Christmas Newsletter

Monday, December 17, 2001
Suburbia, California 

Holiday Greetings,

Today, I sat myself down to write our newsletter to be sent with our photo holiday card to kith and kin.  


'Ohana is a favorite word of ours.

It's the Hawaiian word for family, meaning "parents, their children and much more."  As Hawaiian as can be in its inclusivity, it is the "much more" that makes it personally meaningful for us. 'Ohana, you see, also includes grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, neighbors, friends, and community. 

'Ohana is that warm and nurturing feeling of family that those who are bound by heart ties have for one another. This explains why you see six smiles beaming out at you from our photo taken in front of the O, one of ten letters in a row spelling out CALIFORNIA at the Disney California Adventure (DCA) park entrance.  Why the letter O?  O for 'Ohana!  

Click here for an enlargement


Family -- 'Ohana -- is not always what you're born with,
sometimes it's people you find, sometimes it's the people who find you.

This was taken this past summer on one of our happiest days on Earth, when our hanai -- adopted -- family treated us to a fun-filled Disney day and exquisite dinner at Robert Mondavi's restaurant. From L to R:  that's Jonathan, our godson-in-law who works in Disney's business department; Samara, his wife and our goddaughter, a bona fide professional artist/designer; Alana, our goddaughter, recent biology UCSD graduate, en route to graduate studies; Sue, their intrepid mom and our godsister; DH; and in front, Author. Wayne, who grew up with DH in Hawai`i, found us 21 years ago. He and Sue chose us to be their girls' godparents. Eleven years ago, he left Earth too early. He's in the photo in spirit, right there in that puka (gap) between us.

We are 'ohana, in every sense of the word, connected by a history of life events together with its highs and lows, joys and woes, and moves hither and yon. No matter what or where, we drove or flew to be there for our goddaughters’ major life passages, making sure they knew they could count on us.  

After those intervening years of living faraway from us, Sue, Samara and Jonathan, and Alana have miraculously returned to live close by in Southern California. This year, they've gifted us thrice by fêting us on Mother's Day, our Disney day together, and our birthdays. Loving, generous, kind and sweet-spirited, they are loved completely, dearly, and unconditionally by us.  

Thanks to their summer surprise, we rediscovered the irrepressible kids in ourselves, and the following week, in anticipation of our 50th birthdays in September, we bought each other annual Disney passes with unlimited admittance to DCA and Disneyland. 

The reawakened kids in us are gloriously alive and well, as fun-loving and light-spirited as ever. We got our money's worth within the first two months. The off-season is heavenly. No heat. No crowds. No lines. A dinner, show, parade, or just the fireworks is a 10-minute freeway drive away. It’s been 5-Oh! So Wonderful! 

On this sunny, yet cool winter's day, sitting in front of a crackling fire, DH's busy working on the envelopes, while I put hands to the keyboard, tapping out these words to you, with O and Freddy, our dog-kids, at our feet. We are feeling safe, sound, snug, and blessed with the gifts of life and  'ohana -- by blood and by heart, thanks to God's most amazing Grace. 

Together, we wish you the same feelings -- of being safe, sound, snug and blessed -- in spite of the topsy-turviness of world events. We wish you only Aloha, and we infuse this letter with the spirit of 'ohana, because as a recipient of these words, you are exactly this to us: 'Ohana.

With Aloha, 


"Life is a Gift."

Author Unknown

P.S.  If you would like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to this journal entry, you may do it here.  

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
September Morn © 2001