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One afternoon in 1986 at the Indonesia refugee camp called Galang I, an older gentleman in his mid-sixty - seventy asked me to sit down and handed me his Vietnamese poem written in red ink on a half sheet of paper (we lived together in a big barrack with about 40- 50 other refugees for about four months). The title was The Prophecy for You, My Beloved Child, Phượng (My Vietnamese name). In it, it says I need to stay focus in school. I’ll be rich and famous one day. It also mentions about my character of honesty, my beauty and talent which are rare to have all. Innnocently, I asked him, “Doesn’t everyone get rich in America?” 😬

This poem has accompanied me down to the dark valleys and up to the high mountains for decades. At difficult times, I might have given up on life if it wasn’t for the inspiring words he sent me which I believed it was God sent! I no longer have the original poem with me, but the words have stayed in my heart for decades and was published in the Vietnamese newspaper a few years ago.

Words are powerful. They are mightier than weapons! They can kill or save lives. I was chosen to become a writer in my darkest time over 20 years ago. I have used words to understand myself and life in general. The older I get, the less famous I wish to become because I know it’s a hefty price to pay for it. As for wealth, I don’t ask for much, just a roof over my head and no more stresses on money. I am a simple person, so I can find joy in simple things that requires little to no money. ♥️

February 26, 2023

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