In Hawaii it is always about family. There is a reason that Lilo made sure Stitch understood that ohana meant family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. There is a reason that Moana, though teaching of courage and leadership, sings to you to embrace your family and ancestry. Family is who we are. And though my family has pretty much moved off the islands and into the PNW our family values and love for each other hasn’t changed. It is probably this rooted idealism of how we define ourselves from the relationship with our family that keeps us going. And today, today we need that more than ever.

Today isn’t an easy day for my siblings. I think we have all suffered quietly trying to be strong for our mom, our family, for each other. Today, we sit and embrace the sense of deep loss that has brought us together. Today, three years ago, we had to say goodbye to our father. And, no matter how long it has been, I don’t think it will ever be easy.

But, through this journey, through this last week, I know one thing for sure: the strength of this family will always carry us through.

I know it hasn’t been easy for my siblings. We don’t talk about the loss and how it has affected us much. But, I know it is there. And, my dear brother and sisters, know that today my heart is with you. I pray for peace and for healing to your hearts. I pray that as we go through today God will strengthen and lift us up.

Dad, I hope today you know that the four of us love you. With all of our heart. I don’t know if you knew. I don’t know if you believed. But, we love you. No matter what happened in the past. No matter what was said or wasn’t said, you were our father and nothing could ever change that. I wish I could write a poem that completely explains how it feels to have you gone. But, below is as good as it will get right now.

We love and miss you with all of our hearts. Rest in Love. xoxo

You Never Said Goodbye

You never said I’m leaving,
You never said goodbye.
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knew why.

A million ties we needed you,
A million times we cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.

In life we loved you dearly,
In death we love you still.
In our hearts you hold a place,
That no one could ever fill.

It broke our heart to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone.
For part of us went with you,
The day God took you home.

-Author Unknown