Posted in Family, Today's File

Open Thank-You to our Daughter (the Fibber)

Our oldest daughter fibbed to me Wednesday.  She asked for our new address so she could send pictures of the grandbabies.  This morning as we were drinking our first cup of coffee on the porch, a UPS truck pulled up to our trailer.  “Puzzled” would be an understatement to describe our reaction, but ours is the last trailer on this road, and clearly he was here for us.  Puzzlement gave way to astonishment when he stepped out of the truck with a tower of three boxes, addressed to “Dad and Granny” from Kuliakapualokelani & family.  That would be a lot of pictures.

The box marked “open first” was topped with a three-page hand-written letter, in which Kulia shared this story:

About two months ago Lupe, the kiddos and I went to Walmart to get a few things.  Leland had to go to the bathroom, so Lupe took him while Tiny and I wandered around.  Some time later Leland and Lupe returned and Leland had two toys in his hand.  I quickly looked at Lupe like “why did you let him grab those,” but I noticed Lupe had a blank look on his face, almost as if he didn’t know where to begin with the explanation.

So as I stared at him and tried to figure out how we were going to get these toys away Lupe said, “It’s OK, we have to buy this.”  Of course I looked to him for an explanation.

I guess as they were walking back from the bathroom Leland kept asking for everything under the sun.  Well, Leland’s new line is “Mommy/Daddy I want that for my Dirkday (birthday)” and Lupe’s response this time was, “we are going to have to win the Lotto to get you everything you want for your birthday.

Just as he said that a woman tapped Lupe’s shoulder, grabbed his hand, and said, “This is a gift from God.”  The lady said “buy your son a toy and do what you want with the rest.”  Quickly the lady walked away and when Lupe looked in his hand she placed a $20 bill.  We were both standing in Walmart now confused what to do with the money.  Leland had picked out a toy and asked Lupe if he could get Tiny one too.

So we decided to buy the toys, and the rest of the money was to be passed onto someone we thought could use it.  Well, that money has been sitting in our visor and not once have we come across someone to give it to.  So we send it to you. :)

"Ohana means Family, and Family means no one gets left behind."

The three boxes contained not only the passed-along gift from God, but a wonderful supply of those things that can’t be bought with food stamps–toilet paper, shampoo, toothbrushes, sanitary napkins, and so on.  (My Aged Husband, through his tears, managed to joke: “They forgot to include my Depends.”)

My first emotions, I confess, were guilt (it’s not “supposed” to be this way, that our kids would take care of US) and embarrassment (I hadn’t intended my posts of this week to be read as requests)–but it would dishonor their love and their gift to let those emotions have the upper hand for more than a moment.  We said our morning prayer together over the opened boxes–and as we thanked God for (among other things) his Sense of Humor, a Facebook message rang in from Kulia, who was probably tracking the UPS delivery online.  Her message was a quote from this (Hawai’ian) family’s favorite movie, Lilo & Stitch: “‘Ohana means Family, and Family means no one gets left behind.”

To Kulia, Lupe, Lele-Boy and Tiny: We LOVE you.  Words are inadequate. Mahalo nui loa–me kealoha pumehana, makuahine helu ekahi!


I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

28 thoughts on “Open Thank-You to our Daughter (the Fibber)

  1. You have a wonderful family! I, too, have been a recipient of my children’s good graces. My pride almost got in the way of accepting the wonderful gift God gave me. I know that economic times will turn around and I will give back to those who have so generously helped me. God bless you and all those in your life who value you and love you.


  2. Thought I was the only mom who receive toilet paper in the mail from a grown daughter. I appreciate your sharing such a beautiful experience. God bless you sweet sistuh! I think we might just be the richest women on earth.


  3. What a thoughtful and generous gift from your daughter. It’s easy to forget to take care of your parents sometimes – this serves as the best of reminders.


    1. Credit there goes to my Sister Diana (my husband’s ex-wife), who raised three amazing people, and whom I count as a dear friend. ;)
      My own role in this case was “rescuing” Daddy from the *subsequent* ex-wife–who kept him away from the oldest three kids for years, and to whom they refer as “The StepMonster”–so he could become part of their family again. With me in tow… And four more siblings (both half- and step-)… Blended families sure aren’t boring, are they? ;)


  4. I have tears in my eyes from reading this! What a wonderful story on so many levels!!! God bless you all and the woman who gave the gift from God to start it all. Peace and blessngs, Terri


  5. Thank you for the beautiful, heartwarming story. This is exactly what I’d like to see and hear about every day in the media! It’s uplifting and inspirational, and moreover, it’s a great idea! Wouldn’t it be cool if each of your readers were to send a box like this to someone who could use it? We could start a wave that would flow around the world. Blessings and thanks for your beautiful blog, Jeanie


  6. What you forgot to mention is your pride over having raised such a thoughtful child who grew up into such a wonderful adult teaching her children powerful lesson’s.


    1. While I do have the joy of being “another mother” to Kulia, pride in *raising* her belongs to my Sister Diana (my husband’s ex-wife), who brought up three Amazing People, and who welcomed me into the family along with their dad. :)


  7. This made me tear up. I know what it’s like to live on Foodstamps (we are currently on them) and how humbling it is to receive help. I think it’s amazing that your kids did this. This is how community and family should be: loving and helping all the time.

    I love this post. Thank you so much. It makes me want to reach out to people around me more. Sometimes I get caught up into thinking I can’t do much because I’m always on the receiving end of things, but it’s not true. We can always give to others.


  8. Kana ~ Thank you for sharing this wonderful, touching, humbling and human experience. Wow. My heart is touched with kindness and gratitude. So glad that you have such a loving family. A great reminder that we humans are here on Earth to not only be the best beings that we can be but to also share with those we love ~ my best to you and your husband ~ junemoon


  9. What a beautiful story. Thank you for finding my blog and therefore, helping me to find your blog. Now I have something to read when I am procrastinating during Nanowrimo – all those past posts of yours! :) Good luck to you on your Nanowrimo next month!


  10. This was incredible and made ME tear up and it didn’t even happen to me! I love your family and I LOVE the phase “family means no one gets left behind.” Im SO happy for you and know you must have done something very right for God to be looking after you so well. Take heart, I have a feeling things are going to start looking up for you in a big way! x


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