Saturday, July 3, 2010

on a different note. .. . .

I was the maid of honor in a wedding two weeks back. . . It wasn't a bad wedding. . . . but all the photos of me turned out questionable (I know I was hotter then I looked) but here is a photo that wasn't so bad....

Day after. . ..

Funny how it's the little things that start the waterfalls. . . . .

After the funeral home came and took moms body away, the family came out to the garage which we use as a family room. . . .chairs and tables all around. The rain started, just a nice cooling rain -in this drought, we felt it was symbolic of her saying goodbye to us . . about to eat breakfast and Seu - the oldest of the children started to talk. . . we all looked to the spot that mommy normally sits and then it really sunk in she's really gone. Tears flowing the whole time. As he spoke about feeling lost and wanting for us to do our best to make her final arrangements all that she had wished. . . .he didn't go into the normal business of I'm the oldest you will do this type of thing. . . .he just said as her children we need to make it right. . .didn't talk about the normal FA Samoa custom where all the kids have to give this much money or anything stressful like that. He just said he knew that money is tight right now and if we work together we can do it and make her proud. There was such a sweet spirit in the meeting. It was hard to think of how we could afford everything or how we will plan a service that she could be proud of, but the desire was planted in everyone of us to do whatever we could to make her dreams a reality. .. knowing full well if we could do this, we could and would stay even closer as a family!

We left in the morning to go home, shower and get a little rest. . . Met with the funeral home. they were really nice and very respectful. looked for every discount and tried to give us every idea possible to lessen the cost of the funeral without lessening the respect for mom. Thought I was strong enough. . . the tears had dried, still greatful for the plan of salvation and knowing that I will see her again soon. . . . we were about a mile away from her home and I smiled to myself thinking, We are almost there, I can't wait to see mom - then I thought stupid she's gone. . . .she wont be there sitting in the garage waiting as we pulled up and that was all it took. . . .

Throughout the evening we kept busy doing different things around the house. But later in the evening I had a free moment so I went into Mommys room. .. sat in the rocking chair that I had been in many times during the past few days and just took a moment to miss her. . . I could still smell her and even feel her presence if that is possible. Didn't cry then. . . just felt happy for her. Gone to a place with no pain, no hurt, no worry. . . and probably in the middle of a reunion with the many people that have passed that she misses soooooo much.

I took forward to that day of my reunion with her and others that I miss.

Friday, July 2, 2010

She's Gone

Kemu fell asleep and I didn't have the heart to wake her up. . . I started watching church videos on youtube. . She got up every 1/2 hour to see that I was still with mom. I decided that I could stay awake until 2:30 and then I would wake her up. Suddenly about 10 minutes to the goal moms breathing went slow. . . I thought, "did I see that right" I watched her breathe one more time and then woke Kemu to tell her.. . . immediately she said call everyone in. Tash was awake so I told her first, then I woke Lina, then I went outside and woke all the boys, Ako, Miah, Lincon, then Noka. By the time I came back to her room she was gone. Peaceful, no struggle, quiet. They were all in shock, she had waited until everyone was sleeping, She wanted to go without fan fair. . . with out crying children. . . .without troubling everyone. 2:24am she peacefully left this world to a better one.

What a fighter

Wow, it's almost mid-night and mom is still with us. . . I almost want to say that she is better than she was just a few hours earlier. . .

Enoka and I went home to shower and grab the necessities to stay longer and when we came back it is almost like she is back to breathing like she was a few days ago and the spit up is gone.

What a day. . . when the nurse said she could go in the next 4 hours, the entire family came together. . I left work early and we each had some time with her. Everyone telling her how much they love her and will miss her and thanking her for our lives. . . we all sang for a few hours and now we are all sleeping over. Well most are sleeping - as I am an outsider of sorts. . I waited until now to have my alone time with her. I am glad because Kemu hasn't slept at all this week and she has actually been asleep for a few minutes (doesn't sound like much but believe me it is)

I was amazed at how well so many people could work together without fuss or trouble. Lots of crying of course, but mostly singing and praising the lord. For awhile there we were singing every Church song she knew but we slowly ran out of songs and it was way past time for dinner. Although I include myself with the entire family, I only knew the words to 3 of the many songs that were offered up to the Lord.

At one point in the afternoon, we started to reminisce about mommy and what we will forever miss. One of the greatest things will be the UH football games. . . when Uriah (oldest grandchild) played for UH we were at every home game. . . got broke doing it, but we were there. When he graduated, we started buying the season games on TV. Every game night (or day) we would lug the huge TV into the garage and everyone would bring food and we would cheer for our team. . (win or loose) until the very end. . Passing around sunflower seeds, drinks, candy, food. . sometimes we would even bbq. Mom was the first one out everytime. Noka and I could show up around 2 pm for a 6pm kick off and there she was sitting on the couch with her table in front of her waiting for everyone to show. Yes we will all miss pulling up to the house and seeing her outside waiting for us.

We also began her final arrangements and that was a little hard on everyone. No one really wanted to think about it because she is still with us - technically. . and I only use that term because as we have been told the entire body has officially shut down except for her brain. Even being told this, I know like I've never before understood, that there is a distinct difference between body and spirit. . .It's hard to explain but awesome to witness that her body is tired, and dying, and lifeless. . . yet her spirit is strong and fighting this death with every breath she takes. As difficult as this is to watch, I am grateful for the experience. It has helped me understand more about the plan of salvation in a way that I never could have before.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

update. . ..

Just heard, the family is gathering now. . .

they expect her to pass in the next few hours. . .I'll write more when I can.

Special Moments

Yesterday mom was great. Back at home in her new bed and everyone so happy to see her resting peacefully. Lina and Don spent the day, Ako and Kemu were at mom's side. And Tash was there too when we arrived. They let me have some time alone with her and I chatted some about the plan of salvation. I asked her if she was surrounded by Dad and Tina and the others already gone. I sang to her some of my favorite songs, and just held her hand.

Later, we gathered for Prayer and Song with those present. Ako prayed. It was a sweet prayer asking the father to let her know that we love her and to take her pain away. Enoka led us in one of her favorite songs. . .and then when it was over, we turned on the lights and she had tears in her eyes. It was a really special moment for children who have been waiting for any sign that she is still here with us, and that she can hear what is going on around them.

For the most part of the evening each of the children were talking about things that she had mentioned to them regarding the time that she leaves this mortal existence. Kemu was concerned with the way she wanted the garage. . .she had purchased lattice and wanted it nailed to the sides. . . Enoka was feeling a little bad because we never found the furniture that she wanted to have when people come to visit. Ako keeps reminding everyone that all Mommy has ever wanted is for everyone to get along. I must admit they are all a little worried that the oldest brother will bully them into something that they don't want but they are all getting together so that if it happens they will have a united front. I am just praying that it dosen't happen.

But getting back to the good parts. . .as I was leaving for the 2nd time yesterday. . .I was saying my goodbyes and telling mom I'll see her tomorrow. . .when I was walking away she let out the loudest grunt sound. . .Kemu and I laughed saying that she wanted to say goodbye too and I happily walked out to the car.

Lincon arrived at one this morning and Enoka and I went to pick him up. He was anxious because flights had been over booked and delayed. . .he understood that we had very little time left. We went back to moms and again visited for a few minutes and then got ready to go. . it was already 2 in the morning. When Lincon finally spoke to her as we were walking to the front door. . .He said, "Mom I'm home, It's Lincon" Immediately she gave this loud grunt, just as she had before with me. He then said, "Mommy I love you" and she started coughing like she was trying to clear her throat and then gave a long grunt again. That brought tears to my eyes. . . .It confirmed to me that she could still hear and recognize, even though physically she couldn't respond in a manner that we were used to.

Love you Mom!