I'm on spring break so I'm home visiting my family in Hawaii for two weeks. I've been here for three days.
I spent my first day back hanging out with my mom who is 84 and I must say is still a blast to hang out with. My mom went through some pretty rough times when I was younger. My dad wasn't exactly the greatest provider in the world (… a HUGE understatement …) so my mom had a lot of financial stress trying to raise my siblings and I. She certainly defered a lot of things that she deserved at the time in order do things like give us food and buy us shoes and stuff like that. My mom is slowing down a bit, but she's still full of life. Thankfully, after retiring, my mom has lived a truly full life. She traveled the world pretty extensively she's been to South America (including Patagonia …), all over Asia, all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, she's cruised the Gallapagos Islands and the Seychelles, and returned from a trip to Japan just a few days before I got back to Hawaii. About twelve years ago, doctors discoverd some pre-cancerous cells in my mom's pancreas. As pancreatic cancer is a very swift killer, they end up removing her entire pancreas, her spleen, her gall bladder, and part of her stomach (who knew you could do without all of those organs, huh?). Because she has no pancreas she is a completely insulin dependent diabetic–type 1. She has to poke her fingers and test her blood sugar four-plus times a day along with shooting up with insulin everytime she sits down for a meal. It can't be much fun, but my mom does it pretty much without complaint … pretty much like she does everything. She's pretty amazing.
My six-year old neice spent the night two nights ago. I was supposed to have all three of my neices and nephew, but the two older ones both got sick at the last minute so just Gracie spent the night. She's a pretty cool kid and she's good company. I picked her up from my brother's house and we hung out at my condo. In the morning we took a long walk down to a coffee shop (Like L.A., nobody ever walks around Honolulu so this was a special excursion) and had some breakfast, then picked up some fixings on the way back and came home and made some cookies for Gracie to take home. Gracie, by the way, is named after my mom which is kind of unusual in Chinese-American families because children are not usually named after a living relative as it was thought to be "bad luck".
Today I got up and went to the gym early then hit the beach. It was really wonderful to just relax on my own with my book for a few hours. I love visiting my family and friends, but I also treasure my alone time when I'm back in Hawaii.
Tomorrow I'm meeting up with one of my best friends and we're just gonna hang out a bit.
It takes a while to get back into the rhythm of island life and get used to how damned slowly every drives, but other than that it sure is nice to be home.