Love and Trash

Friends and Family,

Things are pretty spectacular right now, and only partly because of trash.

I know that isn't what you would expect me to say when I'm telling you about a trip to Hawaii. You might be expecting me to tell you about the sunny, breezy, tropical weather, or the warm water that has been perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding. Maybe you're thinking I'll tell you more about the five mile sunrise walks on the beach with Genevieve, where we have the beach almost to ourselves.

You would be right to guess all of those things. But the trip gets much better.

The stars aligned so that my son Mike and his wife Victoria were able to join us. Since Mike hasn't lived with us since he was a troubled teen, and since he hasn't even lived in the same state as we have for the second half of his life, this time has been special.

It's pretty obvious from this picture where Mike gets his muscular build.

It's pretty obvious from this picture where Mike gets his muscular build.

We've had a chance to hear about Mike's and Victoria's accomplishments and challenges as missionaries for the past four years in the Philippines. Making a dad even more proud, it would be hard not to see the love in his relationships with his wife, Victoria, with his children (unfortunately not with us), and with everyone around him. It's been a special time, a chance to reconnect. This time of love and sharing has been a father's dream.

This time with Mike and Victoria has been the richest part of our trip, but it isn't the only thing we did that left us feeling full of love. We also picked up trash.

Even with their "aloha spirit" ("love"), the Hawaiian people are still learning how to treasure their environment. We've been collecting trash on our morning walks for years, hoping that when the beaches look beautiful, everyone will want to keep it that way. It's our gift of aloha.

This is where the healing comes in. Love heals. It heals our cells, and I believe this includes cancer. It heals our soul. It holds true whether it's the love of family, the love of everyone, or the love of the world. Even if we're collecting trash, it feels good to leave the world a better place than we found it. It's all love.

So what gives you the aloha spirit? I can't wait to hear your ideas. You know why? Because your sharing will be healing for you, and for me, and for everyone else who reads this. Please share your stories or thoughts about healing love, whether it is two words or two pages.