A Very Different Mother’s Day

Many of our listeners heard the harrowing tales this week of residents escaping the lava flows and toxic gases erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island, specifically in the town of Pahoa.  My mother Betsy moved to Pahoa back in the summer of 2010, so she was one of the many people displaced by the eruptions from the Kilauea Volcano. My mother knew the risks of moving to an active volcanic area when she chose Pahoa as her retirement destination, and she took very little with her when she moved…her pre-manufactured house was delivered to the one-acre parcel she bought and cleared herself, and for the first year she didn’t have a proper floor or indoor plumbing.  She has since met a gentleman with similar interests in nature, organic gardening and appreciation for the jungle element of Hawaii, and they’ve carved out a nice life there. The communication my siblings and I have had with our mother have been less panicky and more practical: she stands to lose very little in the way of material things if the creeping lava swallows her little parcel, and she reminds us that other victims of natural disasters have suffered far worse than she.  For the first time that I can remember, I won’t be sending a formal Mother’s Day Card to her, as I’m not sure there’s a mailbox there to receive it.  Yes, I’m going to call her and send several adorable Mom’s Day emojis to her cell phone and e-mail account 🙂

John Young



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