One of my favorite YA authors, Sarah Dessen used to do a weekly meme on her blog called Friday Five. Every Friday, she would post about five things and those things were really random things. Things she was obsessed with that week, great news that happened to her, things that caught her interest in the news and just anything and everything. I’m going to bring that to this blog and just post about five things.
Here are this week’s five things: Five Things I’m Grateful For.
Thanksgiving is coming up and it’s a time when everyone is showing their gratitude toward anything and everything. I thought I’d share five things that I’m grateful for this week…cause why not?
This is probably one of the most recent pictures of Brenna and I really like it. I’m eternally grateful for this girl. She gives my life purpose and even when I’m so rip roaring pissed at her, I’m thankful she’s in my life. I’m grateful to be her Mom because if anyone knows my struggle, it’s her. Yet, despite hearing no more than yes, she’s one of the happiest people that I know. She is the very best part of me and I’m so stinking thankful she’s my kid.
There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to explain how much these two mean to me. How thankful I am to have had my Mom as long as I did and to still have my Dad around now.
My Mom was one of the strongest people that I know. I mean, she had nine kids! There wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for any of us kids and her grandkids. I’m grateful that Brenna grew up with her, that she was able to have a solid relationship with her because despite the attack of the Lilies thing (shut up Mulu, haha), she was a great Mom…especially when I became an adult. She was funny and she was always trying to be cool and I will always miss her.
My Dad is one of the coolest people I know. He’s definitely the coolest Dad cause only my Dad can sit in his mini van in front of the house, banging Silent Night (in Samoan, no less) like it’s DJ Quik. Only my Dad can run errands with two different tennis shoes on and not give a damn. Only my Dad’s old man ass can phone bang on the phone while blaring Boyz II Men on the boombox in his room. Only my Dad can lock his keys in his car and then go from auto part store to auto part store asking if they sell, “you know, that illegal thing that opens cars” then wonder what he said wrong. Haha, only my Dad can do all of that cause that’s how cool he is. He takes good care of me and Brenna and I’m hella thankful for him.
This is one of the last pictures, if not the last picture that we took as a complete family. Mom’s gone now and so is Seko so our pictures are always missing them but not this one.
I’m thankful for each and every single one of my siblings. They make me mad sometimes but for the most part, they make me laugh to the point that I almost pee my pants. Our group texts never fail to crack me up no matter where I am. In my room, in the office, at the DMV office. They’re the best support system anyone could ask for and I’m thankful to have each and every single one of them in my life cause they’re always donating money every year and eating at Aloha Pizza every time for Brenna’s many basketball fundraisers and I love the hell out of them!
One of my favorite things to do is laugh and with each and every single one of these guys, I do a lot of laughing. I’m also a notorious flake and these guys still keep me around so heck yeah, I’m thankful to have fantastic friends like these guys.
My days would not be the same without my daily emails with Holly, Ames, B Nice and Tasha. I love talking, venting and hearing about their lives. Work would be such a drag to get through without these guys keeping me sane, especially with Palagi Valea.
Lilo and Kia were good sports when I
forced encouraged them to be a part of my book club and I loved laughing it up with them every month. I grew up with these two and the older I got, the closer I got to these two and I love having them in my life.
Which leaves me with my oldest friends: Theresa, Hanah, Foti, Ralph and Mulu. The people that have seen me at my best and have been there right next to me through my worst. These are the ones that held me together through the whispers back when I first had Brenna, the ones that have literally bailed me out of everything that I could have possibly gotten myself into, danced on bar tables and dropped down and got their eagle on with me, drove me around town and let me cry the night I found out that my nephew was diagnosed with cancer and the ones that have been my rock through my Mom and Seko’s funerals and every other time I needed them.
I’m so damned grateful for every one of you guys.
 This thing.
I’m an avid reader, I love my TV Shows and I can get all of the above on my iPad. So you know hot damn well that I’m very grateful for this little bad boy that keeps me connected, well read and entertained. Haha, I’m not kidding.
I missed my Mom last night.
I’m not even sure why I missed her more last night than any other night but she was on my mind as I waited for Arrow to come on. I was going through my inbox, reading through very old emails to Holly, Ames, Grace and then Mulu and Therese.
Mulu, I came across an email where you were making fun of me because of the attack of the Lilies and I laughed for a freaking long time.
For those of you who don’t know, the jist of that story is I made my Mom so freaking mad over some burnt cake. She didn’t like my attitude toward the burnt cake (I burned the cake, not her) and she would not let it go. Looking back at it now, I’m pretty sure she was mad about the attitude I was giving her and not the actual cake but back then? You couldn’t tell me that she wasn’t mad over a stupid burned cake.
I don’t remember how the story came up when I was telling Mulu, but I remember telling the story and not trying to be funny. I was dead ass serious when I told Mulu and when I was done, she did the one thing I wasn’t expecting (but should have expected, considering it’s freaking Mulu).
She laughed her butt off. And it wasn’t one of those haha fake laughs. No, it was a full out, bent at the waist, can’t catch her breath laugh.
She didn’t share in my stubborn anger over how extra I thought my Mom was over the burned cake, or fear for my life because my Mom did lunge for me, ready to choke my ass out, she didn’t do anything that a good friend would do.
She just laughed and laughed and laughed.
Though now that I think about it…maybe I was extra. LOL.
After that, she referred to that incident and even my Mom at times as the “Attack of the Lilies” (<---- those of you that didn't grow up with me, my Mom's name was Lillian but we called her Lily). At the time, I did not find it funny. It's hilarious to me now. While I was looking through old pictures to find some really great gems to post on the blog, I came across this picture.
This picture was taken years ago, one Mother’s Day at the Lawndale Building. It was after Church and I remember trying to be patient while my Mom joined her friends to do what they always do after Church (take pictures) and I remember my friend Foti’s Mom making me take this picture. You don’t say no to Foti’s Mom so I dutifully posed for this picture.
We’re coming up on the fifth anniversary of my Mom’s death and there still isn’t a day that I don’t think about her. I can still hear her voice in my head, remember little things about her that make me smile or stories like the one above that make me laugh. There are also things that I miss about her so much that it makes me cry and that is why this picture made it onto the blog as my first Throwback Thursday post.
You never really get over the death of a loved one but there will come a time when you laugh again, when it’s not hard to be happy again. My Mom taught me a lot of life lessons. She taught me to love God, honor my parents, bring Brenna up in the Church and to be a good person.
She also taught me to not burn cakes. 🙂