Growing up, my grandmother would watch me and my sister who is just 16 months older than I. We would stand in one of the rows of her green house admiring the pure beauty of the orchids. As my grandmother turned on the hose, the water would quench the thirst of the orchids while the late afternoon sun created a misty rainbow through the water droplets The hanging CD’s were for chasing away the birds. They danced and twirled in the wind.
I remember when I would walk through rows of hundreds of orchids as I admired the colors, scents, and size of the different plants. My grandmother would point me to one to smell the sweet and gentle scent. We would even make trips to her friends’ home to cross pollinate their orchids. When making a haku lei for one of my many hula performances, I would consult my grandmother. She would have a list of her friends’ numbers to contact so that we could pick the best flowers. When I was in the fifth grade, I entered a haku lei making contest, which I won with the help of my grandmother.
I recently went to the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and kept wishing that I could have gone with my grandmother. Reminiscing on the days that I would play in her green house makes it seem like a dream. I always looked up to my grandmother. For every assignment in school that asked me to interview a member of my family, I always chose her. She was a very active woman in the community. She served as the president of both the local Orchid Club and Senior Citizens Club. She volunteered her time at the elementary and middle school down the road from her home where both my father and I attended. Her love was something that I could never get enough of. Now that I am older, I can appreciate all of her wonderful commitments to making her local community a more beautiful and loving place. Let’s face it, things haven’t been the same without her since her passing this February. Since then, I’ve been reminded of her in countless ways. From orchids at the store, to the old Japanese woman on the bus, to the grandma and granddauhter eating lunch together, my grandmothers legacy is always present.