm.

We’ve been expecting not having her with us for long, but were still shock when it happened so quickly. In the past 12 years, she’s been battling kidney issues. She had to go through dialysis 3 times a week, every week. In the past 6 years, the family gone through many ER and hospital stay overs. The Vu family, her husband, children, grandchildren, loved her a lot. They were always by her side through this long journey. There were many nights when her children would take turns to stay over night with her in the hospital. There were times doctor told us she wouldn’t make it. But miracles happened so we got to have her with us a little longer.

My mother in law, Mrs. Vu, was a really caring mom. In the past 11 years, she has treated me as her own daughter. Even though we don’t have a common language other than body languages; she doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Vietnamese; when I was around her, I always felt loved. When Hy and I were in college, while she prepared food for Hy, she always prepared a portion for me as well. She lived a very simple life; she lives for the Lord and her family. She was such a lovable lady with simple and pure heart. The priest of church said it well in her farewell mass, “Mrs. Vu was like a simple clay pot, by itself, the clay pot seemed worthless. But with her pure heart, just like a clay plot with treasure inside, it’s precious”.

This week, being the Christmas season, I’ve experienced the meaning of Christmas in a whole different way.  Mrs Vu was a woman of faith. She has been preparing the family for more than a year that she wanted to go home, back in God’s home. She told us that she has been suffered enough and she wanted to leave. I can see the peace on her face when she left. And it was because Christ shed His blood for us, so we, the undeserving sinners, can be at God’s presence. Jesus’ birth, this Christmas, is especially precious to me. Jesus’ birth gives us hope for the eternity. The bible told us in Revelation 21 about a new world: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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I took this photo at my mother in law’s burial site during the burial ceremony. We had couple days of rain this week. During the burial, it didn’t rain, but it was quite cloudy. Hy has been listening to this song, “On Your Porch”, by “The Format” for couple months. The lyric was about the singer’s father being in a long illness and their experience through the journey. In the song, the singer’s father grabs his shoulder before he left the home and told him:

He grabs me by the shoulder and he tells me,
“Whats left to lose? You’ve done enough,
And if you fail then you fail but not to us,
‘Cause these last three years,
I know they have been hard,
But now it’s time to get out of the desert and into the sun,
Even if its alone.”

During the burial ceremony, each of the family members and friends dropped a flower into the grave as our last goodbye. Hy’s dad hold a red rose and was waiting for us to finish so he can be the last one to say goodbye to his dear wife. The whole morning was cloudy and chilly.

When Hy’s dad dropped the last red rose, on the moment it touches her coffin, the sun came out. It shined warmly on our body. We were all wrapped in the warm of the sun. It felt like God has wrapped his arm around us.

I can almost hear Hy’s mom’s loving voice whisper to us,
“Yes, though you are now alone, you’ve done enough. It’s time to get out of the desert and into the sun”.

Goodbye, dear mom.

We miss you.

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