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The Love I Left Behind

My wife passed away and I thought I had nothing left of her…God’s love proved me wrong.

Back during the Vietnam War, when I was stationed in Thailand, I met a beautiful Thai woman named Surapun. We fell in love and got married soon after. When my wife learned, after a trip to a doctor, that she couldn’t have children, we both prayed that somehow God would change things, that we would be able to have a family of our own.

My tour ended, and I went back to the United States, to my assignment in Nevada. I started the huge amount of immigration paperwork necessary for Surapun to join me back in the States. A short time later I received a letter from Surapun. She was pregnant! The doctor had been wrong. We were ecstatic. I couldn’t wait till she joined me. I rushed the paperwork to her for her signature.

A long time went by with no response. Letters I sent to her went unanswered. I was getting frantic. Then a letter came from her mother, telling me my wife had died. I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have the money for airfare back to Thailand to pay my respects. I hadn’t known my in-laws well, and soon I fell out of touch. I vowed someday I would return to Thailand. Eventually, I moved on with my life. I remarried and had two children. I earned a Masters in psychology. Later I became a writer. It was nearly 30 years till I went back to Thailand.

After searching many official records, I found my wife’s grave. Alone with my memories I stood beside it and prayed. Just then a young Thai woman walked up. She put her hands together in the wye position, a Thai gesture of respect. “Did you know her?” I asked her.

“No,” she said. “But I am the reason she’s dead. It weighs heavy on my mind. I have no family. They all died. And when I feel lonely I come here.”

“Why here?” I asked.

“She died while giving birth to me. I have spent my life searching for my father, but he is American, and I think he doesn’t want to be found.”

Now, after so long, there I stood with my daughter Sirikit, an answer to a 30-year-old prayer.

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