Thanks to a Charley Project blog commenter I found out a little bit more about Diane Nguyen Robbins. I had wondered if she was the offspring of an American soldier and a Vietnamese woman he met in the war, and it turned out I was correct. It’s a very sad story: Diane’s mother already had one child when she moved to the US, married an American serviceman and had Diane.
Then, when Diane was twelve, she said her father was sexually abusing her. He was sent to jail and Diane’s mother left him, but the emotional toll remained and Diane vanished only a year or so later. (She may have been a Green River victim, no one knows.) Her mother committed suicide in 1991 — no doubt the grief over her daughter’s disappearance was a big factor in that, though it does sound like she had an unhappy life generally. But Diane’s half-brother is still alive and hopes she may be found. She also has family in Vietnam.
I think this story goes to show the far-reaching consequences of crime. If Diane’s father hadn’t molested her, perhaps she would not have left home and disappeared in 1985. If she hadn’t disappeared, it’s likely that her mother would be alive today. Fortunately her brother seems to have conquered his demons and is now a motivational speaker, married with kids, and involved in trying to promote racial harmony.
Grandma was buried today. Wendy, my minister friend who lives next door, officiated over the funeral. She also gave me a ride there. I was very grateful cause my car has no AC and hers does. Everyone was supposed to wear red cause it was Grandma’s favorite color, so I put on this sort of wine-colored dress I have. It’s very lovely but unfortunately it’s velvet, ankle-length and has long sleeves and a turtleneck so I would have arrived a puddle of sweat if I had had to take my car. As it was I was still uncomfortably warm.
I wasn’t close to my grandmother but Wendy’s funeral oration left me feeling sniffly anyway. She basically said she thought Grandma just decided it was her time to die. She had been through innumerable health crises and always pulled through, but this time her favorite daughter was dead, and so she decided to join her. The after-funeral lunch wasn’t that great. (Though I suppose gatherings of this nature rarely are.) Wendy had other things to do so she left, and I was forced to make small talk with various relatives — not fun — and there were a lot of small screaming children.
Hopefully Grandpa will stick around while longer and we won’t have to go back to the funeral home any time soon. He’s seven years younger than Grandma was, and in better health generally.
Link: Grandma’s obituary.