For my Husband and his Lady Love


“Her absence is no more emphatic in those places than anywhere else. It’s not local at all. I suppose if one were forbidden all salt one wouldn’t notice it much more in any one food more than another. Eating in general would be different, every day, at every meal. It is like that. The act of living is different all through. Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

-C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

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xo

1992


To You,

Twenty-five years ago my father left this earth leaving behind more life and influence than can possibly be comprehended. I didn’t know then, but my father was soon to be the dream I forever chased throughout this world to continue his story of a life lived. Twenty-five years is a long time. Seven years is not in comparison to the extent that a human has the capability to live. I was 7 when my dad passed, and yet his stories have made it so that I’ve come to know him through every year of his shortened life.

He passed 25 years ago, and yet his life has extended a quarter century past his last breath. I have said so much about my father over these past years, and I don’t think I will ever be able to tell the story of his life to the extent that it is felt within my brother, sister, and I. He had his fears, and his faults; he was a specimen of health and strength, and although cancer and progressive illness took him away with a sweeping attack, it did not end his life and as such, his battle was never lost.

You see, he still lives in every story we tell, and in the many stories we have yet to write. Our life is not just ours to live, and when we live with the beauty and truth that my father’s life effervesced, our own chapters are then engraved onto every soul we choose to love. Twenty-five years ago we thought his life was over. But little did he know that his life was the perfect beginning to many more stories to come. And man, have we got some stories to tell.

Dad – as always – this one’s for you.

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Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

 

 

 

“To Chhuon”


It’s a rare and beautiful thing to come across a human being who can influence your entire life without even being around to see it; a person who can give you the encouragement to take risks without being able to be there to give you the push; a person who presents an endless series of stories without being able to tell you a single one.

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We speak of him often. His siblings and family share his stories of growing up, of traveling, of living life. His beautiful endeavours of raising his children, taking care of his wife, and planning ahead for our lives well beyond his. His selfless love provided in his profession and his home.

Although I continue to search for the words, there hasn’t been one that fully encapsulates his presence and affect. A fighter, a traveler, a dreamer, a creator, a hero, a friend, a doctor, a brother, a son, a husband, a father. I carry his heart, his dreams, his story. His name. There is no greater role that I have been given the gift to carry out than that of being his daughter.

Dad, I love you now and always. And 24 years on, not a day goes by that we don’t miss you. So here’s to you.

Love, Me xo

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The Little Chili


To You,

We all experience life in different ways and these ways are typically shaped by the challenges we’re faced with throughout our days. Some of us fall to difficulties thrown in our direction and we fail to accept the fact that we have battles to face, but our only options are to either lead a strenuous war through the battlefield, or give in, give up, and lose our life amidst those struggles.

The one thing guaranteed in life is death, and it’s a guarantee that most fear, feel discomfort within, refrain from discussing, or choose not to acknowledge. However, although it is an inevitable path, how we approach the inevitable is never a guarantee. We decide how to maneuver through life, and even when life throws in a few doses of pain, strife, and struggles, we have the opportunity to choose how we handle the next steps; We can choose to experience these next steps no matter the exhaustion rather than lose our life even before the battle has actually begun.

As have many, I have been witness to life within death. What I mean by this is that I have seen life being lived with the acknowledgement that death is approaching quickly and surely. My father, during his battle against dual diseases, chose to plan out the lives of his family before his body let death merge into his existence, and in as such his life has been infinite. He set up opportunities for his family, because the life he had was defined by those within it not just his own. I’ve also seen the fight of the women in his family including the fight against disease and illness, and in them I see the infinite power of life. I have learned the lessons of the Little Chili who small in nature has the heat to take down the largest of battles. And in the end, I don’t want to view their passing as a loss to their ailments, but rather the acknowledgement that life was lived and death became a factor within how their life would be defined: as a fighter, a warrior, a resounding soul, as.. a Little Chili.

My life over the past few months has been altered through the acceptance of life’s challenges, and when I run, when I lift, when I train, I view it as training for my battles ahead. I have the blood of warriors and that is what my life will be defined by. Recently, the Little Chili rested into their last breaths as years and years of fighting came to an end. Their battle was not lost, they conquered it. Even in death due to illness, they conquered it because they fought for life every step of the way – all lives will end in death and if you fight for life you don’t lose to death, but rather experience life in all its entirety.

The Little Chili doesn’t dissipate. Her flavour, her spice, her heat and her warmth are too large to be forgotten or lost. Auntie Le, our Little Chili, we’ll miss you dearly.

Lots of love,

Love from Vic Louise xoxoxo