Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
I lost my grandmother exactly one month before her side-of-the-family reunion. She decided to attend another reunion. One with my grandfather who awaited her arrival in heaven. After I returned to Utah from her services, I struggled to pick up the pieces of my responsibilities as part of the activities committee. Almost a year of planning and the thing that kept me engaged was the image of my grandmother's sweet smile and the happiness she would feel being around her siblings and their families. I was devastated! All I could think was..."Oh, Mama, you couldn't wait for just a couple more weeks?"
The reunion was fast approaching. After almost a week of ignoring calls and emails about plans for the reunion, I had a quick change of heart. One day, as if my grandmother were standing right in front of me, I realized-- more passionately than ever--that I am an extension of her and a keeper of her legacy. I understood completely the theme we had chosen for our reunion, "Keepers of the Legacy." That day, I promised myself that I would represent my grandmother the best I could and see it through. Wholeheartedly.
I now realize what my grandmother was trying to teach me that day. She lived a long life--90 years--and left a great legacy for me to follow. Her family reunion wasn't for her. It was for her posterity. For my posterity, my precious child. It was for me. To help me remember...my family...happiness...and life in the in between. And to also remember my grandmother's legacy. Though no one mentioned it, we celebrated her life and relived her memories with every prayer that was said, every sip of koko Samoa and every spoonful of food. And, believe me, there was food. Tons of it.
The sounds of Samoan music danced through the crisp Mt. Timpanogos air and we all laughed, yelled, and as we spoke over each other, there was love. Lots and lots of love. It is four days I never want to forget because life is short and in a blink everything can change. In that moment, seeing all my family together having dinner--steam from koko Samoa, the divine curry chicken resting happily on the white rice, and our breakout flash mob to LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem--I was happy. So incredibly happy. It was if life stood still. And I? I felt invincible. I stepped back and took a picture in my heart. It is embedded there forever. It's in these moments I feel alive.
Every morning, I blink my eyes open. I lay for a few seconds, then squeeze them real tight. And thank God. For everything. My pillow, my blanket, the sun, the pile of folded clothes that needs to be put away, the new vanilla air freshener in my car, my precious little family, my family's health, the box of Cheerios in the pantry... This list goes on. I simply start the day by expressing appreciation. When I think back to this picture of my family reunion, I can't help but feel thankful. For my bed, for my life, for an amazing family and everything my grandmother instilled in me. And this makes me squeeze my eyes shut every morning and appreciate life's most extravagant blessings.
To my dear family, thank you for reminding me that life is best felt when you're alive, in each moment.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I knew he was the one when he would send a card with beautiful handwritten love notes. I knew he was the one when he would let me talk for hours over the phone. I knew he was the one the moment he made me laugh, like a crinkled-nose-and-squinted-eyes kind of laugh. I knew he was the one when I learned he does laundry. I knew he was the one when I began to dress up and smile more. I knew he was the one when one fateful night, I finally realized he satisfies my heart and made room for only him.
I knew when I met Uela, that was it. It being my ability to function without him. My heart is at peace knowing I'm walking through life with a partner who knows and accepts everything. Wholeheartedly. Not too long ago we celebrated six years of love. We promised to accept and love each other. Forever. And right then I knew life was nothing short of perfection.
Six years later, still,...you completely satisfy my heart and soul. Thank you for loving me in ways I can't possibly understand.