My sweet hānai nephew, John, was about to leave Hawaiʻi to move back to San Diego. Heʻs been so generous sending me care packages from home, and he called and told me he was going to send me one last one. I was so thrilled, so grateful for his generosity.
I donʻt go to Starbucks very often, but I asked him if he could get me a Hawaiʻi kine Starbucks card and put $10.00 on it, and he said, “Shuah!”” I told him that I’d send him the money for the card as soon as he got back to the mainland. Cuz I like have one local kind card, yeah? A couple of weeks later, he sent me a box of Hawaiian snacks, (including poi!!!) and told me when it’d arrive. I told him I’d pay him for the snacks, and for postage, too. But he told me, “Pass on, no pass back.” Which is the local kine phrase for ‘pay it forward’.
Nolemana and I picked up the box on a Saturday afternoon, and I put the poi in the fridge right away, cuz I no like um too sour. Then I took a photo of alla goodies. Choke good stuff, I tell you!
Nolemana and I were at a conference all weekend, so I didn’t have a chance to do much else with the snacks till the following Monday.
I wanted to see what the Starbucks card looked like and to put it in a safe place, so I took everything out of the box, but couldn’t find the card. Ack!! Wat? Somebody wen kakaroach um?? So I pm’d John on Facebook, who promptly told me that he was gonna have to find me a room at the Red Roof Inn (the former mental hospital back home…eek! ) cuz he’d put the envelope on the top of everything just before he sealed it. He also told me that he’d put $20.00 on the card. Auē! I told John I’d send him the money anyway. He said, “Eh, no worries, Auntie…da ting going show up.”
Nolemana and I searched everywhere for that card. We took everything out of the box several times. No card. So I went to my default place, which was to assume that I was crazy (yeah, yeah, I know). So Red Roof Inn one good place foa me, yeah? We looked everywhere for the card. Nolemana, bless his heart, even put on plastic gloves and searched the recycle bin and the rubbish, piece by piece. But no card. I searched the kitchen. My desk. My jacket pockets. My whole office. My knitting bags. The bag I took to the conference. The dining room. Nothing. Nada. ʻAʻole.
Itʻs been a really emotional few weeks for me. Lotsa hard stuffs going on. And last Saturday, I kinda lost it. Well, not kinda. I lost it big time. Nolemana was running an errand, and I lay down on the bed for awhile anden started to cry. I felt so lōlō, so incompetent, so disorganized. And ho, did I cry! I haven’t had dat kine wai maka for years. My tears went from my frustration with myself to the Starbucks card, cuz where could I have put it?…to Father’s Day the next day, and I was wailing about my dad, who’d taken his own life years before, to my five doves who’d been killed by a varmint a week before…and I couldn’t stop crying. I cried hard for an hour, curled up in bed, till Nolemana got home. He comforted me and I managed to stop crying. But I still felt awful.
For the next couple of days, I continued to look for the card. $20.00 is plenny kala. I decided to ask my friend Julie, who just moved to Kihei, if she could get me a Hawaiian Starbucks card for $10.00 in the meantime so I’d at least have one. She said she would. I sent her a book she’d wanted, along with the $10.00 for the card.
Then I remembered my friend Linda’s 10-10-10 rule. Will the lost Starbucks card matter in 10 days? Well, yeah, it will. In 10 months? Probably not. In 10 years? No. My girls, Leilani and Anela, reminded me that everyone makes mistakes, and that the important thing is to learn from our mistakes (because I was blaming myself for being so disorganized). So I calmed down a bit. And I let it go. I knew that ke Akua knew where it was and hoped he’d tell me where.
In the meantime, two really nice guys in our neighborhood, who live on Tower Hill up above us, found an abandoned domestic bunny who’d been badly injured and nobody was claiming him. He was in bad shape, with a leg so injured that the bone was sticking out. (Don’t get me started on people who abandon their pets like that!) They took him to the emergency vet and found out that surgery to amputate Sachi’s leg would cost $1500 and they didn’t have the money, but wanted to save this poor, mistreated, bunny, so they started a GoFundMe page for their new pet. I got a nudge from ke Akua, who told me to contribute $20, the amount of money that John had put on the card. So I did. Pass on no pass back.
I didn’t even remember taking an envelope out of the box. All I remembered was taking the photo of the goodies. But I kept looking for it. I felt pretty stupid taking stuffs out of the box more times, but I still did it. No card. I pictured a white envelope with maybe my name on the outside. It was still nowhere to be found.
The next evening, Nolemana walked into my office where I was working, and he held out to me…the Starbucks card in its little brown envelope, which was the same color as the inside of the box. I couldn’t believe it. He told me that ke Akua had told him to check the box one more time (I still hadn’t had a chance to put away the snacks but I knew they were safe there). And so he took everything out for yet another time, and shazam! There was the card! We figured that even though John had put the envelope ontop everything, in its travels across the ocean inside a box that had no doubt gotten tossed around many times, it had fallen under one of the inside flaps of the box. The one place we hadn’t looked! There’s no way we could’ve missed that envelope on the bottom of the box, even though it’s small, with all the times we took everything out of it!
I called John. I asked him if I could please come out of my Red Roof Inn room, that we’d found the card. He graciously said okay. So I did. We were both so happy.
I promptly emailed Julie and told her when the package would arrive. Then I told her to take the $10.00 and take her husband to a local coffee shop and have some coffee on me. She gratefully accepted and said they’d get something cold because they’re still not used to the humidity there. Pass on no pass back.
And now that he’s back in San Diego, I’m going to knit John a hat for winter. Pass on no pass back.
So mahalo nui to John. To my amazing daughters. To Nolemana. To our generous neighbors and friends and to Zach and Ryan who saved Sachi’s life (he’s now doing great as a tripod). To Linda. To Julie. To my friends Susie, Sara, Carol, Rhonda, and my other friend, Linda, who reminded me that they lose stuff too, and that making mistakes doesn’t define who I am. To ke Akua… who continues to teach me that I’m special in his eyes and that nothing I could ever do would change how much he loves me.