Friday, June 21, 2013


I found this letter marked "Returned - Deceased" while cleaning out my home office.  It was a Christmas card I sent to Vivian.  I knew Vivian when I started working for a manufacturing company in Michigan back in 1989.  I handled payroll and accounts payable for the Wall Products Division.  The previous employee already left and Vivian had to train me to process the timecards and how to submit the information to Home Office in Shreveport, Louisiana where Vivian worked as Accounting Manager.  I still remember fondly our first phone conversation.  I am not being disrespectful to Vivian but it was so comical as we tried to understand each other, even though we both were speaking English.
While Vivian had a very strong Cajun Creole Louisiana accent which I never heard of, she struggled to understand my Vietnamese-Queens-New York accent.  Vivian was kind and patient.  She never raised her voice or made me feel as if I was less than capable of learning what needed to be done.
A few years after I moved to St. Louis, Vivian retired, sold her house and moved to an apartment.  We continued to keep in touch.  Then she had to give up the apartment and moved into an assisted living facility.  From her Christmas card in 2010, I could tell from her handwriting that she has gotten weaker.  I did not receive a Christmas card from Vivian in 2011 but I continued to send one last December (2012).  I got the card back late January.
"Mesi, Vivian" for your kindness and friendship.  I was blessed to have known you.    

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