Reflections on Hawaii – Part Deaux

A few of you mentioned there was a problem accessing last week’s “Reflections on Hawaii” post for which I apologize. For those of you who actually want to read it, here it is again (hopefully). May the Internet Gremlins be on vacation this week.


Reflections on Hawai’i

IMG_1116You may recall my post from last week sharing my joy at being able to witness my granddaughter graduate from high school. The celebration of the entire school was so joyful and remarkable. After the graduation, I was able to enjoy being with my family and to see the sights of the Big Island. Oh Hawai’i, you temptress! Such diversity, such beauty. From cactus to unusual trees along roadsides, to volcanoes and geological formations, the names of which were totally lost on me. I may not be able to pronounce all those Hawaiian names let alone remember them, but they burned their beautiful images in my brain so much so I shan’t forget them any time soon. The people, the culture, the amazing array of plants! Egad, all the things I’ve been seeing…those are freaking house plants in my reality, not garden hedges!

And the smells and sounds! The fresh sea air, I mean, truly fresh, not that salted, almost-bad fish smell that you are more likely to associate with beaches. The pounding of rain on avocado tree leaves in an early morning shower, the coqui frogs in the evening whistling their funny little sound. The smell of fresh Kona lattes every morning (ma-halo to Kim as well as Kevin for keeping me in a blissful state of caffeine-ation) and the cool crisp bubbly swallow of a Kona Brewing Longboard after a long day of sight-seeing. I guess the only two things I won’t be missing are sunburns and poi, but everything else, I’m already missing.

I’ll miss seeing my son first thing in the morning, his humor and amazing knowledge of what’s-what when we were on the road to unbelievable sights of the island, pride in my grandson and granddaughter and their giggle fits about silly things and genuine love and caring for one another, the kindness of my daughter-in-law after she had a particularly rough day at work. The laughter and bond shared by a family connected by something that 3312 miles cannot break (not even when we realized the Mai Tai mix already had rum in it–oops–so much for moderation). And those breath-taking sunsets every night from the lanai. Yes, I’ll miss all of that but have something to look forward to down the road–a return trip. Yeah Hawai’i, you can’t get rid of me that easily.

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Live, love, bark! <3

Catching the wave

A few days ago I traveled to the Big Island to witness my granddaughter graduate from high school. It’s such an honor to share this rite of passage from schoolgirl to poised, confident young woman.  While Sam couldn’t be with us, his absence gave me pause to reflect on this life tradition.
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The Waveriders are the school mascot.  A fitting moniker given the location and when you think about it, a very apropos analogy for life beyond high school.  We all have ups and downs, the trick is to keep riding the wave of life, always hoping to catch the next big one.

in Hawaii, graduation is more than just a celebration of a young person’s transition from school to “the real world.”  It had an almost carnival feel to it.  Mere words seem inadequate to describe the feeling.  People are laid back and casual, some come in T-shirts and shorts, most wear Flip flops.  It’s really about celebrating the human family because indeed it takes a village…parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, school officials, community.  They all play a vital part in transitioning our beautiful children into thoughtful adults who honor them by contributing back-doing the same thing for future grads.  This is especially true in Hawaii. Ohana here means no one gets left behind.

This process is much like hospice therapy. When I return to the mainland, I’ll have an even better sense of that. Witnessing the profound stories of patients, their friends and family celebrating the life of remarkable people. Their final journey to the next life with friends and family near their side, wishing them a joyful journey into the next realm, whatever it might be. While we may be saddened by their leaving us, it kind of reminded me of those high school graduates. They’ll be leaving their families soon, off to college or to begin starting of their own families. Just like hospice patients, they will still need us by their side to reach the next chapter riding the next wave of greatness through our actions or our legacies.  Go forth Hailey!  Catch a big one.  I’ll be here watching you soar till it’s my turn to have you watch me catch my last one on earth. <3