I am learning that some of the best gifts that I get are when I let go. Today was supposed to be a father lunch for my Dad, Andy’s (my daughter’s fiancé) dad, and me. Dad called this morning and had eaten something last night that didn’t agree with him so he had to cancel. When I called UT (Andy’s dad) to reschedule he suggested why don’t the two of us go eat and connect…..what a great idea.
UT, his wife Dao, me and MP and my ex wife Laura and her husband Buddy had a nice dinner last week to connect around the wedding. At dinner UT shared his story on how he came to America. It was an incredible story of how he was a pilot and he was flying out 300 service men out of Vietnam during the war and when he was taking off the air field was under fire with bombs going off all around him. He made it to America and through a long series of twists and turns he ended up working in Houston and has had great success here in America. He is a humble and sweet man. His story was picked up by Larkin Spivey and published in his book Stories of Faith and Courage from the Vietnam War. When he told us about this I went and bought the book and was going to have UT sign it and give it to my Dad, whose life was shaped immensely by his service in World War II and the Korean War. I knew how much Dad would love this so I was sad when he had to cancel.
Today UT and I ate lunch at Goode Company and I brought the book for him to sign for Dad. We had a great lunch and we are developing a wonderful connection between us. We both share a lot of love for Andy and Madison and I can see now how the two of them ended up together. UT and I share a lot of similar convictions about life and even though we grew up differently and in different parts of the world, we have a lot in common.
When we were leaving UT came to my car to sign the book and I thanked him and drove off feeling the start of a long wonderful friendship had begun. When I got home to write my blog, I opened the book and looked to see what he had written my father. It read “Thank you for giving us an opportunity to live in this wonderful country” – UT & Dao Nguyen. I just stared at the words as tears filled my eyes as I was witnessing such beautiful humility from a wonderful man.
So Andy and Madison “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be in your lives and to share this special time……..I think UT would agree.”