Hawaiʻi Nei

Five days days in Hawaiʻi. Each day was full of aloha, ohana and pule for the islands. My Uncle Val passed away and our family was gathering for his memorial. I almost didn't go because of, well, you know ... money. Money nearly held me back but the pull of family and friends was stronger.

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Ironically, there were a few rifts that had formed in the family, as can happen between cousins. Especially when separated by thousands of miles. Social media should help but then there are, you know, the algorithms that messed everything up. In the end, it was also because of the rifts that I knew I needed to board a plane. I needed to see my cousins face-to-face.

When families are faced with death they either emerge weaker or stronger. It's the blessed family that strengthens. Ours is a blessed family.

We celebrated the life of our uncle.

We ate kalua pig and lau lau.

We talked story late into the night.

We went to the beach.

And now, I am back in the mainland. So much is the same but so much has changed. This was my first trip back to the islands as a mother. I didn't have my children with me on this trip but somehow simply being a mother made a difference. In many ways, I rediscovered my place among my Hawaiian people during these past five days. The words still escape me for the moment but I sense the flashes of a poem stirring within me.

For now, I am content with Hawaiʻi nei in my heart. We Hawaiians are so blessed to be the stewards of aloha and pule for our aina. I’m grieving over the greed that has overtaken the island of Oahu. I’m praying for my ohana in Puna, Hawaii as the lava still flows. I am awakening to the deep responsibility I share, along with all Hawaiians. Today. Forever. Always. A hui hou.


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