As we celebrate Grandma Vang’s 84th birthday today I can’t help but think of my family. My parents came here as refugees from the Vietnam War. My dad had to drop out of grade 10 as he was the eldest and had to help Grandpa Xao take care of the family. I still remember teaching Grandma how to write our address as she forced me to walk and stay fit. I also remember when I interviewed her for the Hmong Newsletter detailing her love story with my grandpa.
Grandma came from a rich family. Grandpa a poor one. But she waited for him as in our culture, Hmong, we practice bridal pricing–which means if you want a bride, you have to fork out some change, or animals. 🙂
I also remember crying with Grandma a lot. I think she taught me crying was okay. She also taught me how to put myself in other’s shoes and to have emotional intelligence.
Happy birthday to one of the strongest women in the world. Grandma, I love you.