Dance with My Father…

Dear Pops,

A couple weeks ago we held the one year ceremony since you’ve been gone. Moms decided to move you out of your bedroom and into the living room. She spent a lot of money on your new “home”. You’re chillin’ with grandmas and grandpas in a fat ass crib. It’s kinda flashy the new home we set you up in… a lot more flashy than the one you and I built out of plywood and stained in our living room about 15 years ago. I think we did a pretty good job of moving everything, especially your extensive collection of Buddhas. By the way, moms gave me your wildboar tusk cause you never got a chance to give it to me yourself. She said that a Buddhist monk blessed it for you before you went to war.

wildboarstusk

Wildboar's tusk from the Vietnam War, blessed by a monk and given to my Pops prior to some guerilla warfare.

Moms cooked a ton of food and all our extended family came over on Saturday to pay their respects. She bought a whole roasted pig for the occasion and I guess it’s ok that you got to eat it (even though it’s hella fatty) cause you’re invincible now. She made you Vietnamese chicken salad, fried quails, beef tongue (gross pops… yuck), and a bunch of other stuff. I’m really happy to see that our family has been spending a lot of time together. They get together weekly and it’s everyone… aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces. Everyone always ends up playing poker at the end of the day and I’m sure they all wish you were still around so they could take your money… you weren’t ever really that great pops and that’s why we all love you! Ha!

My family's alter.

We got you a pimped out crib pops!

buddha close-up

Buddha lover.. ha!

Moms prepared a small feast for you pops!  Not too sure about that beef tongue though..

Moms prepared a small feast for you pops! Not too sure about that beef tongue though..

My mama's Vietnamese chicken salad... I swear can't NOBODY touch my moms when it comes to cooking..

Mama's Vietnamese chicken salad... to all you uncultured folks, it might look unappealing but trust, it's delicious.

When the pig is roasted correctly, the outside is supposed to be super crunchy and the inside super tender.

When the pig is roasted correctly, the outside is supposed to be super crunchy and the inside super tender.

The next day, everyone went to the temple super early to prepare for the day. Pops… this small house that was converted into a temple however many years ago is undergoing a major renovation. From the looks of it, they’re gonna tear it down and build a huge temple. I really hope it doesn’t turn into all the other temples where money comes first and everything else a distant second. I’ve told you before that I really hate the establishment of the church because of greed. It really doesn’t matter your religion, it’s the church, or in this case the temple, that screws everything up.

Our monk during services last year.

Our monk during services last year.

I guess this would be equivalent of a Sunday Mass..

I guess this would be equivalent of a Sunday Mass..

Anyhow, moms finally got to relieve herself of her white cloth headband. I know it’s supposed to signify the end of the mourning period but apparently it only triggered more of it as during the service, Mai and Phuong started crying which prompted me to start crying and then moms started crying. There wasn’t as much kneeling and praying as we did for you last year when you left us but I felt like we were reliving the entire ceremony all over again. I was kinda on point this time pops as during the prayers, I knew when to pour the tea for you. You’d be proud.

Moms last prayers last year.

Moms last prayers a year ago.

Paying respects, incense burning.

Paying my respects..

Afterwards, everyone gathered outside to have lunch and hang out.  Everything was vegetarian as usual… and as usual, everything was delicious.  One thing about our family is that we definitely know how to COOK and EAT!  If it weren’t for you and moms, I wouldn’t be the culinary genius that I am today (not really, but I do make a mean Cup O Noodles).  Thanks for being Mr. Mom all those years when you weren’t able to hold it down for the fam financially.  You taught me invaluable life skills and how to be self-sufficient at such a young age and I am grateful for that.  And I know you’re wondering Pops but unfortunately, it has yet to land me a respectable young lady.  But Pops, you already know I live in LA where there are ZERO of these.

Fried noodle bowls in wait...

Fried noodle bowls in wait...

...for their veggie lovers.

...for their veggie lovers.

But, you’ll be happy to know that your daughter is still with her fiance Domenico… or as you like to call him, Domino… or was it Tomato?  I highly doubt that it was your preference to call him that but more so your lack of Italian pronunciations.  They just bought a house in San Francisco so I can only assume they’re still planning to get married. And besides, he still needs a green card.

My baby sister and her fiance, Domenico aka Domino aka Tomato..

My baby sister Kim and her fiance, Domenico aka Domino aka Tomato..

As far as your grandsons… they’re all growing up hella fast.  Andy, Anthony, Aaron, TJ and Tyler are all doing well.  Can you believe Andy is graduating high school?  He’s still bboying all the time and is supposed to be going to Fresno State this fall.  Of course I still worry about him just like you did.  He’s a good kid though so I know he’ll be alright.

Andy in his ROTC fit for you last year pops..

Andy in his ROTC fit for you last year pops..

He ditched the shaved head and grew out his hair.. not sure if you'd like his non-military look.

He ditched the shaved head and grew out his hair.. not sure if you'd like his non-military look.

Anthony is a big boy and seems to be getting smarter and smarter everyday.  Some of the stuff he spits out and the things he can do on a computer are downright amazing.  I know he sure misses you…

I know he misses you picking him up and dropping him off at school Pops.

I know he misses you picking him up and dropping him off at school..

He's always acting like a goofball... not only is he smart, but he's also funny!  Just like his uncle I'd have to say ;)

He's always acting like a goofball... not only is he smart, but he's also funny! Just like his uncle I'd have to say;)

Aaron just turned one pops!  You were too afraid to hold him cause he was too small when he was born last year but if you were still around, I still don’t think you’d have a chance to hold him… the little booger is running all over the place now!  It’s unfortunate that he never got to feel your warmth and love but we’ll make sure to tell him all kinds of stories about you.  Since you ain’t around, I’ve taken over picture taking duties for you… so whatchu think pops? You dig? Wait until I show you the nudes I’ve been shooting… haha!

Look at this cutie pie...

Look at this cutie pie...

Friggin adorable, right pops?

Friggin' adorable, right pops? Drippy boogers and all...

Whatchu lookin' at Aaron?

Whatchu lookin' at Aaron?

Just supermodel posing for my camera..

Just supermodel posing for my camera..

He has such a dorky haircut now... haha!

He has such a dorky haircut now... haha!

TJ and Tyler are just really really good kids.  They’re smart, witty, funny… I know they miss you too.

Look at Tyler in his Michael Jackson jacket. Remember me and my Michael Jackson jacket circa 1985 in Dodge City, KS pops?!

Look at Tyler in his Michael Jackson jacket. Remember me and my Michael Jackson jacket circa 1985 in Dodge City, KS pops?!

I know things are supposed to get easier but it really hasn’t pops.  I think about you all the time and wish you were still here… if not for me, then for moms and your grandsons.  I know no one here knows you but Father’s Day is coming up and I had to show you a little love somehow.  Since the two things that make me happy in life right now are this site and my photography, I thought why not say what up to you here.

Just want to wish you a happy Father’s Day and to let you know that we all think of you on the daily and miss you like crazy.  I know you’re in a better place hanging out with grandmas and grandpas, taking care of them like you always do. Love you hella much pops!

We love you and miss you pops..

Love you and miss you pops..

show hide 11 comments

Betty - That is so awesome! What a great father’s day gift…

dooboo - well done manhquoc!

Tenderoni - This is beautiful. He’d be so proud.

Justin Dobis - You’re a great man. Your father must be proud.

gildÀ - Wow. That was great. All this time I thought your “pops” was your grandfather and didn’t realize…you are so strong! This was a great idea–im sure he loves it!

Niki - That’s an awesome letter to your dad. We all miss him!

Jisette - You did good Quoc. I’m sure your dad is really proud of you!

Angela C. - Beautiful tribute to a strong man. His presence endures.

Peggie Sue - Your tribute to Mr. Pops is above and beyond admirable. I’m sure he’d use the word pride as well as any other ones that exceed that definition to describe his son. Beautiful tribute.

Wandering Chopsticks - Hi, I just stumbled upon your site via Paisley Petunia and just wanted to tell you this was just beautiful. Way to make me cry first thing in the morning!

Priscilla Perales - Hello, I’m a friend of your sister Kim…

This is absolutely beautiful and the pictures are preciouse.
Your “Pops” was a fortunate man to have such a loving family…Yet, I know you all must feel like you were the fortunate ones to have had him for a “Pops”.

Hope you don’t mind that I read and viewed. Thank you for sharing :)

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