By Braddah Lance
The main difference between me in high school and me now, I put on some weig..... muscle.
Actually I'm pretty much the same, muscle excluded, in that I try to care more about others than myself. My friends know that I'm there for them no matter what and even Da Wife sometimes can't figure out why I'd drop whatever I'm doing in a heartbeat when any of them needs anything.
One major difference is when I was younger I knew there was a whole new world waiting to be explored. I dove head first without care and little worry and oblivious to what life really offered all the while enjoying every bit of it knowing there's more. As I got older, nothing changed other than me learning about consequences, becoming much more patient, avoiding knee-jerk reactions and changing to milder peppers in my kim chee temper just to name a few.
It's what we call, experience.
If you've never been exposed to certain things or if you've never had an opportunity to, you just don't know what you've missed out or not. And without experiencing it, you can't imagine how it truly feels or how'd you really react other than thinking how you possibly would.
Before having Da Baby last year, I didn't realize (appreciate) the gift of life. I saw pregnant ladies before. I saw crying babies. I saw parents "taking turns". I saw mother/daughter-father/son time. I saw one share the others enthusiasm. It didn't bother me none. It was something they had/were doing.
I didn't think twice about any of those things until Da Baby came along.
I noticed myself tuning things out around me focusing only on Da Baby whether it be talking "baby" or telling her a'ole for da gazillionth time. I now respect what wahine go through carrying a child and going through labor. I see crying babies and now think maybe the baby needs food or a change and hope the parents take care of it instead of saying "shut the *&%@ up!". I watch as one parent inhales their food while the other occupies the baby all the while just waiting their own turn to eat and I immediately think, "been there, don't forget to chew and breathe" instead of "too bad so sad". I watch mother and daughters (da young ones of course) shop and see the glitter in their eye sharing a moment or two or a father and son throwing a ball and getting coached regardless if the father is clueless about it.
It's a feeling you can't duplicate and it's definitely an experience that everyone may go through differently but it is an experience nonetheless. Not to say that those who don't have keiki don't feel the same but it'll be mighty hard to duplicate. Experiences are just something you can't say you have until you've gone through it. I'm not sure why or how it happened but I get in a zen-like state when I witness even the simplest things like a wintery chill blowing by as I gaze at the Koolau's or people helping people without risk or reward. I take joy in that. Those experiences are worth having.
Then there are others you don't want.
And then sometimes you experience things that are uncontrollable, unforeseeable and out of your hands that you had no choice or chance to accept or deny the experience.
The parents of Drew Iida are personal friends of mine and they need our kokua. With respect to to the parents and ohana, specific details will not be released. There was an article in the October 15th paper and also a not so kind segment on one of the news channels - both which were done without their consent. A short blurb was made on ESPN during the UH/SJSU game which I'm sure many have heard but just flew by since the experience wasn't theirs.
There's a minute few who jump to conclusions and make accusations and I can tell you without doubt or hesitation that they are two of the most caring, thoughtful and considerate parents out there. I've known the mother since we were 13 and she's always been the calm caring type. The father is a big teddy bear with a bigger heart. They provide, care and nurture like any parent would and by no means intentionally put their, or any other person, in harms way. They are good people.
Whether you're moved by what happened or not, it's based on your experience(s). I for one was super concerned once I heard of the injury because it involved people I knew and cared for but even moreso since I had Da Baby it became an issue that hit home.
It could have been my baby.
Something unpredictable. Something out of the blue. It's just one of those things.
Connections by experience is a common thing that brings different people together. It's also one of those things that everybody has but to differing levels and it's called caring. People who don't know each other pitching in, helping out in any way they can, doing whatever they can however they can. It's not about how much help you can give, it's about whether you're genuine about it. It's about doing da right thing at da right time for da right reasons - das da Aloha Spirit!
There will be a fundraiser for Drew Iida (Pray 4 Drew 52) at the Villa at Aloha Tower on October 30th 4pm - 9pm (see flyer below). There will be local entertainment, a silent auction and a fun time to have by sharing a common experience: Kokua.
You can kokua in choke ways. Presale tickets are limited but feel free to show up at the door - all are welcome. If you just want to donate, nothing is too small for the silent auction or monetary donations can be made out to "Pray For Drew Iida" fund. I have verified with a close family member that all proceeds will benefit Drew Iida, and only Drew Iida, to help with his medical cost and care.
No help is too small and any help is appreciated. Don't feel like you have to break the bank to help. While tangible goods can help with immediate needs, the intangible helps just as well.
Let's all Pray for Drew 52 and wish him a speedy and full recovery so that he may experience and pass on what you're passing onto him.
Please respect his parents wishes about the injury and let's focus on what we can control - that's to kokua at his fundraiser.
*** As a small incentive to kokua, if you show up to the fundraiser and find me, you'll get a freebie! Yes, a freebie. No fine print. No $2 short but there is a single requirement,
You have to say three magic words............. "Wassup Wit Dat!".
Just tap me on da shoulder, say it (proudly, sarcastically, funny, watevahs) and you'll get your choice of a personally designed t-shirt or a bottle of kim chee to be delivered later. And even for those who are unable to make it but donate anyways, we'll go on the honor system so just email me saying you did so and I'll hook you up with the prize of your choice.
If we have a confirmed amount of people attending, I'll even try and secure a table for Da WWD! Hui.... so you can see all da lolos dat read WWD!.
Hope to see you there!
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FUNDRAISING FLIER
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE DONATION LETTER
CLICK HERE TO SEE PRAY 4 DREW BOOSTER ITEMS - I'm unsure how many items are left but if you contact the person on the order form, I am sure they'll have the info