Hawaii love.

My sister Jane’s parting gift was laying Hawaii in my lap.

She had a 3-month all-expenses-paid offer to go to the big island for medical treatment. She wouldn’t go alone, so I had to get over my 20-year fear of flying to bring her there.

She died 3 days before we were scheduled to leave.

A month later, I made the trip for the two of us. I’ve been all around this world, but I arrived on a land that seemed so foreign to me. Nothing was familiar. Not the trees. Not the wildlife. Not the soil. Nothing. Still in shock from her unexpected passing, I wondered what the hell I was doing there.

In the planning stages, Jane insisted we stay on the Kona side, which I thought was an outrageous demand. Here I was, having to face getting on a plane because of her, and now she wanted to dictate where this homebody stayed? We compromised by splitting the time to the mountain side of Hilo where I wanted to be, and phase two would be on the Kona side for her.

I was miserable in Hawaii.

Until I moved to the Kona side. That’s when I fell in love with the island. The magic. The power. The incredible beauty. It’s indeed a place like none other. There, you transform without even trying.

On the 14th of this month, my beautiful sister Jane will be gone 6 years. Turns out, her demand left me with a lifetime of love and healing.

And I just received more Hawaii aloha.

Kona Stories is an independent woman-owned bookstore that supports local artists and the community. Imagine that! More wonderfulness, they accepted this non-local author to feature this week. Please check out their website: and their Facebook page:

Here’s to you for finding the hidden gems in what appears to be insanity. For bowing in gratitude for being led to a place you need to be.

The photo: A Hilo turtle. All 200 pounds of him snuck up behind me and slammed into my thigh. I screamed like a banshee and now I can’t wait to go back and visit him.

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