Monday, February 6, 2012

MY DAD AND THE OCEAN

MY DAD AND THE OCEAN
by MONICA L DANG
P PHUONG
I am sitting and watching the waves crashing to the shores as the last piece of orange disappears into the horizon. Every wave seems to be different from the next. The autumn day at the beach is uncharacteristically warm. The song of the sea creates a peaceful rhythm in my grieving heart. One whole month has passed since I lost my father. His final journey came as sudden and unpredictable as the waves that lapped at my feet. His loss leaves a big and empty hole in our lives.
 I always knew of my dad’s love for the ocean. He used to walk along the beach for daily exercise. What I did not know was his involvement with the HHTT group which has a direct connection to the sea! He started to teach at HH school beginning 1972. What I also did not know was how many lives he had touched in his teaching position and how many of his students have touched him. Some of his students came to pay their final respect to a teacher who gave them generous support and guidance over the years. They took the time to come to his viewing at Peek Mortuary in Westminster. One of them arranged his life in one single afternoon to fly down to say goodbye to my father. Another one spent his time taking photos and video for the viewing and funeral at the last minute. A few took off work to come to the funeral held at Green Hills Memorial Park in Ranch Palos Verdes. The day we laid my dad down to his final resting place, the soft rain came down to mingle with our tears. Right after, the sun peaked through the dark clouds as if to promise eternal peace to him. He was buried next to our mother who had passed 16 years ago.
We are humbled by the love that was extended to us through his HHTT group of colleagues and students. The outpouring of emails and phone calls to offer condolences eased the pain of his loss. The time that was so generously given by his group of students and colleagues at the viewing and burial showed us clearly how he had touched others. We deeply appreciate everyone at HHTT who reached out to us and lifted us up during our most difficult time.

The sun completely sinks into the distant sea. The warm day is now gone. Somehow I know my father’s spirit will continue to live in the ocean that he loved and the in hearts of those who loved him.
Mr. Le Minh Duc
February 18, 1935 - September 27, 2011

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