Title: Unveiling Roots: A Memoir of Family, Secrets, and Entrepreneurial Dreams
Chapter 1: The Veil of Secrecy
My family’s odyssey, born out of the shadows of the Vietnam War, has woven a tapestry of secrecy into the fabric of my upbringing. Amidst the turmoil, my parents silently etched the blueprints for my life, a canvas painted with both tragedies and triumphs. When my grandmother departed, she took with her an untold saga of our heritage, leaving behind an enigma that begged to be unraveled. Yet, in her silence, she bestowed upon me the core tenets of Buddhism and Vietnamese values—lessons of reverence for elders, dignity, family unity, and the profound importance of cultural heritage.
Chapter 2: Delving into the Past
These teachings, akin to ancient scrolls, became the guiding principles illuminating my path through life’s intricate mazes. Determined to unearth the concealed narratives, I embarked on a quest to delve into the depths of my family’s history. In the process, I unearthed painful truths about my parents—my father’s infidelity, my mother’s financial struggles, and a labyrinthine love triangle that unfolded before they set foot on American soil. The revelation of unknown relatives on my mother’s side opened a portal to a new dimension, allowing me to plunge even deeper into the riveting story of our lineage.
Chapter 3: Connecting Threads
Connecting with these newfound relatives wasn’t merely a discovery of roots; it was an unveiling of the rich tapestry of our family’s tale. Each encounter not only broadened my historical perspective but also provided profound insights into my own identity, as well as the untapped potential for growth that lingered in the shadows of the past. It took 13 years of traversing through time and conversations with relatives scattered across the globe to piece together the mosaic of our legacy.
Chapter 4: Confronting the Shadows
The moment of truth arrived when I mustered the courage to confront my parents about the veiled secrets. The air was thick with anticipation as I laid bare the fragments of their hidden past. To my surprise, their faces softened, and a shared acknowledgment passed between us, as if I had unraveled a truth they had long yearned for me to understand. It was a moment to cherish, a turning point that not only fortified my bond with my parents but also liberated them from the shackles of lingering resentment.
Chapter 5: Lessons Carried Forward
Armed with the revelations from this intimate family saga, I embarked on my career in GIS over the years. The sense of purpose and identity helped me move forward, instilling in me a deep-rooted desire to explore and understand the world. It was during this chapter of my life when I crossed paths with Ward Hively, a TECO employee, working as project manager at that time. We created Skyway Consulting and believed in the idea of elevating those who built today with the tools and technology to shape tomorrow. This idea resonated with us since we both came from different sides of the business, I came from the GIS Mapping side, whereas his background is from construction.