The Current

I was supposed to be getting ready for school.
I was in kindergarten.
It was dark.
Our windows were decorated with tape.
It looked like huge snowflakes.
My mom was watching the news and told me that I wasn’t going to school that day.
It was the day hurricane Iniki hit Kaua’i.

Hurricane Lane took over the talk of the town this week
from category to category,
stalking up on water and spam,
taping slippers to the ground,
and tracking its path.
During times like these people often say,
“prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
The unsung notes of that phrase is
the weight of waiting,
the anticipation for it to come and pass
and to force yourself to pause
like the eye of the storm.

So the next time something else in life
causes you to prepare for the worst
and hope for the best
remember the importance
and value
of waiting
while being kind to your soul
and living wholeheartedly through it all.
Hopefully that next time won’t be another hurricane in the season.

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The Current

It’s not much.

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Valley of the Temple | Photo Credit: M.M.
“Hi, mama, I miss you. I miss you every day.”

That’s all I could bring myself to say whenever I get to visit her before I break into tears.

It’s been six years and the grieving hasn’t stopped.
It never will.
It’s a part of me,
but it doesn’t paralyze me anymore.

Year after year I thought I read enough books about grief and studied the five stages in hopes of managing my emotions down to a science.

It was helpful in some ways in terms of gaining knowledge and self-awareness, however,
I noticed that I burdened myself with so many tangible steps of how to move forward.
My thoughts ran back and forth like this,
“I should go out so I can feel happy and celebrate life because life is too short.
But all I want to do is lay here and cry, but I can’t allow myself to do that because that means I’ve failed back into this rut that I worked so hard to get out of.
I should go out.
But I just don’t have the energy to do that right now.
But I should.”
I trapped myself into my own introverted game.
I made it harder on myself by that word should and the whispers and paces of others.

It took a while to block it out and it’s still a daily reminder to do so.

I learned that taking a day to deeply feel and cry from missing her doesn’t mean that I’ve crumbled back to step one.
It’s just another step
to feeling human and alive
knowing that I was loved by her
and she is still loved by all.

At times like this I noticed that what’s best for me is to keep the day simple for my own health and well-being:

  • Breathe.
  • Feel everything.
  • Be.
  • Keep breathing.
And with that the day rolls out to its perfect self.

How do you keep the day simple for you?

It’s not much.

Nicknames

Mama's Shades
Mama Liza gave us nicknames that perfectly made no sense, but we kept them anyway. She named her grandchildren: Lee-Lee, Baby, Ri-Ri, La-Li, Baby (again), Bu-boy, Lee-Lit, Baby (once more), and Tu-Tu. There were times when these nicknames were used interchangeably between my cousins and I, but we went along with it. No questions asked.

I remember one typical day at grandma’s house Angie, Gail, Laurie Lei, Erika and I were watching tv in the living room and then we heard Mama Liza shouting, “Lee-Lee, Baby, Ri-Ri, Lee-Lit, Baby, La-Li,” then whatever else her voice trailed off to toward the end of that sentence. We were so confused to who she was calling so, of course, we said, “Erika (the youngest one) Mama’s calling you,” and then we continued to watch tv as Erika humbly tended to whatever Mama Liza needed.
Perks of being the older ones in the group.

Our nicknames still carried on with us just like our love and memories of her.
I still miss her more than my heart can handle, especially today.
It’s been five years since God called her home and within those years
I learned how to be less selfish in wishing she was here calling my name
and more grateful that she is no longer in pain.
Missing her doesn’t get any easier over the years, but it hurts less.
So today I will celebrate Mama Liza with two things she loved: coffee and word search puzzles.

Nicknames

On her side 

It was my favorite sight to see when I came home.
Mama Liza on the left and Papa Lupo on the right.
They sat side-by-side in complete bliss and enjoyment of their favorite company.
It didn’t take much to make them happy.
They were enough for each other more than words can describe.
They sat and swung in a quiet space with the view of their legacy, love, and lines that traced the most beautiful canvas no one could ever create.
He sits on her side now
on the left
swinging with the view of his legacy and thinking of his love.
His smile alone says it all.
Happy 94th birthday, Papa Lupo! I wish I was there to give you a hug, chocolate, and twenty dollars.
On her side 

50 Words 

A lover of coffee, books, photography, and Harry Potter.
Her positivity and laughter is pandemic to family and friends.
She is simply loved more than she will ever know and
she will continue to approach others with love wholeheartedly always.
Ashley strives to remind women that they are beautifully enough.
What would your 50 words be?
50 Words