The awakening.

Ever since my last post, I’ve had a lot of people asking me, “Who is this little girl?! I need to know.” And it’s actually very flattering to know people are actually reading my blog and actually holding an interest, but at the same time, it’s nerve wrecking because it’s such a deep and personal experience I’m sharing with people.

I have a hard time opening up to people, let alone the Facebook world. One thing I’ve learned about myself recently is when it comes to emotional struggles and challenges, I run and don’t deal with the problem. I just push it away and tell myself I can get through it. But I don’t actually face or deal with those feelings. A lot of people have been asking if I have a good relationship with my father, and I’d have to say no. Only because there isn’t much of a relationship to begin with. And maybe that’s my fault. This whole experience with my dad, has left me very hurt and very damaged. To say I have “daddy issues,” would be an understatement. I never understood why he never tried to build a relationship, why I was never deserving enough to have a real explanation of why he left, why I grew up thinking he was dead, and why when he came back into my life, did we not have the relationship I always wanted. After getting in contact with my dad for the first time, I expected this picture perfect reunion where I would finally connect with my father and he’d be a consistent role in my life. But, that didn’t happen. I was let down with unbroken promises, and stories and explanations that didn’t make sense. I went through counseling with my therapist all through high school, and even again after having my kids. It got to a point where I said to myself, “I’ve gone my whole life without him already, so I don’t need him now.” And I convinced myself that i would never have a relationship with him, I’d never meet him face to face, I’d never let my kids have their grandfather, and I’d live the rest of my life, fatherless. That became an insecurity, probably my biggest insecurity. I have a hard time letting people in and I subconsciously push people away because “I don’t need anyone anyway.” I made myself believe I was an unloveable person and meant to live my life without a partner, and alone. It wasn’t until a couple months ago when I realized, maybe I was wrong. Maybe I need to face my fear: my father.

For me, this is scary. Thinking of meeting my father gives me anxiety. What if he doesn’t like me? What if the truth hurts more than the stories I’ve been told my whole life? What if I get let down again? Does he even deserve that opportunity? What if I don’t like him? So many thoughts run through my head and I’ve had the hardest time accepting that maybe meeting my father is something I NEED to do. If that’s the answer to all my questions, all my struggles. Knowing that I have a spiritual “gift” is hard to accept at times, because I know that stems from my fathers bloodline. It wasn’t until I had my dream a couple months ago, that things made sense, here’s why….

My mom had moved a couple of months ago and was going through old junk, pictures, files, decluttering. She came across a box. A box that had letters and pictures from my grandmother when I was little. And in it were some quilts she had made. (She was artistic and did a lot of quilting and sewing) When my mom came across this box, she felt like she needed to give it to me. She did. And the second I pulled out the quilts, held them in my hand, and noticed the artistic ability she had. I instantly remembered and recognized this box from my dream. This was the same box that little girl pointed out to me in my dream. Why she did, I’m not sure, I’m still figuring that out. But she pointed it out for a reason. I was suppose to find that box, as a reminder than I needed to connect with my roots, my bloodline. I needed to learn where I came from, learn about my ancestors and what abilities and talents they had that had been passed down.

For a long time, I believed maybe this little girl was just a girl I had helped, and then I thought maybe it was my grandmother or maybe even a daughter I would have one day, but it wasn’t till I found this box, and had my dream again, that I realized that little girl, was me. Or a representation of me.

I’ve always believed I would change the world, I would help people in some way. But how could I possibly do that without being completely humbled with my own life and healing my spirit? I can’t. In order to fulfill MY purpose, and achieve what I was destined to achieve, I need to be confident in myself, face my fears, and get through the most trying experience I’ve gone through. And the only thing that makes sense to do so, is connecting with my dad and my Hawaiian family. In order for me to have the light in my life, I need to find my father. Just like the girl in my dream. She was scared to face the light and find her father, especially alone. But she did, and the end result was rewarding. She reached her destination, the light, “home” with her family. I’ve realized that I don’t have to do this alone, I have people watching out for me, my grandparents, (if you actually have been following, you’d remember my last post mentioned an older couple) and me finding my grandmothers things in that box, was her reminder to me that I’m not alone in this, that my spirit is cared for and protected, I just need to make that step.

After having this dream for 20 years, I’ve finally woken up and been awaken to the message I’ve been too stubborn to listen to. The first step, is building a relationship with my dad. Connecting with my roots and understanding my gift. Maybe what he went through during his time away, is similar to the things I’ve been through in my life. What if his life lessons are the same as mine? If he can help me heal, then I can help heal other people. It’s the only explanation that’s ever made sense of all of this. Who knows? But I’ll never know unless I try. And for the first time, ever, I’m okay with welcoming him into my life.

I’m thankful for everyone reading my blog and following along with me. My next post will be really deep and really personal, probably the most personal I’ve shared thus far, so keep following, leave feedback, and stay tuned. 💜💜💜

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The Dream

It’s been awhile since I last posted, and I left off saying I would tell you all about this dream I had. I originally had this dream when I was about 14 years old, around the same time my father came back into my life. I was living in Vegas at the time and ever since this dream, I’ve had this dream over and over again ever since.

Now, I’m not sure what most of you believe as far as the “after life,” or what you think happens when your spirit leaves this world. But me, I believe in angels and spirits crossing over into a world of light, or heaven, as most of society views it. So if you don’t believe in angels or the spirit world, I’d suggest you just stop reading because you’ll just think I’m crazy or talking non-sense. And for those of you who do believe in spirits, I’m sharing with you, MY dream, and an experience that means something to me, something that’s been a part of me and followed me my whole life. And it wasn’t until now, that this dream even made sense. So here’s how my dream goes:

I’m sitting in my bedroom, listening to music, in my fairly sizeable house in Vegas. We had two garages, one double car, and one single. (The single car was used mainly for storage purposes) As I was sitting in my room, listening to music, I heard something, like a shuffle of child foot steps. I paused my music and turned toward my bedroom door, and saw the trail of a tan, tribal dress walking around the corner. Confused, and thinking there was a little girl walking out of my room, I got up to check and make sure I wasn’t crazy. But to my surprise, as I leaned out my bedroom door and peered down the hall, there WAS a girl. A little girl, probably around 8 years old. (Keep in mind I was 8 when I found out my grandmother passed away.) This little girl radiated a light around her, a glow that was so bright, it was blinding. She had long, dark brown hair, with a natural complexion and flawless skin, with big caramel, brown eyes. She motioned her hand to come follow her. I was so confused because I had no idea who this girl was, but she was silently welcoming. Her spirit felt so familiar but I didn’t recognize her, feeling a sense of comfort, I followed her anyway. She walked me down the long hallway, down the stairs, and to the door of the single car garage. She then pointed to the door, still silent, but I could hear her thoughts as if she were speaking to me anyway. I knew she wanted me to go in there, but I wasn’t sure why. There was nothing but old boxes full of junk and old files in there. I opened it anyway. I followed after her into the garage. She stood in front of a shelf and pointed to a medium box, on the very top. I asked her, “you want me to get that down?”

She held up her hand, signaling to wait and not worry about getting the box down, but I knew she was pointing it out to me for an important reason. She then turned away from the shelf, and proceeded back into the house, where she took me past the living room, through the kitchen, and to my back sliding door that led to the backyard. Again, signaling to open the door. We walked into my backyard, that had gravel and a brick wall. It wasn’t much of a yard and wasn’t very spacious. We just stood there for a moment when suddenly, the image of my backyard started to fade, my house and all the neighboring houses started to fade, and all of a sudden I was seeing a whole different scenery. My yard turned into a village, with tribal tipis and huts scattered for miles. I turned and looked at the little girl, confused, but knew she was trying to show me something. As I turned back toward this village, villagers also started to appear. They were dressed in tribal attire and had such an ancient wardrobe and hand-made weaponry. All of a sudden the girl was no longer standing next to me, but running toward the battle that was about to come. Suddenly, I start to see some kind of tribal war breakout. There were two different tribes, and I could tell by the colors of their uniform. One tribe was red, one tribe was blue. I could see the “chief” of the blue tribe, right in front of me. When all of a sudden, an arrow was shot from a villager behind me and struck the chief right through the heart. He fell to his knees, one hand over his heart-shot wound, the other extended out in front of him, reaching out for something, and taking one last breath of life. He then dropped completely and I could see his spirit rise from his body and fade into the sky, along with all the other spirits from the lifeless bodies of the rest of the tribes. Quickly everything began to fade away and my backyard started to reappear. And as i turned around, the little girl came running from hiding behind a tree screaming, “daddy?! Where are you?”

She started to hurry toward me, and I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that all these souls were just murdered and killed in some kind of war. The little girl began to cry and grabbed me by the hand, screeching, “I need to find my dad, where did he go? Please help me find him.” I wasn’t sure who this girls dad was, but suddenly, something whispered in my ear that this girls dad, was the chief I just witnessed get struck by an arrow. I wanted to help her. But I didn’t know how, when suddenly an overwhelming feeling took over me and urged me to “help her find the light.” I took the girl by the hand, walked to the end of my yard and pointed to a ray of pure, white, light. It became brighter and brighter, the closer we got to it. The girl stopped me and said, “I can’t go in there. Not by myself, it’s scary. Is that where my dad is?” My heart began to break seeing the fear in such an innocent child’s life. She was lost, she was confused, and she was alone. But I knew, the only thing that would save her, was helping her walk into the light. She wanted me to go with her, but I couldn’t. I put my hand against her cheek, looked her in the eyes, and said, “You need to walk into the light, and you will find your dad. It will be okay.” She nodded at me, and began to walk forward, hand still grasped in mine. Each step closer she got, the more our hands began to separate, until finally she was at the face of the light and a golden gate began to appear, standing there was the chief, and a man and woman, appearing older than the chief. She ran in through the gates, and into her fathers arms. As I turned and started to walk away, I could hear “DADDY!” And then my eyes shot open and I lied there awake from my dream.

This dream became so vivid and meaningful, especially because I’d have this dream on more than one occasion. After having this dream, I started to feel prompted to do some research. I knew this dream was real, in some way. Because, back to angels and spirits, I believe they visit us in our dreams, they send us messages and teach us lessons. I began to dig and look around on the internet. I googled the area I lived in, the history behind it and the land we lived on. Turns out, my neighborhood I lived in, USE to be native land that had its own village and tribe. And I started to get this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. I knew I had helped a spirit cross over, I knew I had helped her walk into the light. But I could never forget the girl, I wish I knew her name, who she was, where she came from, and why I ALWAYS felt her spirit around. Even still, her spirit follows me. I’ve felt her my whole life. And it wasn’t until recently, I learned more about this girl.

As much as I would love to go into detail about this little girl, I’d rather keep you guessing and wondering. Plus, if I ruin the ending now, then I wouldn’t have any material for my next post. 😉

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave any feedback. Stay tuned! 💜

The “gift.”

It’s been almost 12 years since my father became “resurrected,” and I still have yet to come face to face with him. I remember getting his first email, at 13, and thinking all the lost father/daughter moments would be made up for. That my dad would finally be someone that actually existed in my life, that maybe I wouldn’t be another fatherless child. But just like any other time, I was wrong. 

In my fathers email, he expressed sooo much excitement, relief, and compassion. He was finally reunited with his baby girl. But that’s all it ever was with him, was words. No action. Maybe I was wrong to expect this perfect relationship with him, or maybe I had too high of expectations. But, one thing is certain, nothing really changed. He didn’t hop on the first flight out to come see me. He didn’t call to hear the sound of my voice. He didn’t even ask much about me. Instead, it was about him. About HIS feelings, his heartache. Maybe it was selfish of me to assume my feelings were the priority. But, the most complicated part about all of this, is there were never any answers. At least not any that made sense. 

I always say there is three sides to any story… and in this case, there’s my mom’s side, my dad’s side, and the truth. Growing up, it was mostly just me and my mom (my two oldest siblings lived with their dad), till my two younger sisters came into our family, and eventually my older sister’s “visitation” came from her dad’s to my mom’s primarily, but mainly, she just wanted to be with all the girls. 😉  ANYWAY, All I had ever known about my mom and dad’s relationship is that my mom LOVED my father, but was also hurt by him. Abandoned. Betrayed.  Left feeling unworthy and not good enough. I’m sure a lot of things I was told or wasn’t told about my father, was for my best interest. I was just a child then, so I know my mother kept me from a lot of things, with the intentions of keeping me safe. I was told my father never came looking for me, but a part of me wonders now, that what if he did, but because my mother was protecting me, I never knew? As far as my father’s side, I’m still trying to understand it. His version of the story is, he did try to come find me but was turned away. He wasn’t given the chance to reconnect with me. 

I went through years of therapy, trying to deal with my feelings of abandonment. Trying to understand why, even after my father had found me (or I found him), he was never there. In my opinion, my father spent too much time playing the victim. He spent so much time defending himself and why HE was hurt, and he never took the time to understand, to the fullest extent, MY emotions, or what I went through. It almost seemed like he spent more time blaming everyone else, then he did admitting to his mistakes. After years of useless therapy sessions, I finally, at 18 years old, decided to close the door on my father. I gave myself the mindset and mentality that, “I don’t need him.” In my mind, I had gone my whole life without my father, who’s to say I needed him now? I was okay with never knowing who he was, with never finding out “the truth.” I was living in fear. Fear of what? If you asked me then, I probably wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. But if you ask me now, I’d say this: I was living in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the unimaginable and unpredictable. Fear that my dreams, may actually be a reality. And that’s why I’m revisiting that. I’m done living in fear. 

Dreams. In my opinion, dreams are the most powerful thing of the mind and soul. I’ve lived my whole life, basing my perspective on “life,” off MY dreams. Because I believe, they are the most pure and purposeful messages we are capable of receiving. Let me tell you a little bit about my “first” dream, the dream that plays the most pivotal moment in my “spiritual” life. If you’ve been following, you’d remember that I mentioned my grandmother died when I was 8. Now, the last memory I have of my father’s mom was from when I was very, very, very little. My uncle had taken me to Hawaii, after my father was gone. And looking back now, I’ve learned that I was brought there, to say goodbye to her. She knew my mother was leaving California and moving to Vegas. I can’t tell you I remember much of that trip, but I do know that the purpose of that trip was for me and my grandmother to connect, on a completely different level. I believe she knew my mother was making a decision to move, and she wasn’t sure when I’d see her next. (After all, my father was gone and she lived in Hawaii and was quickly aging.) 

In the Hawaiian culture, it is an honor and a privilege to carry the same name as someone. You can’t just be “given” a name. Especially one with such strong meaning. I was named after my grandmother. My name is Jennifer Lee Keala lau luni Ontai (fragrant leaf from heaven) and my grandmother’s name is Lydia Keala Ontai. I promise you, you won’t find someone else with the same name. That alone, is powerful. Through a single name, the power behind it, is something I wish most people understood. Because of this name, the spiritual nature and origin of the name itself, I truly believe it holds power. I say this because of my dream. A dream some people won’t believe, because it’s just that, a “dream.”

First though, I’ll tell you this, I remember the day I found out my grandmother passed away. I was 8 years old. I was playing with my barbies. I remember my mother coming up to my room to tell me. I heard a knock on the door, 

“Jennifer?”

I looked up from my Barbie dollhouse, to find my mother peeking through the door. Of course, my first thought was “what now?” But as I looked up, I realized this wasn’t a time I was in trouble, something was wrong. I could see the bags around my mothers, freshly wiped face, from just drying her tears. She came in and sat across from me, at the foot of my twin bed. 

She looked at me, almost as if she saw a ghost. Maybe she did? Or maybe she was at a loss on how to put into words the news she needed to break to me. Questioning my mother’s expression, I just sat there, silently waiting to hear what news my mother had to break. 

“Jenn, your uncle Gil just called. Your grandmother has passed away.” 

She could hardly spit out the words without choking on her tears. But for some reason, I didn’t know why she was crying? A part of me didn’t know what to say, because I didn’t really “know” my grandmother. But in that instant, at that exact moment of feeling and thinking “so what,” a rush of adrenaline and just pure energy began to flow through my body. I remember this feeling so distinctly, because it was the first time, I, as a young human, felt “energy” and felt a spiritual precense. I could feel my grandmother. In my bones, in my heart, in my blood, and in my spirit. That was the moment I realized I had an “angel.” That day, I lost my grandmother, but I gained an angel, and sooo much more. But none of that came to the surface until, “the dream.” I won’t go into too much detail, because of course, I’ll need to keep you wanting more for my next post, but this dream is the most vivid and detailed dream I’ve ever been able to remember, and explain without struggling to remember it. Most people have a hard time remembering dreams, but this dream, this dream is recurring. It’s MY dream. The dream meant FOR ME. I’d rather save my dream for its own post, so Before I end this one, I’ll share with you something that is VERY personal and a vulnerable thing for me to share, especially with the world: a conversation I had recently, with my father. It’s relevance plays a part to this “dream” and what this dream consists of. 

I reached out to my father, after having this same dream, AGAIN, for what seems like the 300th time. And I’ll leave you with that, for now. 😉

Stay tuned for my next post and find out what happened in “my dream.”Thanks everyone who is following along and getting to know me, by reading my story. Feel free to leave any feedback and share my blog! XOXOXO

“Pretty face”

So, for anyone who actually read my last post, you would have noticed the part where I talked about the image I THOUGHT I had of my dad, and how I’d save that story for a different post….

Here’s that post. Lol

Let me start with this, when my father left, he not only left my mother and me, he left his family too. He left everyone. No one knew where he was, no one heard from him. For years. And to be honest, I still don’t know the truth about where he was all those years, all those years I thought my father was dead. Now, I was under the impression that he was dead because the only thing anyone ever told my child self, was that no one saw him and they found his surf board washed up in Mexico? Everyone assumed he died. Because no one knew where he was, and no one ever found him. 

But apparently, he came back, 6 years later. I would have been 8. (Another relevant detail to remember for a future post, is that my grandmother died when I was 6.) He came back “showing up on my uncles doorstep with his pregnant girlfriend.” So yes, not only did I find out my father was alive, but I had a younger brother as well. Now, let me tell you the story about how I even found out my father was alive. It’s quite silly, in my opinion, but I wouldn’t have ever known he was still here, if it weren’t for the evolution of technology and social media. 

At 13 years old, I found out my dead father was still alive. I like to call this moment in my life, “The MySpace resurrection.” 😂 Now, for those of you who know me, you’d know I was born in California, moved to vegas when I was in 4th grade, and then we eventually left and came to Utah, the middle of my freshman year. Anyway, 13 years old, just started my freshman year at a brand new high school in Vegas. It was around thanksgiving time, and we were visiting my grandparents house in the good ol’, small town of Ephraim, Utah, for the holiday break. Being a pissed off, hormonal, girly, pre-teen, who only wanted to hang out with her friends, I was aggravated even having to leave my room. So, of course, 6 hours away from my social life, and long hours of “editing my page” and “picking the right profile song,” I was pretty anti-family fun and get togethers. I spent the whole vacation, on my grandparents computer, messaging people and “pc 4 pic,” because back then only the “rich” kids had cellphones. And you were REALLY cool if you had the “razor.” 😂 So, I was stuck with my grandparents computer, with “rotating times to share with the other cousins.”

It was the night of Thanksgiving, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were all asleep, bellies full of turkey, grandmas homemade stuffing, and mash potatoes. Me, being me, I took advantage of having a few hours staying up late, having the computer ALL to myself, and to be honest, I was curious about my family, mostly my father. I honestly couldn’t tell you what sparked the thought or the curiosity, but I had googled my fathers name: “Pauahi Ontai.” I found only one thing, my grandpa’s obituary. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Until, I actually read it. The obituary listed “members he’d meet in heaven,” and also “survived by” family members. Can you guess which one my fathers name was listed under? (Think about it)

Assuming my father was dead, I questioned why his name wasn’t listed where it should be. Being a teenager, I immediately searched his name on MySpace to see if I could find a profile. I found ONE. Given that “Pauahi Ontai” isn’t a very common name, I knew it was him. But how could it be? How? Why? WHAT?! I looked through the pictures, and the man in them looked nothing like the one I remembered. Immediately, I grabbed my mom, who was also taking advantage of the sleeping house, and catching up on some sappy tv show. I forced her into the kitchen and in front of the computer so she could witness what I had stumbled across. I could see the look on her face when she saw the same thing I had, just a few minutes before. I remember this look, because I remember looking for it. I always told myself that my father was the man who broke my mothers heart. Who turned her into the strong and overcoming woman she is today. The look on her face was one of just, pure and sudden confusion, and a slight sense of ignorance. “That’s not him. It couldn’t be.” It was almost just to impossible to believe. For both of us. What would that even mean? And then, there was one picture that we both recognized. One I know I had seen once before, and in THAT picture, was the man I remembered. Of course, my mother’s reaction was to protect her child. “It’s just someone faking it. It’s not him. I wouldn’t even bother.”

I knew she had a point, but there was still a part of me that wondered, “what if?” I tried not to think much of it after that night. In my mind, deciding what to wear to school was more important. Eventually, vacation ended, we went back home to Vegas, school started, and our lives went back to normal. As if it never happened. I didn’t care about the profile, I didn’t think twice about it. I figured my mother was right, because if that were really my dad, he would have came back for me. My dad was dead and watching over me every day. He was with me and protecting me and was my “guardian angel.” Again, so I thought. 

It was a normal Vegas weather day, hot as hell, and I had just walked a mile home, from school. I remember racing home to have my daily milk and cookies. I came home and remember walking inside, tossing my backpack at the front door, but sensing that something just felt, off. My mother called for me from the other room, wondering if it were me coming through the door. I walked into the room and saw her just sitting there. Peacefully. But I could see her dried tears and it was obvious she had a long, emotional day. I had no idea what was coming. She sat there, fear in her eyes, trying to find the right words to say, “Jennifer,” 

Oh god, here it comes. She said it. What’s going on, now? 

“Jennifer, I just wanted you to know… I reached out to the profile you found…” 

She stuttered over her words from nerves and fighting back that uncontrollable feeling you get when you have to say something, but you’re trying SO hard not to just break down and cry. 

Completely shocked and caught off guard, “and?….” 

She just stared at me for a moment. Almost as if, she was questioning if this was the right choice for me. If saying anymore was a good idea. She was just trying to protect me and save me from the heartbreak she went through. I knew that. But she knew that I’d always question, if she didn’t. So, all she continued with was, “you should go check your email.” 

Without any question, I ran to the office and onto to the computer. There it was. THE email. MY FATHER WAS ALIVE! The email was titled “pretty face,” and in it was a song download, and a two page email. I couldn’t even believe this was happening. What is it going to say? What does this mean? What happened? Is it even from him? I began reading, and the more I continued to read, the more my heart began to fill with joy at the validation of my fathers “resurrection.” Honestly, the email didn’t give me much, because I was told I’d get “the full story when he had time to really put thought into it and explain everything.” But it did have the song. Like I mentioned in my last post, my father was a great musician. Turns out, he was in a band. And some of his time “dead” he was making music. Music about me. And this song was the first and only piece of hope I ever had, that MAYBE “my father did love me and did try to come find me.” 

(I’ve attached the music video for the song, created by my father. But please ignore the hideous pictures he pulled from my myspace, at the time. 😂)

Be on the lookout for my next post. I’ll continue on with more details about the email and what happened afterwards. And feel free to send me any feedback or comments! I’m truly just taking my time with sharing my personal experiences and want to share some of these moments, to help provide a little insight on where I am at, now. There’s a lot we’ve got to catch up on, so keep looking for my next post and feel free to share the link to my blog! ♥️

Pretty Face <<<song link

“Goodbye, baby.”

First, let me start from the beginning. My dad left when I was two years old. My two older siblings lived with their dad most days, so for a long time, it was just me and my mom. To be honest, I don’t remember the relationship I had with my father. My only memories of him are old pictures in old, torn up, photo albums. But I remember the day he left. I was sitting at the kitchen table, drawing a picture. (You know, your typical family portrait of stick figures, with the artistic ability of any average 2 year old. Lol) My mom was in the kitchen of our small two-bedroom apartment. Making lunch, and probably stressing about “adult” problems, that I had no idea about… until now. The phone rang. My mom answered, “where are you?” I could hear in the sound of her voice, a tone that is too familiar to me now. I could sense the worry, the fear, the anger, almost as if I knew he was leaving. As I continued to draw my final stick figure, to finish my “family portrait,” I sat there silently and anxiously, questioning if my mom would begin to burst in tears, and fall to her knees in disappointment, left feeling abandoned. But, as I looked over she began to hand the phone over to me.

“Jennifer, your dad wants to talk to you.”

Even though I was only two years old, I knew that when someone called me “Jennifer,” it meant I was either, in trouble, or something was wrong. Shuffling my crayon out of my hand into the other, I reached for the phone.

“Hi, daddy”

I noticed a brief second of silence and a deep breath come out of my fathers mouth, almost as if he was second guessing his choice. But it was already made. Although, to coward to admit it. We exchanged a few words of the casual, “what are you doing, I miss you” between a father and his toddler daughter, sitting on the other end, expecting her fathers arrival for “their weekend.” This was the moment I experienced my first, real, genuine, raw, and emotional heartbreak.

“Jennifer, I love you. I wish I could come get you for the weekend, but I can’t. But I will see you soon. Goodbye baby.”

As these harsh, glass-cutting, heart breaking words fled into my ears like a sad lullaby, I had just finished bleeding my crayon onto my paper, curling the half way written, “d,” to finish the last family member of my stick figured, family drawing. “Dad.”

That was the last time I’ve ever heard my dads voice. The last, distinct memory I have of him. Because in that moment. I knew my heart was breaking, the way my mothers had, moments before. I heard the voice tell my two year old self, to “let go.” I knew that moment was the moment my father was leaving. My father was addicted to drugs. Meth, to be exact. He made bad choices, he was in a dark place, and he chose to be an addict. I hadn’t heard from him for years. 

The story I was told, was no one knew where he went. He just, left. Apparently they found his surfboard in Mexico. Or maybe he left and just didn’t come back or think to come find me. Or maybe he came back and was pushed away. All I know is, I was told and I believed my father was dead. I told myself he was a good person, because everyone spoke so highly of him and his musical talents. He was very creative and athletic and smart. He was loved by everyone and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He came from a big family of traditional Hawaiian and Chinese beliefs and nationality, he was loved and supported in everything he did. He was the baby of the family, and the only child my grandmother and grandfather had together. (They both had 6 children from previous marriages, making my father the 13th.) He was intelligent and inspirational. His bright and loving spirit was contagious and he had the voice of an angel. But he was also an addict. He was emotional and confused and lost. He let himself become weak. And drugs took over his life.

Well, this was the image I had of him anyway. But that all changed when I was 13 years old. (But that’s a whole different story, that deserves its own post. 😂)

After 24 years, I’m revisiting the most vulnerable and heartbreaking moment in my life. I’ve always ran and ignored the conversations about my father. I never liked to talk about it because no one likes to talk about how sad they are that their daddy left. And, no one ever asked. I’m learning that I truly haven’t let go of that moment. I haven’t given up on the thought of “Goodbye, baby” being the last words I’d ever hear my father say. I always thought he’d come back, that he’d “show up.” But he didn’t. Because of that, it’s affected me. As painfully as it is for me to admit, it has. It’s affected me in my relationships, in my friendships, and even in loving myself. I always push people away because I think they’ll always leave. I worry and get insecure because I feel like I’ll never be enough. Why? Because I know I am enough, I know I am special and beautiful. I’ve learned I need to go back, find the answers I’ve always asked myself but chosen to ignore. “Where do I come from?” “Who am I?” “Why do I feel this way and react this way?” 

My mother was adopted, and because of my fathers absence, the only blood relatives I know are my mom and my siblings. I had very short relationships with family members from my fathers side, some I don’t even remember, and the relationship we had with my mothers birth mom, was short lived, as she passed away years ago. So really, I don’t know what makes, me, “me.” And sure, some people may think that those things don’t define a person or justify anyone’s purpose in life. And some people even have religious beliefs. But MY beliefs, MY spirit, and MY heart, are natural and pure and sometimes emotional. 

I believe that DNA and the spirit of creating a life between two people and where they come from, play an important factor in what makes a person what they are. Why do I have certain tendencies? Why do I like certain foods? Why do I not like certain foods? Why does this music feel natural and soothing? What illnesses run in my family? These are all things, I question, anyone questions, really. But I’ve never allowed myself to find out. I’ve run from it because of the fear of facing my father. What if he was happy without me? What if I wasn’t enough and that’s why he left? Why didn’t he love me? I was scared. But I’m learning now, that I need to put those questions and insecurities to rest. I need to know where I come from and what makes me, me. I need to learn to love myself so I can love in my relationship, but most importantly so I can love my kids, so I can show them that I love myself and they should always live to love themselves as well. To never be afraid to feel alone. 

My boys have the greatest souls. Their spirits are pure, and delicate and heavenly. I know they are capable of amazing things. Things beyond this world. They were given to me for a reason. I’ve always known that certain things and certain people have happened in my life for a reason. It wasn’t just significance. And lately that’s becoming even more validated. But I know there’s something I need to find, something out there for me, and something meant for ME. I feel it in my heart and in my bones. I know what I’m capable of. But only I do, because that’s what I’ve chosen to do. I’ve bottled it up inside and never talked about because I was insecure and afraid. But this is me, making a change, and sharing my experience and my vulnerability with the world. I’m going back to my moment of weakness, with the intentions and purpose of over overcoming it and coming out stronger and proud enough to say “I AM ENOUGH.” 

A lot of this is coming from a personal instinct I had, a connection I felt with my grandmother from my fathers side, in a moment of loneliness and sorrow. She passed away when I was very young, but to me she was the first angel I ever really knew. With coming to this decision of “finding myself,” I’ve felt inspired to take my first step. And learning my genealogy and bloodline. I feel as though there’s something my grandmother needed me to know. For the first time in 24 years, I reached out to my fathers family. There’s things in California that explain the history of my ancestors and my bloodlines. And I’m eager to look into into all. And I’m excited to work toward getting there. I know timing means everything, and I also know now is the time. I’m ready to put the past behind and move forward. This is what feels right, for the first time, it will be, “Hello, baby.” 

Keep on the look out for my next post. For now, I’m content with sharing my decision to look into finding myself. Lol

I’ll be posting lots more about what led me to this decision and some past experiences that are relevant to my journey moving forward. I’m excited for what the future will hold. ♥️