Mom took this giant sea shell and these sparkle shaded pebbles for me from the shores of Middle Vietnam in the family trip to our hometown. This is the first time that I have not been together with other members and it is an intolerable experience that I have never imagined before.

Although, mom never forget to bring me some gift whenever she goes out without me, I only feel a bitter sweet complicated emotion this time. They say when someone gets hurt, he or she will definitely run back to the mother’s arms. I wish I could allow myself to be like a child hiding from this turbulent life. Self defense reaction,however, will soon turn out to be selfish moves.

When my hands caress along rough surface of the giant sea shell, I suddenly think that every women is like a little mermaid waving between the call from her deep underwater home and her love for a man. The little mermaid left her familiar environment and tried to fit in with a totally different habitat despite of her bleeding feet and her sorrow soul. As we all know, at the end of her melancholy, all her sincere devotions were responded by the eternal loneliness up on the air. Then, I realise every fairy tale is a distorted mirror of real life story.

People always believe in love till it tears their hearts apart. Engagements of caring, sharing between two distinct people soon become conditional agreements. I imagine this giant sea shell to be the mother of pearl who assiduously turned the sand inside it into treasured pearl beads. Could women have the strength like this to find the peace within instead of waiting charming princes come to light up their days. If they do, I hope they can tightly hold their cherished treasury in the bottom of their heart and be aware of anyone who tend to mercilessly deface them to take the pearls.

All the photos, graphics and contents on this page are our own creations unless stated otherwise
Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam


  1. Mabel Kwong

    Such a pretty shell, Khan. Your mum is very kind to bring it back for you, thinking of you. I love how you talked about the little mermaid here. That was one of my favourite Disney characters growing up, but what a sad story it was. Every woman is beautiful, and every woman has the strength inside of her to stand tall and stand up for herself – all it takes is a choice to listen to her heart and the courage to believe in herself. Hope all is well with you, lots of love right at you 🙂 ❤

    • vothikhanhhoa

      You are so sweet, Mabel ❤ I would love to hear your words. The little mermaid in Disney version is more familiar with children because it is less severe than the authentic one. However, I always think that we should face the truth because misleading dreams are delicate like soap bubbles, sparkle but unstable.

      • Mabel Kwong

        So true. Pity the real Little Mermaid isn’t as happy at all as the one we all come to know and love. “We should face the truth” Couldn’t agree more. When we know the truth, we can see reality for what it is and make the best out of the pieces that we have in order to reach our dreams.

        “misleading dreams are delicate like soap bubbles, sparkle but unstable.” What a way to describe dreams. You have a good way with English words 😀

  2. Tom Schultz

    This is a very touching essay. It says much about your family and your feelings for your mother. It’s also good writing in the way you use the symbols of the mermaid and the sea shell. You’ve shared with us a very meaningful post.

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