07/29/2014 05:55 pm ET Updated Sep 28, 2014

Keeping Memories Alive and the Importance of Family Values

As parents and grandparents we know it our responsibility to teach positive family values. My daughters, I am proud to say, value family above all else. Growing up in our home, life revolved around family. Living on an island played a positive role in reinforcing our teachings because island living is all about family.

I was, therefore, not surprised, (although my emotions overflowed) when I received a text yesterday from one daughter:

On our way to visit Grampa Mikey on Oahu. Back to Maui at 6pm, flying with boys on to LA at 10pm to visit Rob (another son) then to Chicago and to you, mom. Aloha Nui Loa (I love you very much.)


My two daughters and five of my grandchildren spent the July 4th holiday on Maui. They still consider Hawaii home. I would be traveling with them save for the fact that their father passed away twenty-four years ago, and I have since remarried. My children care for my husband of twenty-three years, but revere the memory of their father. No man will ever penetrate the bond they carry in their hearts for him. My late husband's name was Michael. One grandson is named Michael and the other boys have the middle name Michael! My granddaughter's name is Skylar because my late husband always told us, "I love you more than the sky." This is just one of the ways in which my daughters keep their father alive in their grandchildren's minds and hearts.

Memories and deep emotion flooded my mind as I read her text. I thought back to that horrific day twenty-four years ago when we learned of the sudden heart attack and death of my late husband. There are no words to describe our feelings. My girls were young. My husband was young. It was a nightmare and the ultimate loss. Because of my daughter's values their father remains alive in the hearts of our grandchildren.

In Hawaii, it is customary to cremate a loved one and scatter their ashes in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. My late husband loved the sea. He was happiest on his boat or swimming out to "the red flag" at San Souci Beach (Without a Care) with his girls and wife in tow. The swim was a workout. Swimming to the flag and back was the end goal. On any given day you can watch swimmers swimming out to the red flag at San Souci beach, a small charming beach, close to our then home in Kahala.

My daughter and two grandsons flew from Maui to Honolulu because of their family values. They swam to the red flag at beautiful San Souci beach to visit father and their grandfather Michael, with leis around their neck (which is the custom) to leave at sea in his honor; then quickly drove to the Honolulu airport to board their flight back to Maui, then catch their flight to LA and visit another grandson, and finally to Chicago and into the arms of their mother and grandmother.

How special is this daughter of mine? She has taught her children to value the memory of her father and their grandfather.

Do Something GOOD Today: As mothers and grandmothers keep the memory of those you love and have lost alive in your children's heart. You owe that to them for it is part of "their history."