Amazing to read this post, after midwifing Mom through her passing on January 21, 2016. When this post was written Mom was still in Independent Living within a beautiful retirement home. She was such a trickster that she completely masked the dementia taking place and we had no idea it would become quite an ordeal just 4 years later when at 89 she fell and broke her wrist. It seemed to push her over the brink and she rapidly declined into needing Assisted Living and eventually in a beautiful (but all-doors-locked) facility for dementia/Alzheimers patients. During the last six months she no longer recognized her own daughter (!) but there was NO FORGETTING who her two favorite grandsons, Ryan and Connor, were!! We siblings joked about how we had been “thrown to the curb” for those two boys! Nothing lasts forever, so remember to tell your parents “Thank-you” and “I love you” before someday you no longer have the chance.
Western culture stresses independence. What we take away from that is the assumption that no one can tell me what to do, that my life and my choices belong solely to me, and that my family has no part to play in what I want to do. Meaning: I have no obligations to others. Really? Did you give birth to yourself? Did you raise yourself and protect yourself as a baby?
No matter what western culture might say, ʻohana means that we belong to others and not just to ourselves. A basic tenet in Christ’s teaching is that while we may sin alone, we are saved within the community and the family. That feels very Hawaiian to me.
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