Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eight Earthly Winds

Earthly Winds 1 & 2: Gain and Loss
Last year I moved to California from Utah. I spent the next eight months getting reacquainted with my aunt. I learned more about her in eight months than all the years I've been on this earth. I worked a job I didn't particularly like, just because I enjoyed the time she and I spent together.

Earthly Winds 3 & 4: Honor and Disgrace
She lived a hard and crazy life growing up. The stories I could tell you...but then someone would have to die, and the police would get involved, and it would get all messy and ugly. Better for you to just use your imagination...she lived a hard and crazy life. She has numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews...and everyone of them would tell you that she was the bomb-diggity! She was the cool aunt! She was the aunt that would take you in when you were on the run, she'd threaten to beat your butt if she ever caught you smoking weed (as she carefully rolled her joints in front of you), she treated you like an adult when your parents still treated your like you were 10, she was always ready and willing to thrown down in a Jack-In-The-Box parking lot, and she wasn't afraid to say "don't make me get my gun out!" Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was her lifeline to peace and tranquility...and she needed a lot of it!

Earthly Winds 5 & 6: Praise and Blame
On the many long drives that she and I traveled on the way to work, our conversations often turned to her years growing up on the streets. I would have to compare her to Charles Dickens's character, the artful Dodger. She was innovative and clever, and could take care of herself. There were moments though...moments when I could hear the anger and frustration in her voice. It's the voice of that lost kid wanting to ask why her, why not someone else to shoulder the load; why not someone else to be responsible; why couldn't she just be the happy-go-lucky kid? But then, I'd see her take a deep breath and let it out...and the moment would pass. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, is like the roar of a lion! That's how I'll always remember her.

Earthly Winds 7 & 8: Happiness and Pain
No matter how many times I have to walk into a hospital emergency room, the icky feeling that settles in my stomach always feels like it's the first time I'm experiencing it. Does that make sense? I don't think it's the waiting that gets me unraveled, it's the feeling of not being able to control the situation. It's the realization, that willing something to happen or not happen isn't enough; it's like striking out at the wind, and being spun around and around because there isn't anything solid to connect with. She was scared, I know she was. I know she was, because I know I was scared for her. She was scared and she never would have admitted it. I know she was scared, and I would have never admitted that I was scared for her. But I remember her love, her life, her strength, her courage, her kick-ass attitude, her laughter, her dreams. I remember her. I will remember her. I miss her.


Ipo said...

Beautiful, as always, Rita. I'm glad you are coming back to the blogging world. I need to read your writing. It lifts me. I don't know what other avenues you have been taking to deal with your loss, but I know that writing like this helps.

A side note...this picture of your aunt. She looks so familiar to me. Is that a mole or 'beauty mark' down by her right jaw line? I swear I know her. Remind me her name again. And where she's from. It sounds like she grew up in the states, but did she spend some time in Samoa? When? What village? Did she play v-ball? Or was it in Laie? Sorry, thinking on paper...

Take care girl!

Calidore said...

The mark is nothing..picture distortion. Her name is Nu'u Moea'i and she left Samoa (Faleniu) when she was about 2. It's an old pic. I choose it cause that's how I'll always remember her. She was 53 when she passed.