This is a tale of our wonderful mom, Son Lam Dinh, and her epic odyssey through life. She was born in 1952 on June 18th in a small town in southeastern Vietnam called Long Dien. She grew up in the midst of the Vietnam War. Through the strife and struggles, she managed to attain the honorable profession of teacher. She bore her first child, a son, during the privations of post-war Vietnam. Experiencing times of scarcity and seeing few opportunities, she bravely pursued an avenue of escape. Along with a younger brother and her then 5 year old son, she paid a king's ransom of a gold bar per passenger to smugglers in order to evade patrols and buy passage on an unseaworthy and over-filled fishing boat to take her and her charges to the promise land of America. Her boat did luckily manage to evade the shore patrols and was headed to the refugee camps of the Philippines. Misfortune struck midway via modern day Thai pirates. After looting all the gold and jewelry (the nest egg to start a new life in a new land) from the desperate passengers, the boat was left adrift to await the mercy of the seas. Miraculously, the boat drifted within sight of an oil rig and was rescued and sent again towards the refugee camp. Six months were spent on the camp awaiting paperwork and processing. A memory of the camp comes to mind of the joy of being able to enjoy one whole egg to emphasize the struggles of life in that time.
Son Lam Dinh then proceeded to the land of liberty by being settled in New York similar to so many other huddled masses yearning to breath free. She experienced her first snow there and learned of winter too. She eventually settled in Oklahoma along with her husband and extended family. She worked hard and improved herself. She provided for her family and gave back to the society which had succored her by becoming a store owner and businesswoman. She gave birth to two beautiful girls in Oklahoma as well. She cared for her family and they always had what they needed.
She raised us into three fully functioning independent adults. She was a loving and doting grandmother as well. She lived a life full of challenges and obstacles. She overcame them all to leave a legacy of love. Her husband misses her. Her children and grandchildren miss her. Her whole family misses her. We all miss her so much and will forever hold her memories in our heart. We hope and pray that she is at peace in her eternal rest.
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