My name is Van and despite I always have been a person with a closed personality, I decided to open up my mind and try reaching out to seek help and tell about my story.
Before I was born:
My parents fled from Vietnam due to the effects which the Vietnam war brought to them.
About my mom:
It was just a regular day when my mom was walking with my half-sister in her arms when persons from the neighborhood pulled her onto a boat. It was no abduction, but of being afraid my mother saw them and not letting her be able alarming the neighborhood since they all tried to fled Vietnam that day with a small boat.
So my mother was sort of abducted in her opinion because my half-brother and other half-sister was still home in Vietnam at my grandmothers place having no idea about their mom and sister transformed into boat refugees in one single moment.
Mom told me sometimes it was a miracle they survived the boat flight, she did not care about where they would have ended, as long she could see again her son and daughter(my half brother and sister) who were still in Vietnam.
About my (grand)father:
My grandfather was a Vietnamese soldier who fought together with Americans against the North Vietnamese Army. He got shot in the back and died in front of my fathers eyes. My father survived that day and my grandmother borrowed money from the neighborhood letting my father, her only child, fled Vietnam in order to live a better life, that was what she thought back then.
Then I was born in 1988:
My parents met each other in The Netherlands. My dad helped her reuniting with my half-brother and sister in The Netherlands. I heard we were a happy family back then, till family on the other side of the world expected help from my parents, they asked more then my parents could afford, yet my parents always helped them. They did everything they could so our family in Vietnam could create a living for themself. In the end they got backstabbed by their own family and in 1999 my parents even divorced each other. My father ended to be lonely and we as half-siblings were living with my mom. I missed my dad, as my half-siblings could not know how much since he was not their real father. My father told me it would be better for me not seeing him anymore and forced me to live with my mom, so I did.
Summary of my life:
I never forgot him, and asked myself many times how he would be doing at that moment. This sadness made me quit studying when I was at age of 17, and I started to work in hospitality for 3 euro per hour, 50-60 hours a week. I met my love when I was at age of 19 in 2008 and she was the reason I started studying again in 2013. I graduated in business economics in 2015 and in 2017 when I was age of 29 I would marry her. Therefore I wanted to be reunited with my father and invite him for our marriage. But my mom did not let me, it was him or her she gave me the choice.
Reunited with my father after 18 years:
In 2017 I finally found my way to his home and when he opened the door, I saw a man being happy for seeing me again but sad at the same time.
What happened after he divorced my mom and lost the family is that he felt into depression and also had to carry for my grandmother in Vietnam who was diagnosed with bone cancer.
He sent money to a woman who claimed taking care of my grandmother, he always funded the living of my grandmother since he was her only son but living on the other side of the world. He worked hard his whole life just to be able to take care for my grandmother. Finally he found out that not all money he did sent to Vietnam was used for the care of my grandmother, but for self-enrichment by that woman who claimed taking care of my grandmother. Then I asked about my grandmother how she is doing, he answered that she passed away in the end of 2016. My father now is 62 years old and he mentally seems to be broken and stuck in his depression, he still need to work 5 years till he can retire but he will have nothing when he get his retirement. He worked his whole life in metal-industry just to take care of his mother, who first helped him fleeing from the Vietnam war, that was his only life goal.
I asked my father what he desires. He seems to having a hard time having nobody left to take care for. He is even not thinking about taking care of his own life and future. And then I asked him whether he would like to live a life in Vietnam till his death? He answered positively but knew he can´t afford this wish since he saved nothing and spend everything he had for the caring of my grandmother. Even the house of my grandmother in Vietnam has been sold by the woman who claimed taking care of my grandmother.
I am aware of my father lived a strange and difficult life, with trauma seeing his own father got shot during the Vietnam war, get separated from his mother and then worked hard his whole life to take care of his mom which the situation was misused by a selfish person. Actually I´m proud knowing he has such a big heart, sacrificing everything he has with intention to take care of his mom.
My heart lies here in the west, this is where I was born and I consider this my home. I have a beautiful wife and daughter and have nothing to complain about. But for my father it is different, his heart lies in Vietnam, he did this all for his mom. Now she is there no more, I would like to ask everyone to help my father having a proper life ending. That he may live close to his parents spirits, and know that there are more people around him then he may know. And most important, that light returns to his life and get out of his depression.
(attached a picture of my father with our daughter)