Vietnamese single mom finds new love with British man after heartbreak

By Pham Nga   May 26, 2024 | 05:23 am PT
Fifteen years ago, broken-hearted Nguyen Quynh Trang took her 9-month-old daughter and 6-year-old son away from a broken marriage.

She thought she would never heal.

From then on, Quynh Trang, a lecturer in Hanoi, focused her life on her two children. She spent all her income from working multiple jobs on her children's studies. "I think I am someone who deserves to be loved. If I don't have that, I will learn to love myself," she said.

However, Trang admitted that she was afraid of loneliness. On weekend nights when the children went to their grandmother's house, she drove around the city alone, only returning home when she was exhausted in the early morning.

In 2017, even though she had a stable job, Trang decided to go to England with her two children to study abroad. "I want my children to have a better learning environment and I want to start anew," she said.

At age 34, she worked to raise her children and enrolled in a master's degree course in business administration. At first, Trang struggled to adapt to her new environment, causing many sleepless nights. At that moment, Wojciech Urbanczyk, a 37-year-old British-Polish man, appeared.

Trang and a group of college friends were eating at a restaurant near her school when Wojciech, who was having lunch with his colleagues, accidentally bumped into her while pulling out a chair. He apologized and found himself continuing to talk to the bright-smiling Asian woman.

Trang and her husband took photos together during their return to Vietnam in April 2024. Photo courtesy of Trang

Trang and her husband took photos together during their return to Vietnam in April 2024. Photo courtesy of Trang

In need of new friends to better understand the people and culture of a foreign country, Trang happily talked to Wojciech. Surprisingly, he knew all there was to know about cinema and theater, which were also Trang’s deep passions.

Missing Vietnam very much, missing her job, missing her career, and definitely homesick, Trang felt oddly connected with the man who shared her interests.

They talked endlessly. The next day, Wojciech invited Trang to see a musical. "She is very cheerful and energetic," Wojciech said, explaining why he was attracted to her at first sight.

After that, Wojciech regularly invited Trang to watch British movies, plays and musicals. "We’ve gone to see more than 50 plays," she said.

Wojciech is a humorous man and at first he loved his "freedom" too much and did not like the "constraining" idea of having a family. This outlook was consistent with Trang’s, as she did not want to be "tied down" in marriage due to her painful past.

But Wojciech's gentle appearance and many similar interests drew Trang to him. And Wojciech began to lose his fear of family when he witnessed the relationship between Trang and her daughter.

Family becomes family

Back then, when Trang first invited him to visit her house, Phoc and Bong, her two children, were more excited than their mother.

Because they hoped their mother would have a boyfriend, the two children hurriedly cleaned the house and took the initiative to make tea and warmly welcome their guest. Phoc even took to the kitchen to make Wojciech's favorite dishes. The kids also tactfully went to another room to play so that the couple could have their own space.

The children surprised Wojciech by taking the initiative to study and do chores without being forced to do so by their mother. They showed a keen interest in, and knowledge of, art and sports. "I admired how she raised her children alone and I wanted to be close to and protect them," he said.

Wojciech started to visit Trang's house more often.

He taught Phoc how to repair electrical appliances, saw wood, paint walls, iron clothes, and he even taught the boy to drive. The grown man was also willing to sit down on the floor and play toys with Bong, bowing his head to let her tie her hair and wear a bow.

"I was moved not only by the love and patience he had for me but also because he loved my children like a father," Trang said.

Trangs family on their youngest son’s first birthday, in 2021. Photo courtesy of Trang

Trang's family on their youngest son’s first birthday, in 2021. Photo courtesy of Trang

That Christmas, when Trang visited Wojciech’s family in Poland with her two children, she made up her mind about the possibility of a real future together.

His parents welcomed Trang and her two children with a warm hug. Wojciech's mother neatly arranged three pairs of newly purchased indoor slippers that fitted perfectly. Seeing Trang’s surprise, Wojciech explained that his mother had secretly asked him their shoe size a month prior.

The mother prepared new blankets, sheets, and pillows. Floral sheets for Bong's bed, dark striped sheets for Phoc's bed. She urged her husband to make tea and quickly set up a table full of food. After eating, she didn't force Trang to wash the dishes.

In the evening, she dried Bong's hair and told him through Wojciech's interpreted words, "I like having a granddaughter, I’m very happy to have her." She called Bong the name Annhia in Polish, meaning "little flower."

During a trip to the snowy mountains for the winter, she also affectionately pulled the giant Phoc onto her lap for comfort.

In the following days, she did not let Trang do any chores. "You've been working all year, just take a break, I like taking care of everyone," she said.

That Christmas, they celebrated like a Vietnamese family during the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet). Wojciech's mother prepared feasts of food and cakes every day. The cupboards were filled with whatever items Trang had said she likes to eat.

There were two late nights that Trang had to stay up working online with customers in Vietnam. In the morning, Wojciech’s mother ordered the whole family to be quiet so Trang could sleep.

On the last day before the couple left to return to England, after dinner, Wojciech's mother brought in a birthday cake that she had hidden on the balcony. It turned out that because she knew that Bong's birthday was at the end of the month, she had made a cake to celebrate early. Looking at her daughter happily blowing out the candles, Trang's tears rolled down her face.

"Bong, who has been disadvantaged since birth, now has more people who love her than ever before, like a true big, happy family," she explained.

At that moment, Trang promised herself that she would commit to always being by Wojciech’s side. She promised herself that she would always love him, and love his whole family, more than she ever thought she could.

"I wanted to have another child with him instead of being selfish and thinking only about myself," she said.

Not too long after they were back in England, the couple video called to announce their pregnancy. Both mother and sister-in-law cried together. The sister-in-law cried in the middle of work. The mother hurriedly drove to Wojciech's grandmother's grave to announce the good news.

Wojciech took care of his newborn son in 2020. Photo courtesy of Trang

Wojciech took care of his newborn son in 2020. Photo courtesy of Trang

On Trang’s birthday, in front of his parents and children, he knelt and proposed to her in tears.

Trang gave birth at a time when Covid-19 was stressful, and only Wojciech was with her. He stayed up all night to take care of the baby, make milk, bathe the baby, and clean for his wife without any hesitation.

He always told the three children: "To me, mom is number one – if mom is happy, the family will be happy, so no one can make mom sad."

Wojciech did not hesitate to do housework and loved to massage his wife, pampering her and taking care of her every need.

The ripples and vibrations of happiness reverberated all the way to far-away Vietnam. Trang’s father began to take comfort in his daughter’s new life. Seeing that his daughter’s time of tragedy has passed, Nguyen Van Tien, 68 years old, said: "From now on, I don't have to feel sorry for Trang anymore."

He continued: "When we first met, I fell in love with Wojciech because of his sincerity. I'm glad that there is someone who sincerely loves my daughter and grandchildren."

Trang felt grateful that she chose to leave her old marriage. If she hadn’t moved forward back then, she might not be where she is right now.

She now believes that every single woman deserves to be happy. As long as they can believe in themselves, believe in good things in the future, and give themselves a chance, then they will find someone to hold their hand throughout their life.

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