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Quãng đường còn lại không dài
Thơ văn tôi mượn làm bài điếu văn
Buồn vui, hạnh phúc, nhọc nhằn
Sẽ đều tan biến, vĩnh hằng là nơi.

My life’s journey is approaching the finish line
And writing is my desire while I still have time
Sorrow, happiness, and tribulation are parts of life
Purging them at the gate of a blissful place when I have no more time.

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The Words I Need to Say

These are the words I need to say
Before my life fades away.
I have tucked them in the back of my mind.
Finally, I have the time to bring them to life.

First, I must thank my beloved parents
Who had committed to giving us eight siblings?
Never had I seen my dad scolding any one of us.
They didn’t even have time to reprimand me for playing hooky stuff.

Their sacrifices and unconditional love
That had given me the life ingredients I needed to grow.
My parents inspired me with their dedication;
The thought alone would paralyze me if I were in their position.

My second thanks are to my siblings,
And all the other relatives who had been so caring.
Without them, my life would be much different;
They were my safety net for me to become more confident.

My uncles and my aunts were my comfort zone
Whenever I could find a place to call home.
My thanks go to each one of them.
For their shelter and love when I was under their helm.

My third thanks go to friends and coworkers
And all the people who I call my neighbors.
Even if we weren’t bonding like family,
Having good neighbors is like squirrels needing an acorn tree.

I have been blessed with the kindest people I could find:
DePhillips, Meyers, and Tranquillas – are benefactors of mine.
I’ve learned a great deal from them about what love could transpire.
The least I could do is to thank them while I’m still alive.

My fourth thanks are for the random kindness I encountered
From strangers, first responders, and law enforcement officers;
They are my unsung heroes with selfless acts
To give my family a sense of safety and hope – that’s the fact.

To me, those people are role models for our nation,
And they deserve greater public recognition.
We can have a sense of safety and security.
We appreciate the kindness given to our family.

A fifth thank-you goes to those nameless
Whose hearts are blossoming with kindness?
They would rush to aid others without any reservations,
Without any wishful expectation for recognition.

Their humane goodwill allowed me to see
The goodness that is meant for me.
Those who are friendly and kind,
I will count them the blessings of my life.

Sixth is the time for me to apologize
To everyone whom I have wronged or been unkind.
Whether it’s due to my ignorance or unguarded conscience;
I hope they know I am atoning in my repentance.

If I have offended or insulted your feelings,
At the time, I didn’t notice that I was unreasoning.
I hope you will forgive my mistakes,
And I wish life would bless each step you take.

Seventh, I offer my heartfelt apology,
For not always being who I wanted to be.
To my wife Synay, Andrew and Matthew, whom I always cherish,
And all my nephews and nieces I will miss.

I wish I could have spent more time with you,
But knowing my wishful thinking might not come true.
Was it not that everything should have been?
I would change if I could be reborn into a new being.

But I would never waiver the love that I feel;
I hope my loved ones know that much is real.
That I never stop loving and wanting what’s best;
These are the words that got stuck in my chest.

And with this eighth and final thought,
I thank Buddha Shakyamuni for his teachings.
The Four Noble Truths are the natural laws of the universe;
Emptiness, Impermanence, and Karma – can’t be reversed.

My life journey is slowly approaching its final trilogy
Birth, life, and death are the three parts of my eulogy.
Hardship, happiness, and sorrow are my life companions leading the pace
They will disappear from my body when I reach the eternal blissful place.

Had I not been fortunate to live in this country?
Had I not been blessed with a loving family?
Had I not been content with my words of gratitude and apology?
But yes, I’m pleased with everything that needs to be said is said – peace!

Jim Huynh
January 8, 2023

Huynh Van Lay HQ11
Indiantown Gap, September 1975
Jim Huynh
Philadelphia, June 2015