good life with trang nguyen
Part of cultivating a good life for me is to love, respect, and learn from my mother.
When I was little, we didn’t have a lot — just the clothes on our back and a bed to sleep in at night. She used to skip meals to afford me an egg so I could grow big and healthy. One time, she was robbed with a knife of every penny she had while buying me an orange at the market. Devastation was an understatement. We didn’t eat for several days.
She has been on her own since 13 years old, trying to make it another day. When she was pregnant with me, she prayed it would happen on a Monday so she could make enough money on Sunday (which was her busiest day) to buy the necessities for a newborn baby. She gave birth to me on a Sunday. Even after her water broke, she stayed a bit longer before she could no longer hold me in. The doctor said a few more minutes and I would have died.
She took me everywhere with her. I was by her side from sunrise to sunset. I never cried and I was never vocal. I watched her work and that kept me intrigued for years. You would never see someone move faster and more efficiently with the grace she had.
She still works 7 days a week. I asked her why and she replied, “Because money saves lives.” When her brother-in-law was diagnosed with kidney failure, everybody thought it was because he couldn’t afford the treatments. She paid for his entire medical and relocation expenses. The doctor gave him weeks; she gave him 6 years. One important fact: she’s been divorced for 20 years without any kind of communication. This is her character.
Hard times build character, and I see that in her everyday. Resilient, compassionate, generous, fearless: you name it, she embodies it. She has shown me the greatest strength and has truly given me everything — a chance to expand my boundaries, to explore my passion, and more importantly, to dream big. I dream of becoming a researcher, a pioneer in personalized health medicine, a surgeon. None of which would have been possible without her sacrifices. Whatever it may be, I dream of making her proud. She is my best and truest friend, my mother, my hero.
Trang Nguyen is a part of our Creative Team using physical product. She was born in Vietnam, raised in Iowa, and now lives in Orlando, Florida.