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. :)
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!