31 Day Blog: Day 25: My Five Favorite Blogs

31 DAY CHALLENGE

Hee hee…This one could get me in trouble, as I follow many blogs, but most of them have to do with quilting & sewing, so I’m going to pick the ones that don’t have anything to do with my evil passion.  😉

1: The Musical Poet (my all time favorite, and no, Ray, I’m not just saying that!)

2. Piotr Diary  (An excellent, intimate writer)

3. Baseball in Arid Land (a researcher of old time baseball in his hometown)

4. Glenjo (a fellow passionate writer of poetry and stories)

5. Ian Shive (An excellent nature photographer)

31 Day Blog: Day 24: My Favorite Childhood Book

31 DAY CHALLENGE

Being an avid reader, I have lots of books that I have loved over the years, but my favorite book of all time has always been “Free To Be You And Me” by Marlo Thomas and friends.  That book will always hold a special place in my heart!   It’s full of songs, poems, and short stories. I remember sitting for hours on end reading that book. It’s not a book that needs to be read from end to end, I always enjoyed jumping from page to page, to my favorite poems and songs. This was the one book that I was allowed and encouraged to color in, write in, and make my own. It was this book that inspired me to write when I was young.  I’m not sure exactly what happened to the edition I had back then, I believe I left it for my sisters to enjoy when I left the islands, but I do now have a newer edition sitting on my bookshelves, and I frequently still browse through it, especially when I’m feeling a bit down.   It’s definitely a book I recommend for anyone to have and enjoy. 

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 23: My Dream Job

31 DAY CHALLENGE

My first dream job, when I was a kid, was to be a truck driver and travel across the country. Unfortunately, that was shot down when I learned that I wouldn’t be able to drive, due to my epileptic seizures. Back then, I was having them frequently and uncontrollably.

 

My second dream job is what I am doing now, and have been doing for almost 30 years, and that is continuing in the family business of manufacturing custom wetsuits for scuba divers. My grandparents started the business in 1977, and I had worked with them since 1987, and in 1997, I opened up my own business upon their retirement.  I love what I do, I love my customers, and the fact that I can create suits from scratch. I also do repairs and alterations on existing suits. Not sure what I’d be doing if I hadn’t stepped in with the family, but it would most likely be creative, whether it be costumes (as I had the pleasure of costuming a wax museum before working with the family) or some kind of crafting.  But, for now, I’m working my dream job, and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 22: The Best Thing To Happen This Year

31 DAY CHALLENGE

I am going to have to cheat a little bit and go back a few days. To Christmas Day, if you don’t mind. I had posted one of my poems on Craigslist a few days before, as I sometimes do. I post them in the personals section for lack of a better place to put them, and I make it clear to those who reply that I’m not looking for anyone or anything but to get something off my chest and out into the open.  But, on Christmas Day, I got a reply, and for some reason, one that I just couldn’t let go of. We passed emails back and forth for a little while that day, which made it easy for him to see that I was a person in pain and needed a friend. He offered me his continual ear and made a commitment to be there if I needed him. Throughout the next couple of weeks, and into the New Year, we continued our communications and eventually, he thought he’d recognized me, just from what I had told him.  Turns out he was a friend from the past. We hadn’t seen each other for about five years, but we remembered each other from his being one of our parcel delivery drivers.

 

Throughout the last six months, I have been able to open up to this man as we have become good, close friends. Something I have been needing desperately. He has been there for me in many ways, as a friend and a confidant. It’s hard for me to think of my life without him right now. Although we haven’t seen each other for so long, that time of absence is no longer.  I’d have to say that the best thing that’s happened to me is this reunion with a very dear, very needed friend.

Saying Goodbye

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So, today was a bit of a surreal day for me. As I couldn’t make this happen last week, due to work being done at the point, I walked out there again today. My purpose of this trip was to say my final goodbye to my friend, Kai. At least to seek closure with his death.

It was a beautiful day, the bay was calm, and it was low tide, which was perfect. I took a couple of treasures to represent him, and I buried them a couple feet in the sand, close to the waters edge. This would bury them in water when the tides were back to normal.

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When I was done with the burial, I picked up some kelp that had been left ashore by the waves and I spelled out his name with a heart below. I said my peace and turned away to leave.

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As I walked out to the point, I was in tears, but on my way back, I felt good. I was glad I was finally able to do that. The last few weeks just fought me and my attempts to go out and do this. I thought it would never happen. I am feeling better now that I had that chance. I will always love Kai, but at least now, I know he is resting peacefully.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 21: My 10 Favorite Foods

31 DAY CHALLENGE

Note: These are not in any particular order…

1.  Teriyaki Chicken , coming off the bbq

2. Fresh Pacific Ocean Salmon

3. Turkey sandwich

4. Orange bell peppers (I eat these like apples)

5. Ham & cheese omelets

6. Cobb Salads

7. Hawaiian Pork out of the imu (Oh how I miss those days)

8. Fresh oranges

9. Fresh papaya with a bit of cottage cheese or yogurt to fill the “bowl”

10: And for dessert…a 3 Musketeers bar.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 20: A Difficult Time in Your Life

31 DAY CHALLENGE

WOW!! Funny this one should come up now, as I finally come back to the challenge. While there have been many difficult times throughout my life, this last one is very fresh in my mind, as I am still at a point where I can’t believe what’s just happened. I’ve just lost one of the dearest friends I have ever had throughout my life to cancer. And this is just months after we thought he had “Kicked cancer’s butt,” as he put it on Christmas Day.  I have just recently written and posted a story here about my dear friend. It’s been a couple of weeks, but I still go to bed and wake up in tears. I still feel that large rock in my heart, pulling her down, I still feel as though I want to go back to the virtual cave in which this friend found me in almost 30 years ago. I can still hear his voice telling me all will be okay and that I will be able to hold him again. Damn it, he promised. And now…he’s gone. And so is another large piece of my heart and of my soul. 

What It Was…

For it was not in my ear you whispered, but into my heart.

For it was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

For it was not my hand you held, but my love.

For it was not my voice that you heard, but my tears.

For it was not my skin you caressed, but my essence.

For it was not my scent you inhaled, but my presence.

You spoke to my heart.
You touched my soul.
You embraced my love.
You listened to my tears.
You felt my essence.
You recognized my presence.

My Dear Friend Kai

B. October 29, 1966
D. July 2, 2013

July 3, 2013

Kai was a wonderful man, a best friend, a brother, a confidant, and in ways, a lover.

I met Kai just weeks after Ricks death in a car accident. At about the same time, Kai had lost his aunt, with whom he was very close. We were both hurting and feeling very alone.

I was sitting on the step near the door of our high school theater, waiting for my ride home. The school day was over and I had some time before my mother was off work. I was tucked away in the corner with my thoughts and memories of Rick. As always, I’m sure I had a pen and pad in my hands. As I sat there, a young man came darting out of the theater door. “Hello,” he sang. I looked around and saw that I was the only one there. Even he was gone. I thought nothing of it and just went back to my thoughts. A little while later, someone hurried by again, and in the same voice, sang out “hello” again. This time, I looked up fast enough to see his back as he entered the theater door. At least this time, I saw someone and knew I wasn’t imagining things. A couple moments later, he came back and sat down next to me and introduced himself. He said that he’d noticed my sitting there the last couple of weeks and could tell that something was wrong. He’s wanted to come sit with me. He had seen me crying and looking like I needed someone to talk to. I told him about Rick and he told me he had just lost his favorite aunt. He moved closer to me and put his arm around me. I leaned my head on his shoulder, he put his cheek on my forehead and we just sat there together and shared the tears. Although it was a difficult time for both of us, having each other there was soothing and consoling for both of us. Throughout the rest of the school year, and the following year, we were almost inseparable.  To have someone there as a friend and confidant was helpful and our relationship was very special.

He had brought me into the theater to be around some of the most wonderful people I know, even today. The teacher/director was happy to have me there as well, as she was my mothers teacher some years ago. I remember the day Kai introduced us. I had asked her if she remembered my mother, by name, and without realizing who I was, she went off on a tangent, telling us of her memories of this woman I had mentioned. Then, suddenly, she stopped and said, “Wait a minute, why do you ask?” And I replied, “She’s my mother.” She got very excited with hopes that I would be joining the group, which also excited Kai. I expressed my concern of being on stage with my epileptic seizures, and Kai stated that there was plenty I could do without having to be on stage. And that’s how I took over the task if cleaning and organizing the costume room, and working backstage. It was a great way to be involved and to spend my afternoons with Kai and the others.

As the days went by, Kai and I became closer. He knew that I wasn’t ready for a full relationship, after losing Rick so tragically, but we were very special to each other. Basically best friends with benefits, just not all the benefits of most such relationships. The hugs, the kisses, and physical closeness was there, though. It was just what we both needed at the time.

I had left the island after my junior year. Kai had just graduated, as he was a year ahead of me. He was one of the very few I told that I was leaving. Although I didn’t want a big fuss, somehow…and I’m sure Kai had part to do with this…others found out I was leaving and wouldn’t let me leave without a ‘small get together’ with a few of my closest friends. But it turned out to be a bit bigger than I had expected, with the entire theater crew, and a few from our community theater as well. It actually made my leaving a little more difficult, but it gave me a chance to spend one last day with those I loved. Something I hadn’t expected.

Shortly before I left, I became close with Kai’s mom. She was a wonderful, loving woman, and while Kai and I lost touch for a while, she and I continued to write to each other regularly. She updated me as to what Kai was doing, and she relayed messages between us. Remaining in touch with anyone was difficult for me as I was trying to forget the hardships I had left behind. Few understood my reasons for leaving, but I shouldn’t have abandoned my friends like that. I know now that it was wrong. I needed them. I should have seen that, but I couldn’t. Or maybe at the time, I just didn’t want to. It was a very difficult time for me.

I don’t remember just how long it took for me and Kai to be in direct contact again. I believe it was shortly after his mom died. He had contacted me to let me know that she was gone. I believe he had responded to one of the letters I had sent to her. It was so good to hear his voice again. I so needed that. When I began to apologize, he said not to worry, he was just as at fault, and his mom kept him updated. He was just grateful that I had kept in touch with her, as he knew how much I meant to her during those latter years of her life. Now it was our turn to catch up, and this time, to hang on to our friendship for good. I never felt as though we’d lost what we had, as my love for Kai never ceased or lessened in any way. Our closeness remained and it was always there. There was never a break in our friendship, even though we hadn’t spoken in a while, our hearts were still together, we still thought about each other frequently.

It wasn’t until right before I had left that Kai was able to open up freely about being gay. I had known all along, but it wasn’t up to me to bring it up. He thought it would hurt me more than I already was, something he was afraid of. But I made it clear to him that it didn’t matter. It didn’t change the way that I felt about him. That my love for him was always strong and would remain as such. No matter who or what he was. To me, he was the kindest, most loving person I knew. I didn’t care…not that I didn’t care, in the sense. I wanted him to be happy, but it didn’t make any difference as to how I felt about him. I loved him for who he was personally, and for what he did for me. That’s all that really mattered.

Thirteen years ago, Kai met the love of his life. I have yet to meet him and get to know him, but with what Kai has told me and the few notes we have exchanged from time to time, I can see that this man is very special and that Kai loved him dearly. I just wish I could be there with him, to wrap my arms around him and tell him how special he is to Kai and to me. I wish there was something I  could say or do for him to ease the pain as Kai fought this horrible  cancer for the last few years. It’s just so unfair for such a wonderful couple to go through.

Kai, sweetheart, if you’re listening to my thoughts as I write this, know that my love for you will always remain. That I will continue to think of you  and what you’ve done for me and what you’ve given me throughout the years. I will always love Brian for what he has given you. Please give mom my love and tell her that I miss her. Be with her, and know that you are always loved.