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I knew my friend, Hong Vu Lan Nhi through the Vietbao forums ( for Vietnamese writers around the world back in 2003. I didn’t meet her maybe ten years later, and now another ten years we meet again. I admired her beautiful writing, so sweet - full of love and peace. No matter how old she gets, she has always sounded like a sweet and lovely lady! She writes mostly poetry and everyday life in such a way that you want to follow her to know how she feels each day - mostly calm.

At this age, she still lives independently. She takes public transportation to the markets, churches and even to the local beaches. She told me the other day that most of her friends are not happy where they are. They complaint about their health, their limit on transportation and many others. As for her, she still enjoys life very much. Gardening is one of her hobbies. She said she is always thankful for what she has each day for her health, her ability to move around, her family and friends. She said she does not live in the past nor the future, but she concentrates only on the present time. I told her if don’t get hire from the Department of LA Water and Power, I will move to Orange County (most Vietnamese outside of Vietnam live here) where my heart has desired to live here for the rest of my life.

I think my friend is happy and healthy to this day because she plans it this way. Her thoughts create actions because she has always shared her beautiful thoughts.

In thirty years, I still want to be like my lovely friend who is happy and healthy. I still want to share my writing, my experiences, my happy days and not-so-happy days everyday. All of this makes up life. Don’t always ask for smooth sailing, but acquire the skills to sail during stormy days. This will make you stronger. ❤️

March 26, 2023

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