From Refugee to Citizen

I was 8 years old when Saigon fell – we saw desperate citizens swarming the American Embassy and helicopters – pleading for safe passage to a better life. It was hard to watch, but I was too young to comprehend what I was seeing, and could not imagine these lives ever intersecting with my own.

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Vietnamese citizens swarming the American Embassy

This week I began my second year of the Episcopal Church’s 4-year Education for Ministry program (EfM). This year our theological studies and reflections will be viewed through the prism of “Living Faithfully in a Multi-Cultural World.”  Having grown up in one of the most culturally-homogeneous environments imaginable this will present unique challenges for me.

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Vietnam war – fear and heartbreak.

In my EfM seminar is a lovely Vietnamese woman who as a child was aboard the last helicopter out of Saigon. Today she runs an organization she founded in Worcester which provides care and support for the children of immigrants and refugees. Finding these photos of those final days in Saigon have helped me understand the context of her life more clearly. I look forward to calling her a friend on our shared and personal journeys of discernment.

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Refugees

Peace,

David

Small Acts of Kindness

By our front door we found a lovely plant and a box of chocolates – from our upstairs neighbor. Chris

His note read:

“Dear Cherry,

I want to wish you a warm welcome to your new home. I hope you find it warm and comforting. The plant is from my Mom, because in the end, Moms stick together.

Chris”

Row Row your Boat

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Taking a walk on the Cambridge side.

rowing

Harvard rowing practice. The view from the Cambridge side of the Charles River – the Hancock Tower in the background.

Welcome Home Cherry

Today Dewey and I step into a new life chapter. His Mom, Cherolyn moves in with us to begin her transition from hospitalization to hospice.  While not a situation any parent or child wishes for, it is something we have chosen to do – willingly and faithfully. I’ve been told I’m crazy and naive. Probably right. 

I don’t know what lies ahead nor how long this will last – which, like most worthwhile things I’ve done in life is probably for the best – because if I knew up front all the hurdles ahead I’d have said “no.”  So, with our knees knocking and our heads bowed – all three of us say YES – knowing full well we will never be the same again.

This is Cherry 3 summers ago at her grandson Tyler’s wedding, and is how I hope always to remember her.

Cherry and Me

4 generations

Four Generations

With Lorie and Dewey

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