Many of us have been blessed with Great Moms, Gramas, Mother-In-Laws.
What I remember most about the ones I've known is the amazing Aloha Spirit they had for all people. And of course their amazing cooking. Maybe even more important, they taught me the meaning of hard work, and seasoned their teaching with lots of hugs and kisses and other good things.
Growing up in my house with 7 growing kids, I remember that Mom never had to call us for dinner. There was always a line of us with plate in hand... usually including some of my basketball team members, and maybe some friends of my brother and sisters thrown in for good measure. For sure, we had a lot of friends around dinner time at my house. Mom always had two big pots of stew ready for us. She was a very smart woman. But even then, sometimes there were no seconds for us. That was a bummer. But it was okay, because our friends were worth it.
Grama Honey Ho. Don's mom. I loved going to her house! She would always offer to feed me. And, oh my, it was always so good. She was amazing. She could take her leftovers and prepare me a feast that was fit for a king. Like a Chinese 9 course dinner. As I said, amazing. But maybe grandmothers are just that way, having been around for a while. Wisdom of age, and all that.
My lovely mother-in-law. Once a year, on Christmas Eve, she would make her very special Portuguese bean soup. She would make it in four huge pots, and when the word got out in the early days of her making it, family and friends would come from all over the island, some of them traveling 200 miles to get some of that soup. It got saw crazy! My bother-in-law and I would be parking cars all night and hoping that there would me some soup left for us. Sometimes my father-in-law would call out "FHB!" That was a secret word he used. It meant "Family Hold Back", so all the guest could have some before it was all gone.
The Meaning of Hard Work
I was just thinking to myself the other day. I was up at our 80 acre farm with 47,000 Kona Coffee trees. Yes, that can be overwhelming at times. Some us count sheep before going to sleep. I count coffee trees
I was working the trees. And thinking about writing this. And I could imagine some of my friends reading it and rolling there eyes. Sure... the CEO is working hard at the farm. Sounds good in a letter, but....
But I came from a family that had a restaurant and bar. The job of us kids was to clean it in the morning every day before school. Then when Grama came on the weekends to help, she would call out "General cleaning !" and we wanted to run away. But we didn't. We learned to work from a young age. Actually, I knew I was not that smart a kid. I accept that. But she always said that if you work hard in your life you could support your family. And I believed her. I still do.
Hugs and Kisses
I remember my mom saving my butt even when I was wrong. One time I came home with a black eye from a older kid. I was sort of hanging out with his sister, the new word today for dating. Really, it was harmless. I was just in 7th grade. But her brother didn't think so.
My mom greeted me with a big hug and kiss, and took care of me as only a mom can. Then she asked me who the kid was, and where he lived. I kind of told her that everything was okay, we were good friends now, no need for any of that. I might have exaggerated a bit. But the point is that she loved me, and showed it, and I knew she would do just about anything for me.
Although all of these particular very special ladies are no longer with us, they will always be in my heart, and in the hearts of all of us whose lives they were such a huge part of.
For those of you who still have that someone special, please don't forget to let them know just how much they mean to you.
Even if it's just a hand-made card.
Actually, sometimes those are the very best gift.
PS... special for Mother's Day... we're offering FREE shipping on orders over $100, anywhere in the United States, to one address, now through Mother's Day.