There is something about a Broadway show that’s so wonderful. The feeling you get when the lights turn down and the curtain opens to the beginning scene..the music playing and the characters start to appear. I’m in awe of the production and how creative and imaginative these shows are. My husband Scott presented me with a ticket to see Miss Saigon when we were engaged to be married. It was a fantastic show, one that I’ll never forget. It was about the Vietnam war. I had an “A HA” moment..one part in particular made me feel this incredible flood of emotions I never knew I’d experience and I was shocked by my own reactions to it.
The scene was of the communist soldiers marching through a village, in big numbers and the villagers scattering about, afraid and trying to get out of their way. The mood was ominous and dark, fearful and threatening..In my mind it was so real..too REAL..and it made me think of my childhood..of my parents and how they must have felt living in Laos and having this same scenario played out in their lives..I started to tremble..then tears burst out of me like a broken faucet that couldn’t be fixed. I’ve seen many shows and read multiple things about the war but none so moved me as this Broadway show did. It seemed and felt so real, they even had a real helicopter in the scene.
I cried through the entire show and really tried hard to contain it for the sake of other audience members who came to see the show and not me balling my eyes out, crying hysterically. Scott held my hand the entire time and was a tad bit concerned, his look of “Are you ok and should I take you to the emergency room?” was evident that I was in a pathetic state. I reassured him that I was fine as long as I was with him and had ample Kleenex and a big garbage bin by me (aka my purse, his pockets..)
I mourned for all the people that have been traumatized by the Vietnam war, by any and all wars. Mostly, I mourned for my parents and their loss of a happy productive and safe life..the life they should have had and deserved to have when they were that age. NO ONE should have gone through and seen what they’ve seen, felt what they’ve felt..lived such a hard and harsh life. They made it through with FIVE kids, their story, my families story will forever be a part of me. I’m so incredibly grateful for their strength and courage to stand up against such violent, such destructive acts and I so admire them for their will power to go on even when things seem so bleak and the World is falling apart. They still had hope for a better tomorrow for the sake of their children, they risked their lives and all that they knew to escape and enter a World that was foreign and so vastly different than they’ve ever known, in the hopes and the desire that their children will have a better life than they have had.
I’m so proud of my parents and what they have accomplished. They have beaten the odds and worked hard for what they have today. Life threw them many challenges..still does from time to time, they’re still both alive and now much happier than I’ve ever seen them. My sisters and I have all grown up, living our own lives with our own children, having our own “life challenges” and accomplishments. Our parents have sacrificed and have paved the road as best they can for a better tomorrow for us. I will NEVER take for granted what they’ve done for us. We have it good compared to what they’ve gone through and I will ALWAYS be grateful for that. They brought us here so we can have a happy and productive life. Guess what Mom and Dad? YOU DID IT! I’m a very HAPPY daughter and I LOVE life Words really can not explain how much I appreciate all that you have sacrificed and done for us. Thank you for showing us how to live and how to survive. You are much loved and admired.
I was completely drained after watching Miss Saigon, exhausted from all the emotional out bursts and a little embarrassed as I walked out of that theater, mascara stained and red eyed mess but very glad I had the experience for it showed me how much I’ve learned and yet still need to learn about my past, about where I came from..about Laos. I’m 36 years old and ready for that challenge of understanding where I came from. Maybe someday I’ll be ready to go back, visit the land I was born in and forgive some of the things that had happened there. I’m pretty sure it’ll be an emotional toll, but one that’s much needed in order to move on. Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading my story, I hope it’ll make you pause for a moment and think about your own life, what events may need healing and if you’re ready for that to start. The best of luck to you, may your journey give you a sense of peace and understanding.
“Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.” — Alex Tan