My dear friend,
I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you again for taking time out of your trip to Hawaii – to shop and mail me goodies from back home. The reason I bring this up, is that I wanted to a share a story with you.
In early April, I received a message that my Aunt Violet (my mom’s sister, who lives in Alabama) had gone into a coma. I last saw her in person this past summer with my husband and stepdaughter. Aunt Violet was similar to my mom, and since my mom passed in 1993 at the age of 58, I was quite close to this aunt, even though we lived far from each other.
Several times a year I would mail my Aunt – dried shrimp, fish, poi, etc and my Uncle Fred, her husband loved the Chocolate Mac nuts. So, when I moved from HI to Orlando a little over a year ago, this became a little difficult. I’m thankful that you took the extra time to get a few more things on my shopping list, like the dry poi and dried seafood, so I could then mail it to her at the end of March – for her birthday, which was April 8. She usually calls me when she gets letters or boxes from me; however, I got busy and forgot about it.
On April 4, I received a message from my cousin that my Aunt had been in a coma for several days. I drove out the next day. When I got there, she was sitting up in a wheelchair, asleep, with a plate of food in front of her. I couldn’t get any info from the staff and my Uncle who doesn’t hear well to use a phone, was probably going to the airport to pick up his son as he too wasn’t there.
Anyway, I was there for about 5 or 6 hours, my uncle didn’t show, and I had to start my drive back to FL as I had a meeting in a couple days (it’s about a 11-12 hr drive). While talking with my Aunt, who was always alert and oriented, I realized that she had no memory of me, nor many of her ten brothers and sisters, nor any memory of my mom or that my mom had passed. My Aunt kept repeating herself and didn’t want to eat. All she asked me for was a Coke to help settle her stomach. She slept and I sat with her. I went outside to call my family so they would know we must have received the wrong info as she wasn’t in a coma but had lost much of her memory and wasn’t eating.
As I said goodbye to her I realized that I might never see her again. I prayed with her and hugged her. She looked much like my mom. It was a difficult time. When I returned home, I heard that she did eat some poi and dried shrimp. That made my day.
Last week I got word that my Aunt Violet passed away on Wed, April 28. I was in disbelief, yet I was thankful for the time I got to spend with her. I also remembered that one of the few things that always brought her job, was fish and poi; and at the end that’s also the one thing she ate was dried shrimp and poi.
This was made possible, because of you, my friend. I am indebted to you for your hospitality, your time, and spirit of sharing. Thank you for providing a favorite meal, probably some of the last bits of food and memories of Hawaii – to my 85 yr old Auntie. I appreciate you and know that even the small acts of kindness, can have a long lasting and wide effect then you may ever know.
2 May 2010
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