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A New Life

A New Life

Everybody’s lives changed on March 13th, 2020 but my life changed before that. In January of 2019, my family and I started to move out of our house in Honokaa. Our house was a good size for a family of five and we were comfortable so I was confused as to why we had to move. Reluctantly I started to pack up my room. I was feeling sentimental. My room was filled with a bunch of paraphernalia from my past obsession with Paris. My white walls were covered with paintings and stickers, my bedsheets were covered with the Eiffel Tower, and my curtains made me feel like I was living in France. 

 I filled each big brown box with my memories from the past three years of living in that house. Before you knew it, our once full house was now empty, with not even a couch or a dining table to sit at.

 I remember asking my mom where we were going to live. She said, “With Grandma”. As a kid that made me so excited  – I loved my Grandma’s house. I would sleep over all the time and I wanted to go there every chance I could. I was thrilled. My grandma was a very fun and strict woman, she would let us do what we wanted but to a certain point and she was very strict about that point. 

Then I got the not-so-happy news;  my dad wasn’t going to live with us. Of course, I was sad but I was happy that my dad was going to live in town. Helping my dad move in was hard, he was staying in this small room connected to his friend’s house. Not an ideal place you wanted your dad to live in, but my dad said not to worry and that it was only temporary.  My dad wasn’t a worrisome person, we never really saw him worried unless it was football season. “I like your new place, Dad!” I said, “I like it too sweetie, you know you can always visit me after school whenever you want.” 

Later my mom and I went to my grandma’s house to start moving in and her house was crowded! There were a bunch of albums and art supplies in the hallway from when my grandma cleaned up the rooms for us. We only had two rooms to move four people into so it was hard but we made it work. We took one room and split it with a bookcase and that made it into two rooms for my brother and sister, then we took the master bedroom which had its own bathroom.  That would be for my mom and me.  I was still like 12 so I didn’t mind sharing a room with my mom. 

We liked our life at my  Grandma’s house. We all ate dinner together as a family and we contributed to breakfast and dinner as much as we could. Our house was kinda of like an apartment complex in a way, all my aunties, uncles, and cousins had their own space and could do whatever they wanted.  For the first few months, my family all ate dinner together and we would just talk. We would also go visit my dad and eat dinner or lunch with him sometimes; then Covid hit.  

Covid changed everything, we could no longer go out to see my dad and it hurt hard for my whole family. We tried our best not to get sick and I continued with school, 6th grade, at home. After a while I started to really miss my dad, I went from seeing him every day when I woke up to only hearing his voice when I would call him on my phone. I never truly understood why he couldn’t live with us until I remembered that my mom and dad were talking about splitting up. It didn’t really affect me that much since I was only 12,  but as I got older and started to understand, it did affect me. I always saw my parents as the best couple ever so I didn’t understand why they wanted to split up.   

This was a rough time for me, but as time went on I learned how to deal with it. I figured out how  I could still see my dad and Facetime him. 

 In addition, I was used to having chores but in my Grandma’s house, she wanted things to get done a certain way – so it took me a while to get used to this.  After I finished cleaning, I always smelled like Clorox and Dawn soap. At Grandma’s we also had more rules that we didn’t have at our old house; the wifi would turn off at around 2:00 am so we wouldn’t be up all night. Also if you made food, like breakfast,  you had to make food for everyone. I think these rules were fair since we all contributed to the food in the house.

After a year or so, it was 2022. Everything was great, Covid had calmed down but my dad had moved to Kona so I still didn’t get to see him as often as I liked. 

Back at Grandma’s, I wanted my own room so I could have my own space. My papa and I  built an extension to my mom’s room for me to stay in. It took about five months to build and I filled my room with plant posters and all my interests and likes. My room still smelled like fresh paint as  I covered my walls with a big map and vinyls of my favorite artists. My bedsheets that once were the Eiffel Tower were now a flower print. Every night I could hear the coqui frogs as I lay in bed.  Time passed, 7th grade ended and 8th grade began.   Needless to say, these were the best years of my life. Moving into my grandma’s house was like an emotional rollercoaster, but as time went on and as I got older, everything worked out in the end. 

 

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  • K

    kamanaoFeb 14, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    Well written and I can tell that you put in a lot of feelings and time in this and that may not have been very easy to express that in writing. Well done and good job.

    Reply
  • C

    CieraJan 19, 2024 at 12:31 pm

    What a beautiful way to share such a special time in your life. As we grow, we learn that life throws us curveballs whether we like it or not; and the key to getting thru is learning to embrace change. This piece you wrote shows everyone that you have learned to do just that:) beautiful! Looking forward to more of your writing

    Reply
  • L

    Lorna OkamotoJan 18, 2024 at 11:33 pm

    Very well done . Sometimes as adults, parents , grandparents, we are caught up in life and what happens, that we forget feelings and thoughts that are around us. It’s good that you were able to put your thoughts, dreams and especially what you were feeling into words…
    All that emotion and how you dealt with it!!
    Never stop , there is so much more out there for you.

    Reply
  • K

    KevinJan 18, 2024 at 1:44 pm

    Very well written and I can tell that you put in a lot of feelings and emotions that may not have been very easy to translate into words. Well done and I hope to read more of your work in the future .

    Reply