What in the $%@$^@# were you thinking?

Those words (choice profanity included) woke me with a start the other night. What was I thinking, organizing this trip to Vietnam to connect sons and daughters who lost fathers on both sides of the Vietnam War?

I have a lot of fears about this journey. There’s the mundane ones about getting sick, or bitten by something slimy. Maybe I'll become separated from the group because something in a shop caught my eye (this, given my nature, is the most likely scenario). But the deeper fears are right under the surface. What’s going to happen when we come face to face with the Vietnamese sons and daughters? Will they be angry? Worse, will I?

It was easy to push past these bigger fears earlier this year when I first formed the 2 Sides Project. Now the trip is getting closer—we leave four weeks from today—and they’re keeping me up at night.

I’m going to have to remember what I know in the daylight: there have been moments in my life when I’ve found people who shared my experience, who spoke the same language as me, who felt the same way I did about things. These moments are profound. They make me feel connected, anchored in the world. They are often turning points that lead me to a better place.

That was the case when I met other sons and daughters in the U.S. who lost fathers in the war. So, I’ll keep my focus on them. And on the amazing experience we have in store. Six of us will be meeting Vietnamese sons and daughters and visiting the sites where our fathers died. I’ll profile them all -- Mike, Ron, Margaret, Susan and Patty -- here in the coming weeks as we get ready. Come with us virtually. It’s going to be quite a journey, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you.

Founder, the 2 Sides Project

PS: want to help the 2 Sides Project? Check out the donation page!