In the summer of 2013, Aui V. lost her oldest child and son, JC, after he suffered a tragic road accident while driving a motorbike under the influence of alcohol. Devastated, Aui V. poured her grief onto the pages of her journal, writing letters daily to a son she had loved greatly, but who she herself admits, she was not able to help in the way he needed to escape the fatal disease of alcoholism. "Parents are the most imperfect people here on earth," Aui V. writes.
Those journal entries form the basis, and direct the spirit, of Aui V.'s first foray into the literary world, The Booze Stole My Son (Don't Let It Steal Yours). Part memoir, this book weaves letters and first-person storytelling to document the author's journey trying to raise a family, build a career, work through personal demons, and steer her son from alcoholism. The book offers readers honest and painful reflections on Aui V.'s hopes, shortcomings and regrets as a parent to JC, and her struggle to understand why God would allow her son to die prematurely: "God really allows things to happen. Why? I do not know. Nobody knows the answer yet."
In this way, the book serves as a warning to other parents and families, not only against the epidemic of alcoholism in our society, but also against the mistake of blaming alcoholics for their affliction. Rather than demanding that they live up to our expectations, Aui V. makes the case that it is unconditional love, grace, and acceptance that alcoholics need most to recover successfully.
In the midst of tragedy and pain, Aui V. continues to find consolation in the lessons about unconditional love that JC has taught her, in the healing power of writing, and in promises of God. She writes, "In His divine wisdom, God never fails to give what is best for all of us, on His term, not ours."
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