My dad left before I was born. He had to escape because of the scheduled re-education the communist had planned for him, and he promised to come back, but on his journey, he met a woman in a refugee camp in Thailand. The woman had a similar story to him, so they got together. He sent pictures of his new family to his family in Laos. His little sister was close to my mom and showed her pictures of the good life he was living in the US. My mom was angry and thought, how dare you take away that opportunity from our family?
We were still in Laos until then, but because my father had escaped, the communists would’ve assumed my mom knew where he was and they could torture or punish her to learn of his whereabouts, that’s why we had to flee. Soon afterwards, my mom started to think of an escape plan. It was dangerous and there were communist spies everywhere. Anyone who had any information had to tell the party or they risked being executed.