My father fought in the Vietnam War at age 18 for the South Vietnamese military. After the fall of Saigon, he was taken as a prisoner of war to the re-education camps.
In the camp, he shared a cell with my mother's uncle who she wrote letters to. The uncle exchanged their addresses, and the two began writing letters to each other. He'd send a letter; she'd send his favorite cigarettes. For 8 years, they never knew what the other looked or sounded like, or if he'd ever be free. When he was finally released, he immediately went to meet her.
My mom's side of the story is that she was too shy to meet him face to face. But my dad's charm won over my grandfather, and he made Mom finally say hello.
A few years later, they were married in my mother's home. It was the talk of the town. When I ask to hear stories of their wedding, they tell me how friends and family packed the living room as they exchanged rings. How they drove off in a white vintage car through the streets of Saigon waving hello to neighbors.
I hear these stories, and I want proof. My parents can't possibly that cool. Hello.. they're my parents. So they pull out their wedding album and show me all the the faces celebrating with them.
I love these photos. I look at them every time I visit home.