Local Time

Its something in the pit of your stomach when the pilot says “we are now descending into faleolo” that just makes you sit up straight, breathe really deep & try to not look excited, or to hide how your nerves because you know that just in a short while you will be stepping off the plane & walking out into a world thats familiar but foreign at the same time…

This time, I walked out of my Air New Zealand holding my little cousin’s hand, breathed in really deeply & looked around trying not to cry because the last time I left life was so different & here I was walking back to come back home to watch such a big part of my heart return home & be gone out of my sight forever…Yep, here it is people the recollection of the journey home for my grandpa’s burial…On arrival, I was with with my 2 aunties & cousin from Auckland walked out of the baggage area & went to look for a taxi, being the first to arrive into Samoa meant we could take it easy, relax on the way home & kinda soak it all in.. One thing I knew from the very start was wow..I left this place single (well somewhat single) LMFAO & here I was a married woman, with my hubby in New Zealand & I could pretty much just breathe easy, I was with my family.. what an awesome feeling…in the back of my head the trauma of why I was in samoa hadn’t exactly registered yet..it was so nice to see my aunties after so long!

The drive to Lotopa was quite short, watching the changes from the airport to home was really exciting…the upgrades, the new houses, the new features since the games & after the games had really changed the overall outlook of Samoa to me & the beautiful sea…*sighs* the sea was just as I remembered that beautiful clear crystal look that just drew me in as if with each crash to the rocks on the roadside it was saying welcome home…

Arriving home was strange, there was no more buzz to jump out of the car & run to greet anyone because the main reason I ever came here was to see him..Just the sight of seeing him would brighten up everything. Samoa has this strange effect on me that no matter how bad things are & they have gotten pretty bad I can just sit in one spot look around & know that everything is ok..On this day though, nothing seems ok…I look around & remember the last time we sat here in the faleoó you pointed to that spot in the corner where you said you wanted to be buried..I remember saying, aua le koe kaukala fua faapega..fea ke alu iai..trying my best to laugh it off but knowing that it would stay in my head forever..

Cleaning, preparing, waiting for everyone to arrive. I cant really explain it, it was a blur. Time stood still, yet everything was going so fast. I remember one evening I went to sit on the seawall just to reflect. I sat there thinking, am I really here for his funeral? Is this really it? Its been 4 weeks since watching his body being lowered into the ground. I remember hearing everyone’s comments about how disrespectful we were being..but like one of the cousins said..he was always about happiness..In my heart of hearts I know that he was laughing with us…maybe not because we laughed so loud..lol but because he could see all of us together, after so many years just enjoying each others company, so grateful to have moments together & to be there to get each other through. I will never forget that about him. Its like uncle said at the funeral…his wish was to be buried in samoa so that we could all have a reason to come back & visit him, he left knowing that no matter where we went we would never leave him alone for too long…in life he was loved beyond comprehension, in death he will never be forgotten..

I came away from samoa obviously enriched by the experience of being there..to have closure..to get away from life as I live it even if just for a moment I am so blessed by my family, its that good buzz that you get from love..Its always at faalavelave’s that I admire & love my family the most because no matter what differences people tend to have when it comes to faalavelave’s everyone comes together to bring pride to their family..they put everything aside & work to the common goal…even if its just this really quick glimpse at it..its always so loving how a family works together in time of need…I love that my family comes together..when we’re sad we dont cry together, we see who the first one is to make us laugh…when one of us falls down, we crack the heck up & then drag them along…when one of us makes a bad decision, we dont say everything is alright, we say that your an idiot..but we still love you & we’ll get through it like we always do..

The secret of being in samoa with your family is…everything is local time..what happens in samoa stays in samoa, so although I would love to share all the other intricate details of the events that took place..thats between us & the streets of lotopa…lol & our granpops..cause we confessed the good, bad & the ugly for him to take with him!!

What happens in Samoa, will always stay in Samoa…

0 thoughts on “Local Time

  1. I read this awhile ago and didnt know what to comment..it brought back memories of when my grandma passed away..the whole family arriving from al over, feaus, quiet and loud moments…
    I enjoyed the read HM, you wrote so beautifully, descriptive-the memories for me are like vivid.

    *hugs* cheers buddy – and yes now i wanna go to Samoa haha

  2. *sighs* …

    I’ve lived in New Zealand and travel to samoa at least 2/3 times a year to see my parents who now live there and im going back in a few days not for a funeral, but that feeling u speak of and the emotions are the same ones i get every time i go.. and that feeling of family! its great ..

    its no wonder we love going home!and something so true is what happens in samoa stays in samoa…

    thanks for the post

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