Saying Aloha

Today we said goodbye to Grandma CoCo (she pronounces it Coco, as in Chanel. Cam pronounces Cookoo, as in clock.  The name came from Grandma (who is French) coming over and yelling “Cou! Cou!” as she approached our door.  It means peek -a-boo in French. Since then, “Grandma CoCo (ahem, “Cookoo”) it’s been.

(hold up….my son is looking over my shoulder as I write this and he just said, “Wait, what are you spelling?!” I asked, “What do you think I am spelling?” He said, “That says Cookoo!” I said “What does that say?”  Pointing to what I’ve written above and he read “Grandma CooCoo”. Oh shit. He is starting to read.  Crap crap crap!)

Ok back to my previous sentence…So Grandma CouCou was in town, she was here for a little over two weeks. The kids had a blast, my husband and I had a wonderful time together, reconnecting and communicating. And Grandma got to eat up a ton of time with her two of her favorite little people, Leah and Cameron. Oh! And we got a ton done to the house, including a new roof, and more work done on our bathroom renovations. It was a fantastic two weeks!

So today we drove Grandma to the airport and along the way the kids fell asleep.  My mother in law didn’t want to wake them once we reached the airport, so she kissed them and said goodbye as they each snored happily.  With a honk and a wave, and a tear in my eye, that was goodbye.

I felt a bit anxious. Not right. Like I had a lump in my throat. I was sad.

And then my son woke up.

I saw the look of panic in the rear view mirror as he let out a “GRANDMA!?” and searched the car for her.  I quickly let him know that Grandma got to the airport and had kissed him goodbye and how she would call us so he could talk to her before she took off.  That seemed ok to him. Although he was breaking in and out of tears.

My heart broke.

I was heading to Wendy’s for a square hamburger (it’s a treat…we don’t have one in our town)  when my son woke up.  I quickly wanted to get him a little toy to take away some of his hurt and sadness..I know I know, I am a softy. But the toys at Wendy’s weren’t up for the task.  So not only did I buy myself Wendy’s I then ran to McDonalds to get Cameron a cool kids meal toy.  Yes you could say mommy guilt was in effect.

We got to McDonalds and ordered some toys, I mean food, and then I saw that they had given my SON (all boy) a girls toy.  Damn it…didn’t they know this was my “treat” to make his heartache go away from missing his Grandma CouCou?  Damn you McDonalds!

As predicted, my SON, cried out “THAT’S a giiiiiiiiirrrrrrrllllllsssss toy!” in disgust and a woeful, tear jerking cry fest erupted.

Can’t a kid catch a break?

There we parked, in the McDonalds parking lot under the shade of a palm tree. I climbed in the back and sat squished between the kid’s car seats and together, through tears, we all ate our fast food.  Grease flying, tears rolling, and me trying to remind myself that I am supposed to keep it together for them.  But I just couldn’t help it. I wanted to let them know that it was ok for us to be sad.  It’s a sad thing to say goodbye to people you love and like and care for.

After we dried our eyes and wiped our mouths we spent the next 45 minutes during the drive home, talking about the next time we will see Grandma.  Making plans. Explaining how long a month was. And how it won’t be like a “million trillion years” as my son exclaimed.

And then we watched for whales.  When the topic got too sad about being so far from family, I quickly shouted, “I see a whale!” I really did a few times…other times, well…

We moved to Hawaii to get an experience.  To go out of our comfort zone and have an awesome adventure in Hawaii, to live in a new culture, a new land, and have a once in a lifetime journey. And it is awesome.  But we didn’t move to get away from family.  We were and are very very very close to them.  So it’s almost odd to me that we took our kids to such a far away place.

I have to believe we’re doing what’s right, for us, for right now.  But the goodbyes.  They sure are hard.  And as my children get older, their pain and sadness, it is 100 times harder than what I feel myself.

That is the bitter part of living in this sweet, magical land, of Hawaii….saying Aloha to family and friends as they head back to the mainland.


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  2. Mozell Miyoshi says:

    It’s hard to say goodbye especially to the one you really love, there are different kinds of goodbye’s and I hope that your son will totally let go his grand mother so that he will probably start another day without his grand mom..

  3. It’s true saying goodbye is hard to say.. Most probably it’s hard to say it to someone who means to you a lot! I feel sad of your two kids how they miss there Grandma and I feel it deeply how sad they are.. Hugs and kisses to you both..

  4. Yeah, I lived in Hawaii for about 5 years and felt that same feeling. Don’t get me wrong, Hawaii is incredible but the fact that every visitor is not to stay permanently, can get a bit tough! I can sympathize with that. But then you think, but I live in HAWAII! And then everything is okay. :)
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Bridgestone Motorcycle Tires =-.

  5. I feel the same way everytime I have to say goodbye to my grandma on Maui–I try and visit once a year, but it’s getting harder financially to do it :(

    I hope you and your kids get to see grandma again soon!

  6. Oh Sarah how sad =( I was getting teary eyed just reading it. I can see how close you guys are to your family and that’s great to see. I’m so happy to hear that the kids are very close to their grandma (more so because I had that growing too and am sad Owen doesn’t have the same thing for various reasons). I’m sorry your special treat turned into a mess though. ((hugs))
    .-= brandy´s last blog ..Blast Off by Allison Maslan =-.

  7. Sarah ~ Thanks for taking the time to pen such beautifully written accounts of this touching time in your family’s life! I am sharing it with my sister who has her daughter and three children visiting from Italy. When they go to leave in 2 weeks, I want my sister to have this in her head and her heart. Gracias from my familia.
    .-= Beth Butler´s last blog ..Where is BOCA? A Weekly Contest with Boca Beth Bilingual Fun Stuff as Prizes! =-.

  8. Saying goodbye sucks when you don’t live close to family.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Settling In =-.

  9. It’s hard when you don’t live close to family. It sounds like you had an awesome time with her though!
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..DownEast Basics Clothing – Review & Giveaway =-.

  10. It made perfect sense Shan. We’re moms and when our kids hurt we hurt, no matter what. It’s tough, man!

  11. Oh that sucks so bad, Sarah. But in just a month she will be back. Any chance she will move to the beautiful island with you?

    Can you tell I want to go back there? I haven’t been there since 1990. I miss the beaches. And the locals. And The North Shore. Oh and Waimea. And Crazy Shirts? Do y’all still have Crazy Shirts there? And Plate lunches.

    I miss those.

    I had to take Ro home from school today because they decided she had a runny nose and couldn’t stay, after I had just signed her in. She was devastated and threw a fit, screaming “I don’t want to go home! I want to stay at school!” It broke my heart. And hers. I started crying when we got to the car because her heart was hurting so badly. I know it’s nothing compared to Grandma leaving without Cam being aware of it, but I do feel your pain about seeing your kids sad.

    OK that made no sense at all. Sorry.
    .-= Shan @Last Shreds Of Sanity´s last blog ..Just Another Wordless Wednesday…Tornadoes In Southern California =-.

  12. Oh, I know this feeling well… growing up I was about 3 to 4 hours from the grandparents & aunts… so I did see them often. and when our kids came along we spent lots of time up there as well, until we bought out first home and then financially it was harder & hubby only got 1 weekend a month off & worked every holiday… but we still spent a couple times a year up there.
    now both of our boys moved to different states.. the oldest ( that has 2 boys, under 4) is just over 6 hours away by car, and then it takes a day for our bad bodies to re-coop… and the youngest is across country in CA… so we may see them once every couple of years! It is hard… esp leaving the grandkids.. one time we left when the mama & the kids were still sleeping and the oldest had the same reaction, was upset… the youngest still does not know us from Adam… as little as he sees us…
    so if Our youngest ever has kids.. who knows if we will have the chance to see them… our financial status is not the traveling kind…
    darn, tears…
    .-= Faythe @GMT´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Snow Fun!! =-.

  13. Oh, that gave me a little tear. On the bright side, I would totally hit up McDonalds AND Wendy’s after that trip!
    .-= marybeth @´s last blog ..Sale on BumGenius Deluxe Cloth Diapers: 50% Off =-.

  14. Sarah , I’m sorry . Saying goodbyes are always hard doesn’t matter the circumstances or the distance. I think you and your husband did a wonderful thing by taking your children to the paradise island. Isn’t Hawaii the closest thing to paradise( words from Dog’s Mom). I believe it is good for children given the chance to really be able to experience a different place and culture.

  15. It’s always hard. As you know I know all to well. Sending you all HUGE hugs. xoxoxoxox

  16. Big hugs. It’s hard when family isn’t close
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Haïti Aide =-.

  17. Lisa Furar says:

    It does suck being so far from you:-( Miss you guys:(

  18. You’re killing me Sarah! Right now I live less than 10 minutes from each of my parents and 30 minutes from hubby’s. He wants to move so bad though, to NC, which is I don’t know like 16 hours from us maybe? I want to do it for him and my family and to try something new and not regret it later on, but it’s moments like these that I know would just kill me.

    I hope your littles are feeling better now!
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Pirate LEGO Sets Giveaway and a Kids Autographed Band Set =-.

  19. Goodbyes are really tough. I love it when my family comes to visit but I hate thinking about the goodbyes :'(

  20. Kasandria says:

    Aww HUGS Sarah! Good-byes are tough.

  21. Saying goodbye sure can suck. I hated saying goodbye to my family when I lived a few states away. I’ve never experienced the distance you’re at, which makes it harder and more expensive to just visit. Can you webcam?
    .-= valmg @ Mom Knows It All´s last blog ..Sega Partners with Chiquita Banana for Launch of Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll =-.

    • @valmg @ Mom Knows It All: Yeah we can, once my mother in law gets her camera up. And she gave Cameron her phone number so he can call her directly :) He was really happy about that.

  22. Oh hun…this is such a beautiful/sad post. I’m sorry you had to say goodbye and that it was so hard on the kiddos. I hope you get to have her back soon. ((hugs))
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Is my son the only one? =-.

  23. Awe man, now I’m crying. What a beautiful post. It reminds me when my Nana would say goodbye to me when I was little. I actually hid in the back of her car once, she didn’t realize it till I started gigling in the back seat, halfway down my street!
    .-= Beth´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  24. Goodbyes are hard! I live 6 and 8 hours from my family and don’t see them hardly at all. It is harder for my 4yr old now that she realizes how much she loves them.
    But, we have to believe that where we are and what we do is best for our family right now. May not be in the future…and then we readjust our plans.
    Hope little Cam feels better today!! (mom too!!)
    .-= Kasey@All Things Mamma´s last blog ..I’m outta town! =-.

  25. Awe…that was so sad but so beautifully written! We, too, live away from family due to my husband’s work and I know how sad it is when grandma, in our case Baba, goes home. =(

  26. Oh Sarah I’m so sorry. I hate goodbyes. I’m not of the mind of “Fish and company” if you know what I mean. I want people to stay forever. And poor Cam panicking. I would have cried for him. And what is up with McD’s never having the right toys. It annoys.

    .-= Lee´s last blog ..I Made Mom Central’s Frigidaire Test Drive Team Washer Dryer! =-.

  27. And I want those that write me about moving to Hawaii to see the “real” deal. It’s not all plumerias and sunshine.

  28. Of course. When you move anywhere far from family it’s tough. This is just my story…other than when I lived in Italy (and was single with no kids) I’ve never lived far from family.

  29. thats so hard sara. But i live in the states and i still dont get a lot of visits….so im pretty sure goodbye is hard no matter what.

    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Baby, You Give Review Blogging a Bad Name =-.

  30. New Post: Saying Aloha


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