All posts tagged: family

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 …

Looking Up Roots

For two days, Maui has been my playground. Lingering clouds, majestic mountains, tall trees swaying in the breeze, one can’t help but look up, especially in a place that is unfamiliar. I’ve been to Maui before, but only for day trips and minutes from the airport. This time, I decided to do a last minute getaway, hoping to cure myself of jetlag from my recent trip to Japan, but also to reconnect with my genealogy. Using frequent flyer miles and taking advantage of last minute deals for lodging and ground transportation, I was on a plane yesterday morning, excited to develop a different relationship with Maui. My Native Hawaiian great-grandmother hails from Makawao. More specifically, she was born and raised in Ulupalakua. Each time I’ve spent time in Maui, I never left the Kahului city limits, so this time, I strayed off the beaten path to spend most of my time here in Makawao and to find ways to reconnect to her. You see, I know very little about my great-grandmother. She passed away the year my dad was born …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#11)

It was a full week, but there were a few things that made it extra special. 1) Family – Even though I spent Tuesday in Honolulu with my parents going to medical appointments, it was also spent with aunties and uncles. One couple lives in Mililani and it’s been nice getting to know them throughout my mom’s medical hardships, since they lived on the continent when I was growing up. The other couple, who I consider my third pair of parents, lives in Arizona. It’s been along time since I last saw them, but I was reminded that thanks to them, I have a need for creative expression. 2) Twinsters – If you haven’t watched this heartwarming documentary, I suggest you do. I’ve already watched it twice on Netflix. Pop! 3) Nail Polish – After 40 years and hundreds of horrible do-it-yourself manicures, I’ve finally learned how to paint my nails. I always feel a lot more girly and feminine with some new nail polish, so I’ve decided to paint my nails every week. Yay! 4) Terrace House – I’m …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#10)

1) Prince – While classmates were going crazy for Madonna and Mariah Carey, Prince was the one artist who was continuously present for the major milestones in my life. Even though his artistry was usually perceived as eccentric, his musical genius was undeniable. With his sudden passing, I dug out his CD’s this past week and relived my life, captured through his music. Mahalo, Prince. 2) Spending Time with the Parentals – I flew to Honolulu on Tuesday to go to doctor appointments with my mom and when we were done, we escaped to Pearlridge for lunch and a bit of shopping before heading over to the airport. Although I can be happy being with them anywhere, the hospital is becoming the norm, so getting out is always a good thing. 3) Friends – If you don’t know by now, I have the best friends. I don’t have a lot of them, but the ones that I do consider my closest friends, know everything about me and continue to stand by me and make me laugh. …

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 …

Bloodline

From both sides of the family my son comes from long line of cockfighting. As many would view this as cruel and a blood sport my upbringing showed me otherwise.  These animals were cared for and trained like professional athletes. Much pride came with raising chickens. So for my son you could say its in his bloodline. Future Find us on social media outlets and get to know the Holoholo Girls better! Facebook  Instagram @holohologirls Twitter

Family Hopes

Lately, I’ve wondered if the hopes and dreams that my ancestors may have had for me are manifesting. Is my life what they had envisioned for me? Am I living up to their expectations? Would they be proud of me if they were still alive? I see myself in this banyan tree, laden with ema plaques filled with wishes. My grandparents once pinned their hopes on me that I might live well, while my roots extend deeper into the earth. Above all else, they probably would’ve wanted me to be happy, and that, I most certainly am, thanks to them. In response to: State of Mind  

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 …

K is for Kittens

It’s been a little less than 6 months since we lost Simon and although we still miss him terribly, it was time to bring some feline company and energy back into our lives. We ended up going back to the Hawaii Island Humane Society, where we adopted Simon, and came home with 2 tiger tabby kittens, who are brothers from the same litter. Although they’re bundles of energy, we couldn’t be happier. Here are Max and Jax, the newest members of the family. April is the start of the A to Z challenge. Check out other blogs participating in this challenge at: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Tough Love

Seeing someone you love lying helpless on a hospital bed, attached to beeping machines and wearing a vomit-green gown will force you to reflect on your relationship with them. Why is it that times of tribulation are often the rare moments in life that provide pure clarity? Ever since I can remember, my grandma has always been hard on me. She shakes her head in disapproval when I come into her house with wet hair. She gasps when I jab my plate in attempt to use hashi. She forcefully offers me food until I concede, then criticizes my less than dainty appetite. My anti-red meat, vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan weight loss antics are constantly a topic of amusement to her. My grandmother isn’t a cold woman, but she never allows herself to be vulnerable. She has never told me that she loves me, that she’s proud of me, or that I’m beautiful. She’s never embraced me in her arms, combed my hair, sang to me, or shared stories from her childhood—all of the things my …