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posted Oct 4, 2010, 11:43 AM by Quoc-Anh Vuong   [ updated Oct 5, 2010, 9:40 AM ]
We just had a wonderful weekend, spending family time with Bảo in North Carolina. This morning, on the way to school, I asked Thuỵ of his memorable moment, and he said the time we all spent together in the small hotel room. That was around 3pm on Saturday, when we just checked into the hotel. With Bảo & Thuỵ were working on their homework, Huan was watching his movie on a laptop and occasionally asked Mẹ to help, Mẹ & I were on our laptops, half playing & half talking. The TV was on at that time, we were following the NCSU vs. VT football game. Bảo has friends at VT, so every time a team scored, Bảo & his friends texted each other, rooting for their teams and poking fun at each others. We were not play any game. We did not engage in a deep discussion or debate. We were not even at one of the world's nature wonders! But we do remember the moment, of the time when we were together.

Later on that day, during the drive to the restaurant, I recalled Mẹ told me of an incident: as a lesson to her child, a mother left her daughter in middle of the street; then later came back to find her daughter was held by the police and the mother then charged with child abandonment.

Got in to work, I received a news link from Mẹ. It's a story about an 81-year old man, he was alleged of killing his 94-year old roommate at a retirement home. The man was killed, he is a Vietnamese. It is an on going investigation, thus the motive is yet known.

Retirement home is a place where most, if not all elders, do not want to be. It must be a fearful place, just like the street full of strangers & cars whizzing by, where the girl found herself when her mother had left. I do not think the physical place has anything to do with it, but it's the condition which lacks love ones. The small hotel room would not be as warm & cozy, if I was the only occupant. The trip would not have a memorable moment, if I traveled alone. Thus, if the law can protect the child, who was left at the most fearful place, why wouldn't that apply to that Vietnamese man, who was killed lonely in his bed, at a retirement home? Loneliness is a fearful state, indeed.
Ông Nội once shared with me: "At old age, we afraid of loneliness, even more than death."