Perhaps it was hearing about my father’s heroic story of being a boat-person, a Vietnamese refugee in the late 70s who fled his country on a boat and risked his life venturing into the mass of nothingness that is the pacific ocean in search of a better life for his family.
Perhaps it was the story of my grandma, who was an orphan growing up, who never had a single thing handed to her in life and lived an entire life in survival mode and virtually unable to receive love from anybody close to her.
Perhaps it was the story of my mother who helped raise her 8 siblings in poverty and her first daughter for five years without a father who had voyaged to another land with a promise to return for them when he was able to.
Our roots teach us about who we are.
These stories so close to home, so vivid in my memory, full of fear and suspense unlocked the road map to who I truly was inside.
The stories of our elders provides us with the instructions manual on our DNA and roots.
“Family is the strongest institution that we have.”Acie Tran
Without connecting truly with our elders and their stories and traumas, we are left to ourselves to figure out our identity.
Patterns often repeat themselves throughout history.
We either learn or we repeat.
During the darkest period of my life, what I found helped me the most was my analysis of my relationship with my own parents and learning more about what their lives were like growing up.
To see how some of our legacy videos have helped connect families through storytelling, check out our showcase stories!
His experiences had turned him into a cold man.
Being a war refugee and having gone through everything he had gone through just to make it to Canadian soil, my father had earned the right to enjoy his life.
However, the experiences he had gone through and having to say goodbye to his home and family hardened him.
Nothing was the same. His innocence was gone. He could no longer be a boy. He was the man now. The only man.
Responsible several years later with raising a son of his own, he struggled to connect emotionally and I was left to grow up in many ways lacking a male role model and father figure.
The only time I ever saw him cry.
My father was an impenetrable fortress. Very private about his thoughts, feelings and emotions.
The only emotion I was ever exposed to was anger. A anger originating deep down in the pits of his past.
An anger bestowed upon him by his own father and beyond.
I was too young to know about this though, I just thought I wasn’t being a good enough son and kid.
One fateful day however, my vision of my father changed forever. It was a day I will never forget. A day that forever changed my life and perspective too.
He was human after all.
The day that changed my life.
My grandpa had passed away and my father had to return home to the land that he fled for the first time to bury him.
Overwhelmed with emotion, there I was, sitting in front of my TV watching a tape of my father at his father’s funeral.
Watching him break down and cry with more emotion than I ever thought I’d see from him.
“The idea of death can be very scary, but it can be equally as transformative.”
From here on out, I choose a different path.
I didn’t know my grandpa so I didn’t cry until I saw my father in tears. I had so many questions about their relationship and history.
And in this quest and curiosity for the answers, the keys to my existence was revealed. My sense of purpose led me to many things.
I am a leader in my local dad’s community, a men’s mental health advocate and a dear friend and a lending hand to many men in need.
All because of the pain and neglect I have felt inside for generations from the lack of male and father connection in my life.
From the lessons of my own father and his relationship with his father, I have attained the tools to choose a different path for how I raise my son and hope to have an impact on how he chooses to raise his family one day.
And then Legacy Videos was born.
This all led me to the mission of Legacy Videos. And that mission is to connect generations closer than they’ve ever been, to build stronger families and to forge better futures.
The idea of death can be scary, but it can also be transformative.
I am hoping that Legacy Videos provides us with insight to further our perspectives on the topics of life, death and legacy.
No family is perfect, but there is art and inspiration in imperfection.
What lessons does your family tree have that the world could benefit from?
Learn more about how a Legacy Video can be the key to alleviating the pain and trauma in your family.