Island paradise

Hello Amelie's Angels,

I'm sorry for the absence and the empty time in Hawaii was confusing, peaceful, and I wanted to be PRESENT during it. Every time I sat down to write something, I had such a swirl of emotions, I really didn't know where to begin or what to say. so I wrote nothing. I began 6 or 7 different posts, none of which I could actually execute. One day I was feeling ok, then the next day I could feel the darkness creep over me, even in the midst of island paradise. and make no mistake, Maui is my island paradise. I love it there. Brave was bored though. Even with the pool, even with the perfect beach, as soon as we came back to the condo, he kept asking, "when are we going home to our real home? when are my cousins coming over?"

In truth, I was overwhelmed with guilt...guilt at being 'free' to travel, guilt for enjoying myself next to the pool, or in the quiet lull of the nighttime breeze, guilt for sleeping throughout the night without waking up to check on her. For so many months I was so jealous of my friends, they were taking trips to Vegas, Jamaica, New Mexico, ranches in Idaho, New York, Europe, Mammoth .....I was on many occasions depressed, envious, angry with self-pity and dejection that my life was...what it was....and I often felt like a prisoner to it. It was natural, but also incredibly short sided. It was not without total redemption, however, and I started to recognize that my "freedom" to travel would only come at the cost of losing my only daughter, so I started to let it go. and off it went, like a robe before bed to the floor. I was free of that and I was HONORED to be at home with my Amelita.

Not that I could be at home too much either though. As soon as I had a nurse I trusted (we had Charity two days a week), I took off. went to the grocery store, ran errands, took Brave swimming or to park, spent unnecessarily long amounts of time doing things that I knew could be completed in half the time. I could feel myself avoiding my house, avoiding seeing Amelita like that.

And then, in a flash, it was all over. Then she was gone.  and I was on a plane. Then a beach. I felt the warmth of island winds blow through my hair in such a way that it sometimes felt like the Gods were caressing me...then I remembered my shameful, petty attitude and the guilt washed over me again along with the waves of the ocean.

I was not a prisoner. Amelie was. She was a prisoner to 22Q. To Cancer. Then to her dying brain and her immobile body. A prisoner to disease that rocked her entire world. And she sat like that, unable to speak A WORD, unable to eat ANYTHING, for 10 months, while I pouted. I tell you, that guilt will never leave me. I was being liberated. God was showing me the Holy Life and I spent months chastising him for it. What a fool I was. I begged for her forgiveness then, and I beg still.

So I had no choice but to let that guilt wash over me and accept it.  There was nowhere in Hawaii to run from it. Any feeling of imprisonment I had was totally eclipsed by what Amelie was feeling, which undoubtedly was that of bedridden confinement, incommodiously restrained by her inability to move. I just kept hearing a voice in my head say, 'shame on you.' Then the nightmares started again. I haven't slept well since July 1, my body accustomed to waking every hour or two, my mind reeling from being in a deep sleep one minute, to waking suddenly only to discover over and over again that she's not there for me to take care of. I slept in Hawaii, but at the cost of nightmares. I dreamt of her suffering, not in the past, but as if it's happening now. I dreamt of her confined to her wheelchair, outside in the snow, freezing, dark, alone, mouthing to me, eyes wide, "Heeeelllpppp MMeeee" and I had to watch it on TV, like I was so far away from her in another world. I have no idea what this means, but it's eating my up inside. I can remember that dream as if it were real. God, please don't let that be real.

So, to take me from this nightly torture and to provide Bravery with playpals, I called (begged) my dear friend Christin and Jesse to fly over to be with us. A hilarious couple we have known for years, were also close with JT$ and who were loyal friends to us in Virginia, when true friends were scarce, and who's daughter, Scarlette, was Amelie's first and only friend during our time there. They have just recently moved to Hawaii, and thus they're company was deeply needed. Brave was in Hawaii kid Heaven, he and Scarlette played for hours and insisted on sleeping together in the same bed, waking at 6am every morning to play and laugh, and I finally had a chance not only to mourn with Christin (our friendship was forged in grief and her loyalty, courage, and brutal honesty are qualities I find rare and refreshing) but to catch up, and tell her about the last hours of Amelie's life, and talk with her lovely daughters about Amelie the Angel, their friend. I started to feel lighter again, the distraction of 4 kids under the age of 6 wildly fun and exhausting. We laughed, we smiled, we reminisced, we cried, and yoga'd on the lawn in front of the Ritz Carlton (my GOD, that place is effin gorgeous), we read Tarot cards by candle light after everyone had gone to bed, and for that moment: I felt like I could breathe again.

Naturally, yet unexpectedly, I felt the darkness flood my body and heart the morning after their departure, and I awoke angry, irritated, short tempered, snappy. The Hubbs LOVED it (that's sarcasm, in case you didn't pick up on that). The last few days were spent sitting alone, reflecting on the totally uncertain state of my life, and watching the melting sunsets from my cousin's indescribably beautiful home, the guilt lessened by the welcomed distraction of cherished, accepting old friends and loving family.



more from Hawaii to follow.....



his "Hawaii cousins" as he called them, Scarlette and Avelene. 


we yoga where we are.  all the time.


Paying my deepest respects to the most beautifully pink drenched sky I've ever seen.



no filter.  and no comparison to seeing it in person. it was so pink our skin GLOWED almost unnaturally, like it looked highlighted with stage lights...."God's painting right now" my mom used to tell us when the sky was light up like that.

Maybe Amelie was painting it for us! 


Three Musketeers.



being on an island is a unique feeling.