Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wishing Our Beloved Ngoc Lan Happy Birthday Posthumously

This past December 28th would have been our beloved Ngoc Lan's 58th birthday.  It's hard to believe when I think about it.  I wonder how she would look like today if she had not been taken from us.

Last week I went with a friend to go visit her grave site.  It was an emotional experience for me.  This was the first time I had been there since her funeral almost 14 years ago.  When I arrived at the cemetery, I went to the front office to ask where exactly her grave site was located.  It has been a long time.  I still had a pretty idea where it was,  but there are so many that I really didn't have the time to be walking around searching.  When asked by the reception desk, I gave them the name Maria Thanh Lan Le since that was her real name.  Nobody had any idea who that was.  Then I looked at this Vietnamese man who was also a worker there and said, "Do you know where singer Ngoc Lan is buried?"  Right away, he pulled out what looked like a brochure from his desk drawer that had her photograph printed on it along with a map to where her grave site is located.  I then asked if people still visited her grave site often.  His response was, "Yes, her grave site is probably the most asked about since I've worked here."  In a strange way, that made me happy.

Even with the map, it wasn't easy to find.  I walked over to the region where she is buried and I still couldn't find it.  Just when I was about to give up, I looked up and said aloud, "Chi Lan, where are you?"  And then as I turned, I saw her picture at her grave site.  I was amazed.  It was as if she heard me.

There were no flowers at her grave site that day.  I was rather surprised.  I sat down and started to cry.  I said, "Chi Lan, it's me, Phu.  I always wanted to tell you thank you for all that you had taught me.  I love you very much.  Happy birthday!"

Just then I couldn't take it anymore and so I left.  I hate talking about her death.  A part of me still wants to believe she is still here with us.