We were there, in the sun.

Dear Amelie,

I saw you in my dream
We were walking hand in hand
On a white sandy beach of Hawaii.

We were playing in the sun
We were having so much fun
On a white sandy beach of Hawaii.

The sound of the ocean
Soothes my restless soul
The sound of the ocean
Rocks me all night long.

Those hot long summer days
lying there in the sun
On a white sandy beach [with my Amelie].

The sound of the ocean
Soothes my restless soul
The sound of the ocean
Rocks me all night long.

Last night in my dream
I saw your [beautiful] face again

We were there!

in the sun!

On a white sandy [Virginia] beach
Of... of [California] and Hawaii....[with you, my Amelie].

love, mommy.


Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole ("Bruddah IZ") is no stranger to grief. He lost his mom, dad, his sister, his brother.

I learned today that IZ was an important figure here. Most people think he's just that morbidly obese Hawaiian who sings Somewhere over the rainbow/What a wonderful world (an incredible song, no doubt). But, like us all, he's MUCH more than that. He was a vocal advocate for Hawaiian rights and independence. 10,000 people attended his funeral! and his coffin lay in the Honolulu State Capitol building (an honor afforded only two other people in Hawaii's history, and the only civilian). He is known as the "Voice of Hawaii." He died at 38, my age.

I also just learned in Hawaiian his last name translates “the fearless eye, the bold face.” Be fearless, be bold...be Brave. hmmmm.

Not coincidentally, this song is from his album, Facing Future. I have this album. I've never even looked at the title before. What's even more odd, is that I've never heard this song before. ever. It came on my "Hawaiian music" Pandora station I created yesterday. I looked at my music library, there was the album, yet the song is curiously and strangely missing from it. I have no idea why it didn't download.

I heard it today, hitting me hard, like a wave at your back. I stared outside at the water, the palm trees swaying in the morning wind, and I knew instantly: it was my heart song for Amelie this trip. I've dreamed of her, in horrific nightmarish dreams.......I daydream of her on the beach, laughing, being silly, at night, a night the dreams become tormenting, scary. I wonder if this song is a sign....I stopped and pictured us walking the very beach in front of me. and that image I will meditate on, try with all my energy to take that into my slumber tonight.

It's a calm, happy, reminiscent love song, but for me, it's a letter to Amelie. I miss our beach days. I miss my beach baby. Our guide, Pono, told me that Hawaiians believe the dead are living among us, only a "thin veil" separates us, he said. About the loss of his family, IZ said, "I loved dem with all my heart and soul. When it time for dem fo go, it time for dem fo go..cuz, you know guys, when I go, do not cry for me, guys." and he smiled and laughed.

Hubbs says he feels her all around him in the ocean, maybe I can feel her through music....

maybe IZ's telling me my memories of walking on the beach, playing in the sun with Amelie, are not the sad, distant, yearningly burning past, rather, it's me facing the future...my future where Amelie and I, together, are lying in the sun on a white sandy beach of Heaven.