All posts filed under: Nostalgia

Numb

Today marks four weeks since my mother lost her 2-year fight against cancer and I am still unbelieving that she is gone. I catch myself still thinking she’s a text message or phone call away, but she is not and I am then reminded of being motherless. I had never wished for death to come to my mom until I watched her suffer in her final days. It is a difficult thing to watch, the passing of a loved one, but in the end, I felt relief. The funeral director told me later that despite my mom’s death being difficult, my family was actually quite lucky. At first I was upset, but when he began to explain, I understood his point. For him, he’s worked with families where death was sudden and unexpected. In some of those cases, there is often regret because family and friends wonder if the person who’s passed on knew how much he or she was loved. Feelings and thoughts are sometimes left unsaid. With my mom, watching her health and her spirit deteriorate was difficult, but my family emptied our hearts to each …

Life Companion

December 19, 2015, would have marked my parents 43rd wedding anniversary, but a week prior, my mom passed away.  Though it was a very sad occasion, I have come to terms that she is in a better place where she no longer experiences the constant pain in her body and is resting.  For the past five years she had been battling a few ailments (heart failure and cancer) which all involved multiple surgeries.  Through it all, my father, her husband and life companion for the past 50 years was by her side. Though my dad does not enjoy the doctor’s office nor the hospital, he would hold it all together just to be with her.  He would go anywhere my mom would take him, even if it meant not being in a place he was comfortable.  My mom would drag my dad to her weekly health classes to learn how to eat better, care for her body, and basically socialize with others who were also going through the same things as her.  My dad listened …

Growing Up, Growing Old

I am an only child to young parents. They were barely 20 years old when they had me, which led to an extended family living situation so I grew up beside them, while my grandparents served as my second pair of parents until I went to boarding school at the young age of 13. Before my ʻūniki 1.5 years ago, my mom called me in tears. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and she was scared. Over the course of the next 6 months, I would fly up to Honolulu, meeting my parents halfway, to attend the slew of doctors’ appointments, which coincided with her chemotherapy treatments. After chemotherapy, she underwent a double mastectomy and a stint of radiation. When she came through everything, we were told to hang tight for 6 months to make sure she was was out of the woods and being that my mom has been an avid runner for a long time, we were optimistic, but during recent check-ups, tests revealed that cancer had shown up in her liver and this time, there was less to …

Ocean Treasures

This photo takes me back to our weekend of exploring a beautiful beach on the island of Kaua’i where we found an amazing stretch of white sand with not a single human in sight.  It was also a unique experience as we found ‘opihi nestled on the rocks right on the beach.  You normally have to scale the cliffs along the ocean to find these beautiful sea creatures as they tend to get harvested for food or for jewelry making.  We left these three lonely ‘opihi alone and continued on our walk along the beach enjoying the fresh air and sounds of the surf crashing along the shore. For Paula’s Thursday Special Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

Solitude (Photo 101, Day 5)

On a hike to Sanbutsu-ji Temple, the cliff temple, I took this picture of my hula brother at a rest stop. Our hula tradition is based upon the concept of environmental kinship, so as he looked out at the mountains and the trees in foreign Japan, I could tell that he wasnʻt just resting and admiring the beautiful view, but that he was syncing himself and connecting to the environment around him. His breathing steadied, his body relaxed, and he would occasionally close his eyes to feel the gentle breeze on his skin and once, he was in harmony with his surroundings, he inhaled deeply and turned to me and smiled.

Psychedelic Experience

During the summer of 2011 while visiting Cajamarca, Peru, the city was bustling in preparation for the country’s Presidential candidate, Keiko Fujimori, who would be making a stop to rally for the community’s support, but also celebrate her birthday.  Our hotel, Costa del Sol, was located along the Plaza de Armas which gave us front row access to all the festivities happening right outside. Prior to Keiko’s arrival that evening, we decided to walk around the Plaza and sit with the locals, but to my surprise, we were approached within a few minutes of leaving our hotel asking to take a photo with us.  I thought it was strange, but didn’t think too much about it.  As nightfall descended and the music and dancing from the front stage started to pick up, I started to feel a bit overcrowded.  There were hundreds of people that suddenly appeared out of no where and kept staring at our group.  Slowly, I started to pay more attention to what the crowd was saying as they pointed at our …

A Letter to My Future Son

As March rolls in, it reminds me that 3 years ago I was about to have my son. I remember going through many emotions of fear and doubt but I did something get through it. For expecting mothers write a letter or journal your thoughts to your baby. Writing this before he was born just made it real. It also now helps me remember. While searching through my notes in my phone for an enchilada recipe I stumbled upon this: March 07, 2013 Okay so I have about a week more and I should be giving birth to my first child. I didn’t think this would be coming to fruition. It’s one thing to talk, wish, imagine, but my goodness it’s for real . I’m gonna have a baby! So that’s one thing to think it but I have to survive the labor. Am I gonna handle like a champ or cry and tell them to just cut me? I want to see this baby! Will it look like me? Will it look like James? …

Life is a Highway

My love for travel comes from both of my parents.  I recently came across a photo of my mom in her early twenties posing with some friends in front of the Republic of Chile signage along Route 5 .  It is remarkable that I also traveled on that same road when I decided to bus it back to Santiago, Chile from Bolivia.  Life moves on, but geographical landmarks will always remain and remind us of those who came before us. I am grateful that my mom was not afraid to explore new surroundings, but I cannot imagine what a road trip must have been like during the 1950’s, for I am now spoiled with the comfort of large travel buses that purr you to sleep on initial departure from the bus terminal. Thanks to my mom’s travel stories, when it was time for me to spread my wings, I never hesitated nor doubted myself, as I knew if she could do it, so could I.  Let’s hope I can also instill in my daughter the …

Celebrate Me When I’m Alive

In the last month and a half, I have had a number of friends and loved ones pass away.  I am always saddened of course, because losing someone means a part of you no longer exists in your living life.  But more often than not, I am motivated and inspired to reflect on the following thoughts:  Am I living a life that I love?  Am I living to my fullest potential?  Am I spending my time the way I want to spend my time and not spending it in a way that is expected of me or as a result of guilt?  These thoughts help me to make sense of the loss and to find new meaning in what I believe life is all about. One such loss was the passing of my good friends’ mom, Mrs. Lam.  She was a firecracker and definitely loved living life to the fullest.  I had the honor of sharing the fond memories of her that everyone had written down for me to read during Mrs. Lams’ service.  And …

My Grandpa, My Best Friend

What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you. The earliest memory I have is being 1-year old and crying at the back door of the house. My parents had gone to work and I was left alone with my grandfather who, because he was retired, was tasked with babysitting me. I stood there, tears streaming down my face, pounding on the door, wishing to be close to my mother, but unable to articulate exactly what I wanted. My grandfather picked me up and comforted me, holding me close, bouncing me slightly, while softly saying “shh-shh-shh” and walking me back to the living room. I remember crying in his arms for a bit longer and then the memory ends. My parents and I lived with my grandparents, so it was as if I had two sets of parents. Being an only child, I had no playmates growing up, so my grandfather became my best friend, and we ended up being an unlikely …

#100happydays Challenge

In July, a flurry of posts on my Facebook newsfeed regarding the origin behind the #100happydays phenomenon caught my interest.  I vaguely remember hearing months beforehand that some of my friends were going to participate in this challenge.  I didn’t pay too much attention, but as my Facebook newsfeed kept popping up with the #100happydays story, I decided to head over to their website and check it out. I was surprised at the simplicity of the website: http://100happydays.com  But it makes perfect sense.  Happiness is simplicity.  The less noise and distraction the easier it is to understand the information presented to you.  The gist of the exercise is to post for 100 consecutive days through a social media outlet of your choice (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) one thing that made you happy that day. I decided to use my Twitter account to record the 100 things that made me happy. Well, I am happy to report that I have successfully completed my #100happydays challenge.  I was afraid I would be part of the 71% of people that started but did not complete …

Iselle and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

It is 5:00 pm (HST) and category 1 Hurricane Iselle is currently 150 miles east-southeast of Hilo. A hurricane warning was issued yesterday afternoon and although we had hoped that it would be downgraded to either a hurricane watch or a tropical storm warning, here we are, 2-3 hours out from experiencing sustained winds of 80 miles per hour with higher gusts. Meanwhile, Julio is 1155 miles outside of Hilo and a classified category 2 hurricane expected to weaken in the next few days. Hurricanes are rare for Hilo. We are commonly known for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, but there is a first time for everything. We did have a close call with Flossie in 2013, but she dissipated before reaching us. Living in Hilo, I had grown complacent about hurricanes being a threat. There is a common belief here that the reason we don’t experience hurricanes is because Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai protect us, sheering through hurricanes and sparing us from their effects. Not so in the case of Iselle and I was jolted into reality with the issuance …