This past weekend, I wasn’t able to really capture the Super Moon as how I had envisioned. On Friday, my abdomen started hurting. I wasn’t sure what was causing it, and just suffered through it as it was manageable at the time. By Sunday, it had gotten progressively worse. A feeling of dread came over me as I was worried it might be something serious, even life-threatening. It became so excruciating, that I contemplated going to Queen’s Hospital ER, but feared that I would be admitted to the hospital. I have so much going on right now that I can’t afford to be out of commission.

At the same time, a good friend just died of pancreatitis and if I come down with that condition a third time, the chance of surviving this round is projected to be slim. It really put me in a depressed state. I felt like I had been given so many chances, but still was gambling with my life by not always staying the course of a healthy diet. When I am stressed, I tend to be an emotional eater. I suffered through Sunday night, with lots of prayer, and was able to see my primary care physician Monday. He was very concerned as well.

I had just had my bloodwork done for my cardiologist the week before, and my numbers were so horrible, that he said I might be his worst patient he has ever seen. Now I was facing my primary care doctor who had seen me through many health issues and several hospitalizations, one of which was almost fatal. As much as I felt guilty, I desperately wanted his assurances that I wasn’t going to die this time. I was going through a feeling of regret, like I had pushed myself beyond the point of no return.

I learn all these life lessons, and then keep pushing the envelope, with so much at stake, like a deeply concealed death wish or the dumbest guy alive. My doctor gave me stomach medicine to try, and then prepared me to have a MRI and Ultrasound if the pain persisted. If it increased, I was to go to the ER immediately. He asked me if I had been under stress lately. I told him it was constant an unyielding, especially now. He said that it was probably a main underlying cause of the condition causing the pain.

I had to stay on my back to keep the pain down as when I tried to get out of bed, or walked around, the pain was excruciating again. I was in no shape to go out and capture the Super Moon. However, when I had to pick up my son late Monday night from school and hula practice, because my wife was working, I managed to get in the car and drive, despite the pain of squeezing my abdomen. I had my camera with me out of habit and thought that when I picked up my son, there might be a beautiful scene from Kamehameha on the hill. As soon as I pulled out of my building, the image of Mauna ‘Ala flashed in my head.  It was clear as day. Go to Mauna ‘Ala. I didn’t even know if you could see the Moon from there given the hills of Pacific Heights and Pauoa Valley but I decided to stop by there on the way to get my son.

I drove to Mauna ‘Ala and parked at the church next door. There was no Moon to be seen. Just a cold windy darkness. I hobbled down the sidewalk to the main entrance and stood there in the darkness. The streets were empty. I was a little nervous about someone coming up from behind and knocking me out to take my camera as I was in a weakened state and vulnerable to successfully fend off an attack by a group of teens which has been happening more and more frequently it seemed.

I stood there in the dark winds looking into the sacred burial ground in the quiet darkness as my abdominal pain either slowly subsided or simply left my consciousness. I remember sending that I wasn’t alone, and often peered around behind me to ensure no one was sneaking up on me. I remember quietly asking my beloved Ali‘i, my beloved Mo'i, what else do I need to do in this life. For these were my leaders. Now in the Spirit Realm, stronger than any President or World Leader of the living. The Sacred Queens, Kings and Chiefly Rulers, the paramount Ali‘i and war chiefs, of my island history.

I had been up to Mauna ‘Ala with gifted friends who could see Queen Lili‘uokalani emerge, Kamehameha the V, Kamanawa, and even King Lunalilo, even though he isn’t buried there. They would share messages. I always stood in humble awe, somewhat grateful that I didn’t have those gifts of second-sight, as I would most likely fall to the ground in uncontrollable sobbing if I did see our Queen in Spirit form.

I quieted myself, knowing my time was fleeting as I had to pick up my son and didn’t want him waiting for me in the dark alone either.  Then, after a few minutes, a soft and beautiful light lit up the sacred grounds of clean and pure Ma‘ema‘e. I could see the Super Moon breaking through the clouds and dark canopy of trees. As I stood there, the Super Moon presented herself in all of her Beauty and Radiance and provided me with light in the darkness.

I could sense much presence on the other side of the fence then. As if everyone was gathering on the grounds to peer up at the glorious presence of Love and Light in the darkened eternal sky. I remained quiet and in awe, just wanting to blend in to the unseen gathering and not disturb anyone or anything.

Then the words came in an inaudible flow into my na‘au. “It isn’t your time yet. You have much to finish. However, mālama i kou mālama. Mālama i kou kino. Find Joy again. Or you will depart this World early.” Frank and honest, just what I needed.

Mālama i kou mālama. Take care of your pancreas. I remember when I first stumbled upon that revelation when I was looking up the word, mālama, in the Hawaiian Dictionary, and all that it meant. To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain.

Then there was the second definition of mālama. A noun. Pancreas. I was floored. My ancestors knew that his little organ was important, and if it went, the rest of your organs went too. That is what happened to me. My message in the ICU in 2012 was to take care of myself, so I could take care of others. Not the other way around. Mālama i kekahi i kekahi. Take care of each other. It seemed like I was still struggling with that lesson.

I stood there humbled. Grateful. Lost in thought. Then the headlights of an approaching car snapped me back to the present. I took my photo to memorialize the experience and then departed to get my son after giving my Love and Aloha to the kupuna beyond the fence.

Now at the end of a long painful week, I remain hopeful. The pain is slowly subsiding. I have to check in with my doctor again next week. Maybe undergo the tests he set up. What I do know, is that it wasn’t my pancreas. That was my biggest fear. I have to learn how to mālama myself all over again, as I often put other’s feelings above my own. I need to set boundaries. I need to set up my space.

There is so much I want to do, but seemingly so little time and even less energy. I need to figure out where the best use of my talents and passion is right now as I grow tired of my professional career and the politics of it all. Twenty-two straight years of unrelenting stress, ‘eha and kaumaha, stole time from me.

My sons and wife suffered, that is time I will never get back as my boys are men already. My Mother suffered. My Father suffered. My sister suffered. Decimated in my absence. Just simply trying to save Hawai’i and the World.

To provide a refuge for the lost, hurt and lonely. Protecting what little is left of these islands that gave us health and life for over a thousand years. The Sacredness of Life. The Life Forces in Light. The Goodness, Compassion and Love embedded in the Land. The Dirt. The Rocks. The Life Giving Waters of Kāne. The Plants. The Fish and Animals. The soaring Birds. And in her Beloved People. This is Hawai’i…

Sacrifice is a part of Life and necessary for the most important lessons for the Soul. So I am thankful for each waking day, and each cool night, under the stars, standing in the winds of Nu‘uanu, in the sacredness of Ma‘ema‘e, at Mauna ‘Ala, under a Bright Beautiful Moon that quietly told me…

Everything is going to be alright…


She Loves Me…


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