Mothers are everywhere

This past Sunday, we took my mom to her final resting place. It was a long time coming. I took the six hour drive, and suffered insomnia as I tried to sleep after the drive, so I went to the beach early to watch the sunrise.

I think we all avoided doing this, because subconsciously we knew it was like we were fully letting go of her. It was difficult for me and my emotions were rolling like the waves she became part of. I flat out did not want to do it. Losing my mom as a young girl, I did not know how I was going to get through puberty, college, and all the challenges that inevitably would come, without her to guide me.

I still wonder what her advice would have been for me during those years, as well as what it would be now.

You would think so long after, I would have finished grieving, but truth be told I did not even start until about 4 years ago. Everyone has their own timeline, and it took me a while to realize that mine was OK.

I think what finally brought me a sense of relief, was thinking about all of my surrogate mothers. They gave me a peace of mind to let go of the ashes, and know that I was not actually letting go of  my mom or the opportunity for maternal guidance.

I want to thank all of my surrogate mothers. from numerous relatives, to teachers and professors through the years, the soccer mom community, my boyfriend’s mother, and to so many more– of course including my guardian. Even though I have never done it, I can tell being a guardian is rewarding and hard. I know it was hard trying to teach and look after this girl who was so different than you, enjoying science classes and soccer when you played the violin and softball, but who is still very much like you, afraid of confrontation and a lover of the beach.

I want to thank everyone who has loved me as their own, and reminded me that family is more than just blood. I love you, mom and all of my mothers.

And after some contemplation, I finally realized that spreading my mom’s ashes was not an end, but just another beginning, like the sunrise.


That Man


I like this poem I wrote a year back, because it reminds me to take the time to cherish the ones I love and to step outside myself and really appreciate and listen to others. This poem also goes along with the photography theme of the week, perfect pairs!

When I look at him, he looks at me.

That man I could look at forever.

That man has been there for me,

Even when I wasn’t there for him.

He forgave me,

Even when I wronged him.

He loved me,

Even when I could not be loved.

I became who I am

Looking at him

Building me up.

Showing me my worth

While I basked in his.

That man is mine

And I am his.

Poem and photography originals by D. Ngo, all rights reserved for Up Into the Clouds.


The Path

My life

is like

the trails

of a park

I embark and there are switchbacks;

there are loops and intersections between trails.

One path leads to another,

Another leads to the first.

It is not wrong to wander

the many paths.

And life,

does not

have just one,

But a beautiful network.

Poem an original by D. Ngo, all rights reserved for Up Into the Clouds.

Am I funny to you?

Am I funny to you?

He says.

He wants

To make everyone


He wants

To make everyone


It saddens my heart,

To see him struggle

To make everyone happy,

Except himself.

And give himself away,

Until he does

Not know


Is left.

And is a shriveled shell

Of what

He expects.

Photography and poetry originals by D. Ngo, All Rights Reserved for Up Into The Clouds.

Butterfree Butterfly

“Is that a butterfly or a moth?”

“The easiest way to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth is the antennae”

The butterfly has a club-like projection at the end of the antennae, it is long and slender with a wide, more rounded end. The moth has feathery antennae absent of the club-like end.

Photography originals by D. Ngo and all rights reserved for Up Into The Clouds.


My shades,
They tint everything, to a dark, dark gray
I see in monochrome
I like it
It is easier to see;
Easier to do things without being blinded;
It is comfortable.
My shades,
They block out the light
Block out the sunshine trying to reach my skin
Alter the reality
Change it into an alternate world
That is comfortable.
But when the shades are removed
the world is more vibrant
more vivid
more real
but I cannot take off the shades
because I am comfortable
and afraid
for what I do not know

This is my ode to myself and everyone dealing with a mental illness that shades your perception. I believe we can do it, and support you in your journey to remove the shades.




Poem and photography originals by D. Ngo, all rights reserved for Up Into the Clouds