Archive for February, 2011

Kailua Rain

February 23, 2011

Uncle Charlie and Auntie Grace from Australia recently met with my GF’s kids and loved them. C&G are empty nesters and they know a thing or two about raising kids. So, when we went to the Pali lookout and, under the cover of heavy raindrops, saw the Kailua coast, the analogy was not lost.

And, when we drove down to the beach park only to be laywayd by a driving rain that filled the streets with rivers of water, we felt no loss of Aloha from the Islands, but a distinct message from the Island spirits of an unattainable end; so close, yet so far. As we rounded Makapu’u and arrived at Sandy Beach, we wondered why the rains kept following and allowed us to glimpse more Hawaiian beauty the farther from the Kailua coast we got.

Finally, at dinner, we wondered how, with all the wonder of nature spent upon us, had we gone to the Bishop Museum, under semi-cloudy skies, to experience the most intense experience of Hawai’ian culture, we would have pined and lamented for the sunny, kayakable beaches of Kailua.

For me; the teaching moment was in the connection with the elements that reflected the sadness in my heart for the family I have lost and the happiness for the family I have gained. No one can take either away. We are–in the fullness of experience–a family, from Australia to Italy and beyond.


Disabled Veteran Protection

February 17, 2011

Recently, three bills (HB 1110, HB 1111, and HB 1218) were introduced in the Hawaii legislature to help protect disabled veterans from abuse in the Hawaii Family Court system.

These bills, respectively, would:
* Prohibit the court from considering a veteran’s disability benefits for support and maintenance of a former spouse.
* Prohibit the court from making a disposition of property based on disability benefits awarded to veterans; and
* Exempt disability benefits from siezure to enforce a court judgment.

Far too many Hawaiian families are being eviscerated. The adversarial nature of the Family Court pits former friends and intimate partners against each other in the cruelest of ways. A draconian set of laws permit even a short-term marriage to result in a long-term financial commitment.

No one I know would deny that children need support after a failed marriage and there are still some stay-at-home moms who need temporary support to get back into the workforce.

But there are far too many women who are all-too-well aware that marriage is a financial contract and multiple marriages can, and often do, result in multiple streams of financial income on the backs of our most vulnerable servicemen.

Our disabled veterans are particularly vulnerable to abuse.

These bills will help protect our young soldiers, who have sacrificed themselves for our country, from becoming victims of a new breed of tech-savvy, fast-dealing military spouses whose sole aim is to game the system.

Is your ex angry with you? Are you in danger of becoming victimized? Start here at to prepare yourself for what may happen next.

Valentine Legacies

February 15, 2011

Every moment that passes, I enjoy being with you. It’s not just the quiet time that I spend next to you with the TV on or while you finish that novel. It’s not just the turning of a corner in the house and I know you are there. Our conversation continues with depth, breadth, meaning and intensity of ten minutes, a half-hour, or a day before. I enjoy when you go out the door in the morning, confident that you can handle anything that comes your way. I enjoy when I come home in the evening and I hear your voice for the first time–at least, since the last time. I feel comforted, cared for, and contributing. I feel a wellspring of wonder in your infinite expressions and a beginning in every smile. If a tsunami came, I know you would stand fast as I hold on to you. All the forces of nature would pass over us in deference to what we share. If all the atoms of the universe dissembled, we would recombine to make a new element. Because we know the way. You will never be alone. I will comfort you and care for you and contribute to us always. Happy Valentines Day.