I was just thinking of the different thing that separe Mai from her mother. The main thing that came to mind was their different ideologies. Mai does not want to remember the past and the past is all Thanh is and holds unto. Mai wants to sever all ties from the past but cannot. She has nightmares and flashbacks from when she used to volunteer at the hospital. The gruesome images haunt her. They do not try to understand each other. Mai sees her mother as ignorant. Her mother is actually quite knowledgeable. Thanh sees that there is not much difference between Karma and genetics. She says that she and her daughter will always be close there is a close connection between them. Thanh knows that what separate them are their different outlooks on life.
Mai unlike her mother adapts well to the United States. Mai is modern meaning that she does hold unto traditional values. Her father was also considered as a modern thinker. Thanh was married to a modern man who was always chasing big ideas. He never stayed long enough with her and was not satisfied with the way life is. That is why Thanh is afraid that Mai will be just like her father. Her fear is that Mai will always look on the horizon for bigger and better things. She could come to abandon her too and never quite be satisfied with her life as well. This could be the bridge separating yet connecting them at the same time.