Looking for the aloha in life

Grateful for Music and Memorials

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We had a lovely Memorial Day weekend, punctuated with all kinds of wonderful moments. Dinner with good friends and family, graduation parties, news of an engagement, sunny weather, a good rainstorm, remembering loved ones, and of course, music.

I actually fulfilled a ‘bucket list’ item this weekend, thanks to my sweet sister.  She helped us secure some awesome seats to see U2 (no, there is no shame in being a product of the 80s). This was a fabulous start to a 3 day weekend! It was their 30th Anniversary The Joshua Tree Tour.  Which means that I have been listening to this album for 30 freaking years!  Better yet, U2 has been playing these songs for that long!  When did I get so OLD???  Because last time I checked, I was just an insecure freshman from Kansas living in Harbin Hall trying to figure out this thing called college, right smack dab in the middle of Georgetown University! This particular CD was literally one of four that I purchased right before leaving for college, having finally bit the bullet on making that big switch from cassette tape to CD. Four CDs was all I could afford at the time.  WIth no Spotify or iTunes to help spark some musical diversity, I listened to this album A LOT!

Hearing those songs Friday night, in the exact order of the album, I could almost feel the humid DC air coming through the large window of my old but cozy dorm room, as I looked out over Yates Field House and the soccer fields on a warm Indian Summer day. We would listen to this album as we prepped ourselves to head out for a fun Thursday night, again on Sunday afternoon as we folded our laundry for the week and then again on a Tuesday morning in between classes.  Those songs sounded as amazing to me Friday night as they did almost 30 years ago.  Hearing Where The Streets Have No Name and Red Hill Mining Town live in a stadium filled with a 100,000 people; your body actually feels the music pulsating inside you.  Your chest vibrates to the beating sounds that come from Larry Mullen’s insane drum kit.  It’s like having your body finally feel the physical effects of a song after 30 years of feeling the emotional effects.

Feeling my chest vibrate to the beat of a song was a great physical reminder of how much power music can have over our beings.  Power to make someone feel, move, change, cry, laugh, love, and sing.  A song, or even a particular chord, can send me back 30 years in the past or propel me to push forward and try something new.   The right song can produce tears almost on demand, especially if I am alone in the car.  So, even though sometimes I don’t want to cry in the car, and I will never have the ability to produce a musical masterpiece that creates that kind of power, I will always appreciate the gift of music and those who create it.


We ended our Memorial Day weekend with what I like to call errands-with-a-purpose. Mike was busy working and Dan still had some studying to do so it was really just Casey and me on Monday.  She normally hates to run errands with me but this day was different.  May 30th just so happens to be Kindness For Katie Day.  Katie was a shining star on Casey’s cheer squad that passed away suddenly in April of 2015.  May 30th is her birthday.  We use her day to celebrate acts of kindness in her memory so that Katie’s legacy can continue each year.  We want her spark and her love for all things shiny and ice cream-y to continue to live on well beyond her unexpectedly short life.

Since Casey is in school on May 30th this year, we decided to pass out notes and gift cards to people as we ran our errands today.  We left little packets on the atm, inside Walmart, and passed out several to people around us at the Sam’s gas station.  That was Casey’s favorite.  She was admittedly scared to talk to these new strangers but, once I explained to them what we were doing and why, Casey was glad to hand out our packets, share a hug and answer some questions while I held her hand.  While we still miss our sweet Katie, I am grateful for knowing an angel in heaven that serves as a constant reminder to share kindness to all people.  I know it’s not how this holiday was intended to be recognized but I still think it was a nice way to spend Memorial Day. I will always be grateful for those who came and went before us but served others well during their time. Now, if I can just spread that gratitude through acts of kindness everyday…       #kindnessforkatie

Author: Angela

I'm a mom living in Texas trying to find the aloha spirit in everyday life with my husband and 2 teenagers. Until I can retire in Hawaii, I will continue to love good old fashioned walks with my dog, dabble in home decor, and pretend to play the ukulele. I am passionate about my family, music, and supporting other families, like ours, who have kids with Down Syndrome.

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