I'm comfortably nestled on the couch, listening to songs singing me back in time to things I do not want to fade as this year closes. This year was the year of the water Dragon, the year of the last repetitive date until January 1, 2101, a year of transition and movement. Whatever you believe about 2012, for me and my family it was the next step in our growing up. For us, it was the year of the letter M.
This year, Utah lost a great man: my Dad, James Hanamaikai. After living in Utah since August 1981, Dad was offered a position in Arizona. When I found out he was moving, I sat on the couch and cried. Ian told me that it would be okay, but at the time it was hard to imagine how anything would ever be alright without Dad less than 3 miles away.
First Dad moved, then a couple of months later after as much of the family business and organization and etc... could be settled, Sheri moved down to Arizona as well. I feel like our family appreciates each other more due to this change.
I'm grateful that after all of the years he spent watching out for us as adult children, that Dad finally got a chance to have a great change for him and his wife :) I love that for the first time ever, those two will get to explore life as a couple, without all of us kids and grand kids and one great grant kid clambering through the place. Now is their time :)
Last weekend, my Mom moved as well. She and my Step Dad, Jeff, moved from the home they had lived in for more than eight years. Although her move was approximately 2 miles from her last home, it was still difficult to imagine that she would not be at that place anymore.
In that home, Mom had held dinners and birthdays, had grown immense gardens, had fire pit family nights and had been a place where some of us kids would stay during our own life transitions. That house was a blessing to our family. I'm grateful that Jeff takes good care of Mom. I'm grateful that they will have a spacious new home that over looks the valley.
Both moves are great for our parents. It is as if the year ended, and an era ended. The era of their lives and their dreams, their homes and own spaces are now in place. Moving and moving on. All of this is very good.
This year was the year of babies. If babies are a sign of house hold good luck, we experienced a down pour! Five to be exact, with one on the way.
In June, Kekoa and Melissa had Kiana Elizabeth Kuulei Danner, my little grand daughter. (Insert laughter here haha) Ian's Dad and Step Mom had a beautiful baby girl in July, his Aunt Rani had terrific twins, his cousin Colin and wife Kearsten are expecting, hoping for a New Year's Day baby. My step brother Daniel and wife Brooke had a sweet son too. Babies everywhere!
When I hold Kiana, I remember Kekoa as a baby. All of the tenderness of being his Mother is rekindled and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for him.
When Kiana squeels and bounces/dances to crazy rap music, I'm reminded of a butter ballish Koa who used to hold himself up on the couch and bounce to the beat of his Father's music.
When Kiana smiles, I remember my boy when he was also toothless, wide eyed and the world was full of wonder.
When Kiana snuggles into me and falls asleep, I remember the reason why I loved being a Mom to Kekoa, to Ikaika and now to Madisen. I remember the thought I often had as I watched my babies sleep, here in my arms, you are safe, my Love...stay as long as you can.
These little ones have brought joy and love and life into our family this year. I know it may be somewhat far fetched, but I look forward to them growing up and being best friends, bound together within our family who loves them all.
After months and years of wanting to raise Madisen and have her in his home full time, Ian was given that responsibility in March. It was not under the best circumstances for the M, but we are grateful that she is with us now.
2012 meant no more anxiety about whether or not we'll be able to visit her, no more fear that when she goes home she'll be taken care of, no more tracking, reporting, writing letters, making phone calls, going to court, pleading with others to listen and help; no more waste & destruction.
The M is home now. She lives in a pink palace of a room, crammed from floor to ceiling with toys. She's a Mine Crafter, a Level Two pianist, an Aunt to Kiana, a niece to her baby Aunt M, a step sister to two older brothers she simply adores and best of all, she's safe.
I met Ian through his best friend, Chris Perry, and his brother, Kolby, back in February 2009 when I started working at PMI.
We had a lengthy friendship that was tested by our choices, where we each were at that time in life, the possibility of other relationships and the general not knowing where we were going individually. But after weeks, months and years and life changing experiences together, I like to think we found our feet as "Ian and Kuulei", boyfriend and girlfriend, now husband and wife.
I wrote this to him about how I feel with him back in 2009. It's still as true today as it was then: " In that moment, when you take me under your arm and have me close to you, I am not afraid. I can stand there and embrace you and let that feeling of "you're so wonderful" seep out and it's okay."
I read Ian our instant messaging conversations of days gone by. No one will ever get to read all of them, but here is an ironic one from Spring of 2009 about how we were skeptics on marriage:
"If Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates and You Never Know What You're Going to Get, Then Marriage is Like Running the Gauntlet, You Never Know How You're Gonna Get Taken Out" - Kuulei Hanamaikai in FML (2009)
ian law says:
"Marriage is a good way to not get laid."
-Ian Law in FMD (2009)
I love this man. He and I were an unseemly match at first, but now, we are fairly inseparable best friends, counter balances to each other and happy together...like Frog and Toad :)
All in all, these were the happenings of the 2012 year. I am grateful to have been so blessed to be where I am today. I look forward to all that 2013 will bring us. Happy New Year to everyone :)