Dan Vu (12): Love Without Words

There are millions of ways to show someone you love them without saying I love you. At times it may be difficult to identify even the most subliminal acts of love, but it’s there, I’m sure of it.

Our society today consists of many busy bodies, it seems like there’s no stopping; there’s this hustle and bustle and just work that is needed to be done. We constantly overload ourselves with tasks we aren’t 100% sure we can complete but, we shoot higher than our ambitions and at times crash. That’s okay. On bad days, loved ones remind us why we choose to challenge ourselves, they give us words of affirmation and firm hugs; but, sometimes, these are translated into something that we may not recognize.

Any human being can relate to the ups and downs of family, but at the end of the day we still stand as a sort of team that works together to be the best we can possibly be. Dan Vu has shared similar experiences with his family, acknowledging that they weren’t always “the happiest or the most peaceful of families,” and despite the fights or stressful evenings, somehow sharing a plate of salmon brought them together.

On nights where Dan’s mother tired from events leading up to dinner, they would frequently visit a seafood restaurant nearby. Posing as an occasion to appear whole and functional, these were one of the times Dan had felt that they were a corresponding “unit.” The first time his parents offered him a piece of the salmon they shared, Dan recalls, “I had a really big smile on my face”; Salmon symbolized something more, it was the comforting and intimate atmosphere that brought his family together. And to top it off, the salmon was delicious as well: “Soft, fatty, a smooth texture, complemented with the love of my family.” Ever since Dan has discovered love in salmon, it has become his favorite food; after long days at work, Dan makes sure to surprise his parents with a plate of salmon to share.

In his own words:

“My family was not always the happiest and most peaceful of families. My dad would often come home stressed and tired taking it out on my mom. For many nights in a row, i would have to fall asleep to the sound of my parents fighting…we were not always a unit. On some nights when my mom was too tired to cook, we would go out to eat at the seafood restaurant nearby. This was one of the few times that my family was able to act like a unit. My mom and dad usually ordered a plate of salmon and would share. They looked really happy sharing the meal and it was peaceful watching them. When they offered me a piece, i had this really big smile on my face. The salmon was already good by itself. Soft, Fatty, Smooth texture, but it was also filled with the love and peacefulness of my family. From then on out, salmon has always been my favorite food because it represents the loving and peacefulness that i’ve always wanted. today, when my parents come home from a long day of work, I’m usually the one to cook up a plate of salmon for them to share.”