An Unforgettable Day
16 years have passed since my mother, a 37 year old woman, left her five poor children behind. Death brutally took her away from our world in a motorcycle accident which happened in Vietnam. I, her second daughter, was the only person to witness her sudden fatality and was helpless to do anything to save her life on that stormy night. May 20, 1992, on which my mother breathed her last breath, is the most unforgettable day of my life. That day, same as every day, while my sisters were still sleeping, I woke up at 5 a.m.to help my mother cook Pho, a traditional dish of Vietnamese. I tiptoed to the back of the house where the bathroom was to do my personal tasks. In the kitchen, my mother was starting the fire to boil the large pot of Pho. As soon as I finished, I went there to help her wash the herbs, put noodles in the bag, and get everything ready for the day’s business. The clock struck seven and we left the house. My mother carried the pot of Pho, balancing it with a long stick, on her shoulder. I held my bag of toys and followed her. Both of us were laughing and talking happily together on the way to the market. After an hour of walking, we finally arrived to our destination and began our setting up for business. My mother put the pot of Pho down and started announcing “Pho here, Pho here, Pho here”. It was amazing; people came from everywhere to buy my mother’s food at our street corner stand. I, a 10 year old girl, worked tirelessly as a waitress, hostess, busboy and cashier. My mother poured bowl after bowl of pho. When the afternoon progressed, our clientele started dwindling along with our supply of food. My mother and I took this time to fill our grumbling stomachs. As the sun began setting over the horizon, it signaled time for us to clean everything up and start heading home. My mother put the long stick with the empty pot of Pho back on her shoulder and I carried the same bag of toys in my hand....
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