My Momma is one of the strongest, most inspirational, powerful, and bright women I have ever known. It is truly no mistake that I was born to her and that she was meant to have me. Her energy and passion for life is unparalleled and I swear she has to be SuperWoman to do all that she does–not only for our family but for the community and this world!
[Mom had me a couple months before her 21st birthday – there aren’t many photos of me as a baby because we were on the run a lot.]
[Probably one of the only photos of my brother with straight hair. Check out my hair! I rocked that Einstein look!]
Her story is unbelievable (seriously, you wouldn’t believe all the things this woman has achieved) and I would never know where to start. A few Momma highlights:
- being born to to an interracial couple (who had to relocate from the islands) at a time when that wasn’t accepted
- being the first woman to play football on the island of Maui ever (people still stop us and tell us about how great that was)
- being the first woman to get kicked off the football team on the island of Maui (doh!)
- picking up everything to leave an abusive relationship and save the lives of her children and herself — at the age of 21!
- marrying someone so that he could be with his soulmate because she believed so deeply in the power of love
- successfully (well, that’s debatable) raising two children as a single mother
- advocating for women everywhere as the executive director for Maui county’s only domestic violence shelter, Women Helping Women
- traveling all over the country as a very-well-respected and knowledgeable figure in the violence against women sphere
- having a more active social life than her daughter and son combined (seriously, she has more facebook tags at late night events with my friends than I do)
- inspiring women and men (and anyone in between) every single day to lead the lives they love and love the lives they lead!
[I just realized Momma was about my age now in this photo. How truly different our lives are!]
Those were all photos taken before I turned into the evil, angry/depressed everything-is-YOUR-fault-why-didn’t-you-just-abort-me?! child. Seriously. It was bad. Alas, she took care of me through it all (always with the deepest integrity) and I made it through the storm of adolescence (thank goodness!). And now our connection is deep and far-reaching (it sounds crazy, but I can literally feel it when my mom or brother are going through something big – even from across the world – I can tell you stories about my time in Aotearoa/New Zealand). She has always been open and honest with us as her children and encouraged us to do anything and everything we can dream up. And it has made all the difference in my life.
So why have I chosen to write about her today? Well, she just had an operation last week (nothing too major, thankfully) and should have been bed-written for at least a few days (but because she is who she is, she was up and running errands by the second day) so I tried to stock up her fridge with yummies :). After all, our parents take great care of us when we’re young – we have to reciprocate the love and respect. She already had a few things but I wanted to make sure she would be taken care of.
[haha, I hope she doesn’t get shame, but poo-ing is essential! Especially after surgery!]
[As is staying hydrated! Mom is one of the only people I know who actually likes the fake grape flavor, haha. Oh, and she loves cream soda and root beer! – everything in moderation, right?]
I also took a short day at work one day and we went to see the film “For Colored Girls” together. It is powerful! If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to check it out. It addresses so many issues that we face as women of color and as women in general. I feel so fortunate and grateful to be back near my Momma again. I truly appreciated my time of growth and adventure on my own, but we (Mom, my brother Darren and I) grew up together. They’ve been my beacon of light through the darkness. They are my best friends.
Are you close with your ‘ohana? What do you crave when you’re healing?