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1. My Childhood and Youth in Saigon

Chapter 1

My Childhood and Youth in Saigon

在西贡的童年和少年时代

My family background
我的家庭背景

My Chinese name is Zhou Hui Xian. I was born in the city of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) of South Vietnam. My parents were Chinese from the southern Chinese province of Guang­dong. They moved from Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, to South Vietnam during the Japanese invasion of China. At that time they thought that they would stay temporarily in Vietnam for a few years, and that once the war was over they can re­turn to Guangzhou. But soon afterwards, Vietnam too was captured by the Japanese, which made it very difficult for the people in Vietnam to make a living. By the time the war was over, my parents were impoverished, and couldn’t afford the ship fare to go back to China. They were stranded in South Vietnam, yet they held on to the hope that one day, after saving enough money, they could go back home.

我名叫周慧贤,出生在越南南方的西贡市(即胡志明市)。我父母是中国广东省人,在日本侵略中国时他们从广州逃难到越南南方。当时他们以为只是在越南暂住数年,一旦战争结束后就可以返回广州去。但是不久越南也被日本侵占,人民谋生非常困难。到抗战胜利后,他们已经一贫如洗,没钱买船票回国,所以就滞留在越南。但他们还是盼望着有一天筹够船资,就可以扬帆归国。

But shortly after the war of resistance against the Japanese had been won, the war of liberation in China got under way. The political situation in China changed rapidly, and within just a few years, the Nationalist government had moved to Taiwan, where­as the government of the People’s Republic of China was established in Beijing. Vietnam was also divided, into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. South Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China were opposed to each other, and there were no diplomatic relations between them. The people of these two coun­tries were not allowed to commun­icate with one another, so my parents lost contact with their family members in the Chinese city of Guangzhou.

抗战胜利后不久,解放战争就开始了。政治局势迅速变化,不过几年的时间,国民党政府迁移到台湾,中华人民共和国政府在北京成立。而越南也分裂为南、北两国。中华人民共和国和越南南方政府处在互相敌对的不同阵营中,两国之间没有邦交来往,两国人民不能通讯。所以我父母和中国广州的亲友从此失去联系。

After Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam in 1954, the South Vietnamese govern­ment realized that the population of South Vietnam was smaller than that of North Vietnam. If in the future a referendum is held for the whole of Vietnam on a political decision, South Vietnam would certainly lose. So they came up with the idea of forcing all the Chinese in South Vietnam to give up their Chinese citizenship and take up Vietnamese citizenship. Many wealthy Chinese left South Vietnam; some went back to Hong Kong, some to Taiwan. But my parents were so poor that they couldn’t leave South Vietnam, and had to stay there. The method by which the South Vietnamese govern­ment forced the Chinese to take up Vietnamese citizenship was very simple: just change their place of birth from China to Vietnam, and issue them Vietnamese IDs. In one flash the Chinese in South Vietnam became Vietnamese born in Vietnam. My parents were angry about this, and resolutely held on to their Chinese passports. Even though the passports had no more legal value, they were the only proof of their Chinese identity, and were priceless to them for that reason.

1954年越南分裂为南、北两国之后,南越政府计算南方的人口不及北方的人口多。如果将来全越南要公民复决投票来作出政治决定,南越政府肯定会落败。他们就打起华侨的主意,他们强迫华侨转化为越南国籍。当时很多富有的华侨都纷纷离开,有些返回香港,有些迁居台湾。我父母很穷,他们走不了,只有留在越南。南越政府强迫华侨登记成为越南公民,办法很简单,只要把他们的出生地点强行改为越南,然后发一张越南身份证给他们。这样一下子他们就变成出生在越南的越南公民!我父母非常痛心,他们把自己的中国护照小心地保留下来。虽然这些护照已经没有法律上的价值,但却是唯一能够证明他们是中国人的凭据,所以他们视之为无价之宝。

I have two elder brothers and one elder sister; I am the youngest in the family. Because my family was very poor, my two brothers started working at a young age. My sister, after completing primary school, studied a bit of English but also worked. Because I was the youngest, my mother didn’t want me to stop my studies right after finishing primary school. But all the Chinese secondary schools in Vietnam were private schools, with high tuition fees that my parents could not afford. But Vietnamese-language schools had tuition fees that were so low that my parents had no option but to let me do my secondary education at a Vietnamese school. At my school I had no opportunity to study Chinese, so my parents encouraged me to learn Chinese on my own, and never to abandon the Chinese language.

我有两个哥哥,一个姐姐,我是老幺。因为家庭贫穷的缘故,我的两个哥哥都是年纪很小就去工作。我姐姐在小学毕业后,断断续续地念了一点英文,跟着也去找工作。因为我是老幺,所谓“最小偏怜”,母亲舍不得让我在小学毕业后就辍学去工作。但是我父母付不起中文中学的昂贵学费,因为中文中学全都是私立的。而越文学校的学费却很便宜,所以他们只有送我去越文中学念书。但是在越文学校里我学不到中文,我父母一再训勉我要自学中文,决不能把中文荒废了。

My mother missed her parents and siblings in Guangzhou very much. She disliked Vietnam, and had always longed to return to her homeland to reunite with her family. Perhaps due to my mother’s influence, I also didn’t like Vietnam even though I was born and raised in Vietnam. Ever since childhood I had longed to leave Viet­nam and study overseas. I was keenly aware that my family was poor. Even though my parents had tried their best to give me a good education, they could only afford to send me to a Vietnamese-language school. It was simply impossible for me to study overseas. I therefore resolved to attain the best academic results possible so that I may apply for a national scholarship. I liked mathematics and physics, and hoped to study physics at an overseas science and technology institute to become a physicist. I dreamed that after finishing my studies, I will sponsor my parents to go over­seas. They can either live with me or go back to China, whichever they choose.

我母亲很怀念她在广州的父母和弟妹。她完全不喜欢越南,她一直盼望有一天能返回家乡和家人团聚。可能是受了母亲的影响,我虽然出生在越南,但我却不喜欢越南。我从小就盼望离开越南,去外国读书。我明白自己的家庭贫穷,父母尽了最大的努力也只能供我念越文中学,要去外国读书是绝对办不到的事情。所以我下定决心要拿到最好的成绩,申请国家奖学金出国。我喜欢数学和物理,我立志要去外国的科技大学念物理,成为物理学家。我甚至梦想等我学成后,就把父母亲都接到外国去。将来他们可以和我一起住在外国,或返回广州居住,由他们选择决定。

Saigon liberated
西贡解放

While I was studying very hard to fulfill my dream of studying overseas, the political situation in South Vietnam was in upheaval. At the start of 1975, North Vietnam carried out a powerful assault on South Vietnam, and the North Vietnamese armies were capturing one city after another in the south. In just four or five months, the North Vietnamese armies reached the outskirts of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. The diplomats at the American embassy and American military personnel were evacuating quickly. South Vietnamese government officials were fleeing the country with a huge amount of gold and American dollars that they had amassed through corruption. On April 30th of 1975, the North Vietnamese armies captured Saigon; soon the whole of South Vietnam was liberated, and Vietnam was reunited as one country.

当我一边努力读书一边做出国留学的白日梦的时候,南越的政治和军事情势发生了天翻地覆的变化。1975年初北越政府向南方发动了猛烈进攻,北方的军队势如破竹地攻陷了南越一个又一个的城市。在短短的四、五个月左右的时间,北方的军队已直逼西贡市。美国大使馆和军事人员匆忙撤退,越南南方政府官员带着他们贪污所得的大量黄金和美元仓惶逃走。1975年4月30日越南北方的军队攻入西贡,接着整个越南南方都解放了,越南全国统一了。

The North Vietnamese tanks were roaming the streets of Saigon while their soldiers were taking control of the South Vietnamese government buildings. Their victory songs, such as the one that goes, “It was as if Uncle Ho was around on the day of the great victory,” were sung everywhere (Uncle Ho is the nickname of Ho Chi Minh, the late North Vietnamese political leader). I pondered on the things that were happening before me, and my mind went blank, with neither joy nor sadness. I had no idea what the new government would do to change the economy and society, but I knew that my dream of studying overseas to become a physicist had been destroyed by these tanks and cannons.

北方军队的坦克一辆接一辆地在大街上行驶过,他们的士兵进驻了南方政府机构的各栋大楼。到处可以听见他们高唱“大胜之日胡伯伯音容宛在”之类的凯歌(胡志明是北方政府已故的领袖,他们昵称胡志明为“胡伯伯”)。我看着这一切事情,心中一片空荡荡,无悲也无喜。我不知道将来新政府会怎样改革社会经济,但我知道我出国留学成为物理学家的美梦已被这些坦克大炮砸得粉碎。

Yet many Chinese Vietnamese in Saigon, including my parents, clung to a hope. They thought that because of the assistance given by the Soviet Union and China in the past few decades that enabled Vietnam’s glorious victory today, the Vietnamese government would treat the Chinese Vietnamese kindly, and allow them to get back their Chinese citizenship and return to China. This wishful thinking was widespread among the Chinese Vietnamese in Saigon, and many of them were excited about it.

在西贡很多华侨,包括我父母在内,却萌生了一个盼望。他们认为几十年来苏联和中国大力支援越南北方作战,所以才有今天的胜利,因此越南政府应该善待华侨,说不定政府会让华侨恢复中国国籍,准许华侨返回中国。这种一厢情愿的想法在华侨中间流传很广,使得很多人非常兴奋。

Meanwhile my mother had lost contact with her family members in Guangzhou for more than 30 years, and didn’t even know if they were dead or alive, or where they were living. I came up with an idea: I wrote a letter on her behalf to the Chinese authorities in Guangzhou. I told them my mother’s story and gave them her family’s address in Guangzhou which was valid thirty something years earlier. I asked the authorities to help my mother locate her family members. I didn’t know the address of the Guangzhou government administrat­ion, so I simply wrote the following address: “Commit­tee of Guangzhou Administration, the Province of Guangdong, People’s Republic of China.”

母亲和广州的家人已失去联系三十多年,他们是死还是活?他们在哪里?她完全不知道。我想到一个主意,我代表她写了一封长信给广州市政府。信中我告诉他们关于我母亲的故事,我附上她以前在广州的地址,请求广州市政府替我母亲寻找她的亲人。我不知道广州市政府行政大楼的地址,在信封上我只写着“中国广东省广州市委员会”。

Two or three weeks later, we received a letter from Guangzhou. The sender’s name, whose family name was “Liu,” matched my uncle’s name. When my mother saw the name, her tears flowed. Inside the envelope were photos of my grandmother, my uncle, my aunt, and other family members, with a long letter written by my uncle. That was the first time my mother had received news and photos of her family in thirty something years. She learned that her own father had died. The elder of her two brothers had been captured by the Japanese, and forced into labor. He later escaped and fled to Hong Kong, then to Indonesia. Then there was no more news about him, so no one knew if he was dead or alive.

我们把信寄出去后,大概过了两、三周就收到一封从广州寄来的信,寄信人是“刘XX”,那是我舅舅的名字。母亲一看到这个名字,她就哭起来了!信封里面有我外祖母、舅舅、阿姨,和其他亲人的照片,还有一封我舅舅写的长信。这是三十多年来我母亲第一次收到家人的消息和看到他们的照片。我外祖父已去世,我另一个舅舅被日本军队抓去当战场劳工,不久他逃出来,避难到香港,然后辗转逃到印度尼西亚,后来就失去音讯,几十年来生死不明。

My mother got very excited, and immediately sent a letter with our photos to her family members in Guangzhou. From then on, she all the more longed to go back to Guang­zhou. But the situation in Vietnam made the Chinese Vietnamese go from high hope to disappoint­ment, then to despair!

我母亲非常兴奋,她立刻写了一封信,并附上我们的照片一起寄给广州的亲人。从那时候开始,她更渴望可以早点回广州去。但是越南的情况却使华侨们从盼望变为失望,最后变成绝望!

My first experience of the saving power of Yahweh, the only true God
初次经历真神雅伟的拯救

After the liberation, the Vietnamese government began to expose and criticize rich families. Private companies were being nationalized, and the Vietnamese currency was changed twice. All this led to the collapse of the economy of South Vietnam, and most of its people became unemployed. The government decreed that all the unem­ployed would cultivate the wasteland in the so-called “economic zone”. Many were sent to the economic zone, but the conditions there were so bad that most of them escaped back to Saigon.

解放后越南政府开始清算富户,把所有的私人企业转为国营公司,跟着又两次更换货币。结果使得越南南方的经济全面崩溃,大部分人都失业了。政府就下令所有失业的人都要去所谓的“经济区”开荒。很多人被送往“经济区”,但是那里的环境实在太恶劣,不久他们就逃回西贡。

Because my family was poor and my parents were handicrafts­men, we were not affected by the new policies against the wealthy. But at school, teachers and students alike had to attend classes in political studies. Everyone had to participate in the discussions and sing songs of praise to Uncle Ho and the Vietnamese government. I simply couldn’t bring myself to sing these songs and to speak these insincere flattering words, so I decided to quit my studies. Ever since my childhood I had always loved to study, so this was a very painful decision for me to make. My parents knew me through and through, and knew that I wasn’t doing this out of laziness, so they respected my decision.

我的家庭是贫户,我父母做小手工业,所以我们没受到什么影响。但是在学校里,老师和学生们都要上政治课,每个人都要参与学习讨论,还要唱颂歌来感谢赞美胡伯伯和越南政府的恩情。要我唱那些颂歌和说口是心非的话,我办不到,所以我决定停学。我从小喜欢读书,对我来说,停学是一件很痛苦的事情。我父母很了解我,他们知道我不是懒惰,明白我的痛苦,所以他们让我自己作决定。

But as soon as I quit my studies, I became an unemployed youth. This became a big problem for me because the government had decreed that all unem­ployed youths must take turns to do volunteer work in the “economic zone”. But ever since childhood, I had always been very weak and frail physically, so how could I ever survive the extremely bad conditions of the economic zone? Not only that, some young girls went to work in the zone and ended up being gang raped. They escaped back to Saigon, and some of them committed suicide. The rich families would hire workers to substitute for their children to work in the economic zone, but how could my parents afford to hire someone to substitute for me? My mother and I then decided that as soon as I receive the draft order to work in the economic zone, the two of us would commit suicide together. I was my mother’s hope in life, so if I died, she wouldn’t live either. Once we made up our minds, we became much more at peace.

但是一旦停学后,我就成为无职业的青少年,而政府命令无职业的青少年要轮流前往“经济区”做义务劳动。我从小身体瘦弱多病,怎能在那么恶劣的环境存活?而且有些女孩子前往“经济区”参加劳动,竟然惨被轮奸,她们逃回西贡后就自杀了!那些富有的家庭都付钱请工人代替自己的儿女去做义务劳动,但我父母哪里有钱请工人代替我呢?我母亲和我决定,一旦政府的命令来到要征召我去“经济区”做义务劳动,我们两人就一起自杀算了!我母亲一生的希望都寄托在我身上,如果我死了,她也活不下去。当我们作好这种打算后,心情反而轻松多了。

The government’s conscription campaign reached deep into the various districts of Saigon, from one street to the next, from one house to the next. The unemployed youths of every family had to do volunteer work in the economic zone. At the appointed time, the government would send big trucks to pick them up. My family lived in a small alley that was part of a big street whose houses had already received the government’s conscription directive. My mother and I thought that our time was coming, but then something amazing happened, or didn’t happen.

政府征召的命令临到一区又一区,从这条街到另一条街,从这一户到另一户,每家每户的无业青少年都必须在规定日期去“经济区”劳动。到时候政府会派大卡车送他们前去。我的家在一条小胡同里,胡同外面的大街上家家户户都接到命令了。母亲和我以为时候已到,但是一件奇妙的事情发生了。

There were 35 houses in our small alley, but the conscription order never reached these 35 houses. The “econ­omic zone volunteer work” campaign had been going on for a long time, starting from the middle of 1975. It was still going on at the beginning of 1978 when I left Saigon. Almost all the unemployed youths in Saigon had received the order to do volunteer work in the “economic zone” at least once; some were even called several times. But not those who were living in the 35 houses of the alley.

我家的胡同里有三十五户,征召的命令从来没有传达到这三十五户人家。这个“经济区义务劳动”的运动持续了很久,从1975年中到1978年初,当我离开西贡的时候,这个运动还在继续进行中。西贡市几乎每个角落的无业青少年都被征召参加劳动最少一次,有些人甚至被征召两、三次,只有我们胡同的三十五户却一直没有接到命令。

Many of my friends who lived outside the alley were called to work in the economic zone, and they hired workers to substitute for them. When we all came together and talked about the volunteer work in the economic zone, none of them believed me when I told them that I had never received any such order from the government. They said to me, “Just admit it, your parents hired someone to substitute for you. It’s no big deal, we’re all doing the same.” But no matter how much I explained my situation to them, they simply wouldn’t believe me.

我的朋友们全都被征召过了,她们都是请工人来代替。当我们一起聊天,谈到义务劳动的时候,我告诉她们我从来没有接到命令,她们都不相信我。她们以为我不敢承认我父母请工人代替我,所以才说没接到命令。她们对我说:“妳就承认了吧!妳父母请工人代替妳,这有什么大不了,我们都是这样做嘛!”无论我怎样解释,她们都不相信我说的话。

Because the government searched for — and summoned — the youths according to the household registration records, it was technically impossible to miss anyone. So it seemed that a pair of mighty hands had covered the eyes of the officials, who didn’t see the 35 houses in that small alley that was part of a big street. As a result, the youths living in the alley were able to escape the conscription order.

因为政府是根据“户口登记表”挨家挨户地征召青少年们,按理是绝不会遗漏的。但似乎有一双大能的手蒙蔽了那些办事人员的眼睛,使他们看不到这小胡同里的三十五户人家。结果这胡同里的青少年就成了“漏网之鱼”。

At that time I did not know the only true God Yahweh and His Son Jesus Christ. My parents were traditional Buddhists, and I too was a Buddhist following my parents. Yahweh God is full of righteousness and lovingkindness, just as the Bible says: “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Although my mother and I were not Christians, when we were in desperate situations, Yahweh God had mercy on us and raised His mighty hand to rescue us. That was the first time I experienced God’s amazing love.

当时我还没有认识独一的真神雅伟和祂的儿子耶稣基督,我父母都是传统的佛教徒,我也跟随父母信奉佛教。雅伟是圣洁公义而又慈爱怜悯的真神,正如圣经所说:“祂叫太阳照好人也照歹人,降雨给义人也给不义的人。”虽然母亲和我不是基督徒,但是当我们濒临绝境的时候,雅伟动了怜悯之心,祂伸出大能的手来拯救了我们。这是我第一次经历神的奇妙大爱。

Mother passes away
母亲去世

My mother had two hopes in life: the first is to see me achieve my academic goals, the second is to return to her homeland, China. In all her years in Vietnam, she had been ill most of the time, and it was these two hopes in life that gave her the strength to fight the sicknesses. But after the liberation of Saigon, she saw that my studies and future prospects had been destroyed. At the start of the liberation, my mother was still hopeful that she will return to China one day. And especially after she had found her lost family members, she was all the more eager to return to her homeland. But later she saw that the new government had never intended to let the Chinese Vietnamese go back to China, and realized that she simply had no hope of going back home. Her two hopes in life were dashed to pieces one after the other, and her physical health was getting worse and worse.

母亲一生有两个盼望:第一就是能看到我学业有成,第二就是能够返回故国。她在越南数十年来都身体多病,就是靠这两个盼望支持着她与病魔搏斗。但是西贡解放后,我的学业前途也随着被完全毁掉。解放初期,母亲还以为归国有望。尤其是她重新联系到在广州的亲人后,她更是归心似箭。但后来母亲看到新政府根本不打算让华侨返回中国,她知道归国已经无望。母亲的两个盼望都先后被粉碎了,她的身体也随着越来越坏。

At that time, most of the French and American medical doctors were leaving Vietnam. There was also a severe shortage of medicines. Even hospitals didn’t have a sufficient supply of medicines. A lot of the medicines were being sold on the black market at very high prices. Because of the shortage of doctors and medicines, my mother did not receive good medical care. In 1976, one year after the liberation of South Vietnam, my mother started having abdominal pain. The pain was getting worse and worse, and she had to take painkillers every day. I often had to go to the black market to buy painkillers for her. One of our neighbors, a nurse with a few decades of nursing experience, saw that my mother’s situation was not right, and suggested to us to take my mother to a cancer hospital for a checkup.

那时候西贡大部分的法国医生和美国医生都纷纷离开,医药非常短缺,连医院都缺乏药品。但大量的药品却在黑市上流通,以非常昂贵的价格出售。在医生和药品都缺乏的情况下,母亲的病得不到好的医疗。解放后一年,1976年,母亲开始觉得小腹疼痛。后来这种疼痛越来越严重,她每天要吃止痛药。我常常要跑到黑市买止痛药给她。我们的邻居是一个有几十年经验的护士,她看到母亲的情况不对劲,她向我们提议应该让母亲去政府的癌症医院作检查。

So my mother and I went for an examination at the cancer hospital. The diagnosis was uterine cancer just as our neighbor had predicted. But my mother and I were neither sad nor panicky because we had already planned to commit suicide once the government drafts me into volunteer labor in the “economic zone”. It is said that “nothing is sadder than a withered heart,” so not even cancer was too scary for us.

母亲和我便前往癌症医院作检查,检查的结果是子宫癌,正如那位邻居所预测的。但母亲和我既不恐慌也不悲哀,因为我们早已准备好,如果一旦政府征召我去“经济区”开荒的话,我们就一起自杀。所谓“哀莫大于心死”,所以患上癌症也不是很可怕的事情。

The cancer hospital arranged for my mother to undergo chemotherapy. After the first treatment, she felt extremely tired, and her whole body became very weak. She saw that the other patients were getting weaker and weaker after a few treatments, to the point that their every movement needed support from other people. So my mother decided to stop the treatment and to be discharged immediately. Her reason was that since most of the cancer patients would die anyways, especially with the shortage of medicines and doctors, what’s the point of going through more suffering from chemotherapy? She felt that if life were happy and full of hope, then one would have a reason to live longer. But if life is painful and full of despair, even if one could live to the age of a hundred, the treatment would simply prolong the suffering, in which case it would be better to end life earlier. After her two hopes in life had been dashed to pieces, my mother all the more lost the will to fight the sickness.

癌症医院让母亲住院接受化疗。但经过第一次疗程后,母亲觉得非常疲倦,浑身软绵绵的。她看见邻床的病人经过数次治疗后,身体越来越衰弱,一举一动都需要别人搀扶。母亲毅然决定不再接受化疗,立刻出院。她的理由是既然大部分的癌症病人都不能治好 (在当时医生和药品都缺乏的情况下,大部分的癌症病人都治不好),最后难免一死,那又何苦要受化疗这种活罪呢?而且她认为如果生活是幸福快乐的话,那当然谁都想活得长寿一点,但如果活在绝望痛苦当中,即使长命百岁也没意思,只是延长痛苦而已,倒不如早点结束。母亲一生的两个盼望都被粉碎后,她已失去了生存的意志,她不想再与病魔搏斗了。

Her health was deteriorating rapidly, and in just a few months, she could no longer go out of the house. But the strange thing was that she didn’t feel too much pain. She only needed the ordinary painkiller every day; it was not like the case of a cancer patient who needed to take very strong painkillers such as morphine to stop the pain.

母亲的病情迅速恶化,不到几个月的时间,她已衰弱得不能出门了。但奇怪的是她的疼痛并不很严重,她每天只是吃普通的止痛药就能止痛,不像一些癌症病人要吃吗啡来止痛。

My mother started planning for things beyond her death. She told me not to bury her in Vietnam, but to have her body cremated and her ashes brought home. Ever since the day South Vietnam was liberated, a lot of people were escaping out of the country, so my mother told me to find a way to escape out of Vietnam. She asked me to bring her ashes with me when I escape. In the future, when I have the chance to go to China, I must bring her ashes back to Guangzhou to be buried there. But if I cannot escape from Vietnam — in which case I wouldn’t live long either, as she was fully aware — her ashes are to be scattered in the ocean before I die. She also asked my father to find me a way of escape to a foreign country so that I could rebuild my future and wouldn’t be stifled in Vietnam.

母亲开始作死后的安排,她告诉我不要把她埋葬在越南,要把她火化,保存她的骨灰。自从越南南方解放后,就一直不断有人偷渡出境,母亲教我要想办法逃出越南。她叫我离开越南的时候把她的骨灰带走,将来有机会回去中国的话,就把她的骨灰带回广州去埋葬。如果我不能离开越南的话,母亲知道我也活不长了,她叫我在去世前先把她的骨灰撒在大海里。母亲也求我父亲想办法让我偷渡到外国去重建我的前途,不要让我被埋没在越南。

On May 23rd 1977 my mother died. In accordance with her wishes, we had her body cremated, and kept the ashes at home. I wrote to my uncle in Guangzhou to tell him the sad news. My mother’s family members were devastated, for they had been hopeful that after thirty something years, the whole family could be reunited. I kept in contact with my uncle, who also expressed the hope that I will bring my mother’s ashes back to Guangzhou.

1977年5 月23日母亲去世了。我们遵照她的遗言把她火化,把她的骨灰保存在家里。我写信给广州的舅舅告诉他这个噩耗。广州的亲人都非常沉痛,他们满以为失散三十多年的骨肉很快就可以团聚,谁知道我母亲却去世了。我继续和舅舅保持联系,他希望我想办法带着母亲的骨灰到广州去。

(c) 2012 Christian Disciples Church