It’s been a while since I blogged. Much has changed since I published my first one. To say that life threw us a curveball is an understatement. Back in June 2021, we got news that our eldest son Tim passed away in a single car accident in Texas. Only on TV do you see police showing up at a family’s house to inform them of the news. We never thought we would be one of those families. That image will forever be stained in our minds. Even harder, we never thought that as parents we would have to do the unthinkable, bury our children. The questions of who, what, where and why was asked many times over, especially the why’s. Why did it happen? He was only 29 and just beginning his life. It was hard and surreal, and every day was met with something we weren’t ready to face.
The doing of planning a funeral, getting Tim home from Texas to lay him to rest, and everything that comes with planning a funeral kept us busy. It wasn’t until a month after his passing, and we laid him to rest in July that the grieving began. During this time, you blame yourself for not making enough time. For working too much. For being too focused on business and not family. It took a while to go back to the food cart and our food business. I questioned whether it was worth it. Why am I even doing this? And for what? Who even cares about what I’m trying to accomplish?
In the midst of all this grief and sadness, I did have a buyer for my food cart and location. I almost sold it! It wouldn’t have matter if I did as we were in a time where darkness filled our life. And if I did close shop for good, let go of my vision, no one would blame me. I leaned on my faith and prayed a lot during this time. Though my mind was very loud and said to close shop, my heart was speaking silently but strongly that it wasn’t my life’s purpose. I’ve only just begun and there was more I still needed to do. I told the interested party that I will think about it over the next month and should I choose to sell, I would inform him.
The food cart remained open on a limited basis in August and in September it was fully opened. It was hard to be there in the beginning. Hard because my mind wasn’t there at times and I kept cutting my fingers as I wasn’t paying attention. By September, I felt “normal” enough to open fully. Our wonderful customers humbled me with their love and compassion. They came by to offer their condolences and give us words of comfort. It filled my heart and made me realized that we matter to many. That our presence matter. Deep in my heart, I knew that Tim would not want us to let go of this vision and mission. So, with renewed faith and purpose, we are forging ahead with what we started. To share our love for the Hmong culture with everyone. To contribute to the narrative of the Hmong story in the PNW. To inspire many budding entrepreneurs to take on the Hmong brand and share their version of it with the community here. I look forward to doing something I was supposed to have done this year but didn’t feel inspired, i.e. add a couple of food to my menu and push my artisan products because through food is how Hmong people show their love.
(picture: our last family photo, December 2019. Covid made it difficult in 2020 to bring the entire family together)