Our Sweet Angel

Our Sweet Angel

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Carmen's 1st Makana

Aloha,

Many of you will remember the original blog post titled Carmen's Makana (gift).   In those days after October 9th, 2012, Heather and I understood that since we were living so far from all of you that you wanted/needed to do something/anything to help.

 http://carmenleolaniwhite.blogspot.com/2012/10/carmens-makana-gift.html

At the time of posting the original Carmen's Makana post, Heather and I were only trying to convey that we felt there was a different way to honor Carmen instead of flowers or other traditional gestures given during difficult times.

What happened after writing the post astonished Heather and myself.   The generosity and support was incredible, exceeding anything we ever thought was possible.

The Carmen's Makana fund will be able to perpetuate Carmen's strength, love and spirit through the giving of a $300 gift to a family on April 1st (Carmen's birthday) and October 9th each year, for the next 18 years!!!!

Many people opt to contribute to an established charity.   This is a wonderful idea and we likely would have been fine with this.   For whatever reason, Heather and I decided at the time that taking this path did not seem like it was the right thing to do.   Everything Carmen did was touching, meaningful and with purpose and giving to a large, well intentioned, charity would be beautiful but we felt it needed to be more intimate.

Carmen would want to be able to walk right up to someone and give them a big hug.  And that is what Carmen's Makana is.   A great big, warm, loving hug from Carmen.

We are proud to let you know that Carmen provided her Makana (gift) to the first child.

Heather and I worked with Dr. Wendi Hirsch with Kapiolani Hospital to help choose the right child for Carmen's Makana.  The gift is only a small gesture to let the family know that someone cares about them and understands what they are going through.

Below are the words in the card and the picture we sent with Carmen's Makana.

Live with Strength
Live with Laughter
Live with Love in your Heart
Live with knowing a guardian angel is watching over you.

Carmen's Makana




Friday, October 11, 2013

The Earth traveled around the Sun one full time....

Aloha Friends,

Chris, Trevor and I want to thank everyone so much for the outpouring of LOVE and support this week.  We have been feeling everyone's love for Carmen and beautiful energy surrounding all of us who love Carmen and all of our children so dearly.

Thank you for the messages, phone calls, texts, flowers, photos of your own Carmen Celebrations - which seem to be many!  

I know Carmen did not want us to be sad on October 9th.  I know she wants us to continue working on ways to enjoy life as it is right now and to find ways to keep filling up our souls and others.

Experience takes effort so we made many things happen this week to fill our lives.  There has been golf, zip-lining over waterfalls, a big strobe light dance party with a bunch of Carmen and Trevor's friends, lillikoi cupcakes, fairy wings, BEAUTIFUL flowers and many many messages of love. 

I went to bed the evening of the 8th afraid of what may come up...in the same bed I was with Carmen one year before.  

Those "lasts" came into my mind.

Then Carmen popped in my head and this is what I got...

Mommy, this day only signifies the earth going around the sun one full time.....don't be sad.  

I'm with you all of the time.  Now get some sleep.



Message in Carmen's lunch - Sept 28th, 2012

I wanted to post this beautiful message received yesterday from a student friend of Carmen's from Hualalai Academy.

Aloha Mrs.White, 

I don't know if you remember me as much as I do you. Tonight on 10/10/13 I sit here at my computer remember the blessing that you brought into this world. At this moment right know I glance down to my right wrist where a pink bracelet sporting the words "TLP" "Smile and Be Happy" and "I Love You Carmen."  It reminds of a beautiful story how a beautiful young girl came for a visit.  She taught people to laugh and smile and enjoy the small things.  Then one day she had to leave.  When she left the people who loved her grieved and mourned.  Suddenly a rainbow slid across the sky, and the people remembered how the girl loved the colors.  They began to smile, she was still there but in a different manner.  

She could still make them laugh and smile and enjoy the little things for she was all that. 

So Team White, think of the things that make you laugh and smile. Enjoy the little things. Carmen is still here. She lives in your heart and my heart and in the heart of everybody she ever touched. 

Thank you for her.  Carmen is my inspiration. Some people want to be rich or famous or something great, but I? 

I want to be more like Carmen.  

God Bless, Halle

And we want to say Happy Birthday to Rainbow Jacquie (Carmen's energy/spiritual healer) who shares October 9th as a very significant day with our Carmen.  They are connected in so many ways...forever.  

October 9th, 2012 Jacquie told me the story of how (before she knew about Carmen that morning) she was swimming at Makapu'u beach Oahu and a monk seal swam right up to her and stared in her eyes for a LONG time...as if trying to tell her something.

She realized later that day why this had happened.  

We love you Jacqui.




Beautiful Jacquie...



See you in a wink baby


Love, Team White


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We Will Meet You at the Gate

Our Dearest Carmen Leolani...


 

Meet you at the Gate

A beautiful garden now stands alone,
missing the one who nurtured it,
But now she is gone.

Her flowers still bloom, and the sun it still shines,
But the rain is like tear drops, for the ones left behind,
The weeds lay waiting to take the gardens beauty away,
But the beautiful memories of its keeper are in our hearts to stay,

She loved every flower even some that were weeds,
So much love she would plant with each little seed,
But just like her flowers she was part of Gods plan,

So when it was her time he reached down with his hand,
He looked through the Garden searching for the best,
That's when he found Carmen, it was her time to rest,

It was hard for those who love her, to just let her go,
But God had a spot in his garden, that needed a gentle soul,

So when you start missing Carmen, remember if you just wait,
When God has a spot in his garden, she'll meet you at the gate.

by Barbara Bailey


We miss you with each breath we take. 

It feels like it was only yesterday that we held you in our arms.  

Now we hold you in our hearts.  Our sweet voice from heaven.

See you in a wink.

Love Mommy, Daddy, Trevor & Roxy






Sunday, October 6, 2013

Carmen's Garden



Last October, Hualalai Academy generously donated a place on their campus for a garden to honor Carmen's legacy.   In three short days, teachers, students, family and friends converted a gravel area behind the school into an incredible place of beauty. 

The Garden, is located directly behind the school, over looking the K-1 Classroom, near the soccer field, so it is always filled with sounds and laughter of children.  It has become a special place that is full of joy as well as a place of peace, tranquility and reflection for the students and families of Hualalai Academy.
 
Heather, Trevor and myself visit Carmen's Garden regularly.  We love to sit under the tree and feel Carmen all around us.  We can practically see her skipping, twirling and laughing up and down the Garden path.

However like any garden, it needs on going attention, care and most importantly water - especially in Kona.

Heather and friends spent hours throughout the year weeding and cleaning up the garden.  The goal is to keep it beautiful which takes work in Hawaii.  On different occasions, we would add fun garden items Carmen would think are beautiful.  Grandma and Grandpa spent a lot of time cleaning up Carmen's Garden while they were here in the Summer but it was apparent that we needed some professional help to fix the irrigation system. 

Enter....the Castillo's.  Dominique, Esteban, Paulina, and Benicio have been so helpful and supportive since we met August 2012.  We were so lucky to have met Dominique!  She was Carmen's incredible soccer coach!  Dominique has the most beautiful energy.  She inspired Carmen to play soccer, something we were not sure Carmen would be into.  Carmen and Paulina had (on earth) such a beautiful connection and became close friends on and off the soccer field.  Carmen could not wait until practice or games with the Slammin Salmon's to see Paulina.  The only other connection I have seen Carmen have with a friend this intense was her connection with Neva Bo.  Carmen and Paulina still have a connection - Paulina talks about Carmen all of the time and draws beautiful pictures for her which I keep in Carmen's cabinet.  Their connection continues.....

In addition to being an amazing soccer coach, Dominique and Estaban are professional landscapers and 'masters' with irrigation.  They generously took time from their busy business to help us get Carmen's Garden's back on track, dialing in the irrigation perfectly and selected the ideal plants for the hot Kona climate - all of which our Kona Home Depot donated for Carmen's Garden.  Thank you Ben!!

The Garden has been a thing of beauty since the dedication but it is now thriving and will continue to be a special place forever.  We plan to continue to keep Carmen's garden beautiful with every few week visits.

The one thing that the garden is missing is a sign that says, "Carmen's Garden".  We have been thinking about creating a sign but if anyone has special talents and would like to make a sign for the garden we would love that.

Every time I see a flower in the Garden, I am compelled to reach out and pick it.  Carmen loved flowers and she was always quick to pick them.   When Heather and I would try to explain to her that if she left the flower on the stem it would be around for her to enjoy day after day.   Carmen would look up at us with the most puzzled look and then turn back to the flower and pick it.  Thinking back on those moments, it all makes sense to me.

Live now, live with love in your heart and pick that flower!!!! 

We love you sweet baby.

Mommy and Daddy



A perfect Gardenia flower


A beautiful dragon fly picture from Paulina


Poem and beautiful drawing from Dominique


Plants all ready to go




A little gift from Paulina


The garden full of joy


Fun everywhere


Many children and parents visit the garden daily.  
Heather added these amazing teak benches so that classes can be held in the garden.

Beautiful


The Castillo's.....Dominique, Esteban, Paulina, Benicio.  Couldn't have done it without you!!




These kiddos had so much fun playing in the earth and helping us!



A place of peace and reflection



Daddy and Trevor Man!

 
If you ever visit Kona - make sure to come see Carmen's Garden

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Carmen is waiting just on the other side of the Fairy Door.


Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.






Monday, September 9, 2013

I love you

Dearest Carmen,

It has been 11 months since I held you in my arms.  I think of you with every heartbeat.  Here is a little something for you.


I stroke your arm,
Soft and gently.
I can feel your pulse,
It runs right through me.

When we touch,
We're miles apart.
I can still see your face,
Whenever it's dark

Golden brown hair
Soft beautiful eyes.
The most gorgeous girl,
I've looked in the eyes.

When you smile,
My knees get weak.
One time I even,
Fell off my feet.

Laughter in your voice,
It's stuck in my heart.
I knew that I loved you,
Straight from the start

11 months have passed,
Since I had to let you go.
I guess God had,
Better plans for you.

But I'll never forget you,
Even when I go.
You are the one,
Who changed my whole life.

I'll see you in heaven,
Right when I get there.
You are my angel,
On heaven and earth here

Daddy loves you Carmen




Sunday, August 11, 2013

Perspective

My sweet joyful Carmen Leolani...I miss you.  

We all miss you so much.  

Our shift in perspective takes time and effort - if one is willing to work on gaining it.  

One of the shifts for me is thinking of your life as not cut short for you but rather a full magnificent life lived.  5 1/2 years seems so short to those of us left behind.  It was 5 1/2 years of the most beautiful time daddy and I ever imagined living.  Trevor was blessed with his entire life with you and your joy filled heart.

I know in my heart you lived a full, amazing and happy 5 1/2 years.

So - with losing you, we learn difficult lessons about the impermanence of EVERYTHING, including our bodies. 

I know we are not just a body, but so much more.  I know your essence - your spirit is so much more. 

The truth is we are the ones left behind for now - meant to learn, shift, gain. 

Gain what?  Perspective.  

You, Carmen are not in a better place but in THE better place. 

We will work hard living well, loving more and having fun here on planet earth...while gaining more perspective.  

And...we will see you in no time.  

Save a California Girls and Firework dance for us!

By the way, I feel you and see you in so many things.  
Love, Mommy



Our soccer girl this time last year.


 Smiling Princess!


 Beautiful hug


I just lost my tooth!




Having dinner with Grandma Sandy last September


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nothing is holding her back

Aloha friends and family,

I sit here staring at the screen hoping for inspiration.  It has been over 3 months since I last shared my thoughts and feelings on Carmen's birthday.  I have already said, in many ways this blog has matured into something far more than a place to share information.  More and more, I realize that this was/is a therapeutic outlet for Heather and I to share.   Actually...it has grown into something that I have felt pressure to make sure I am writing something worth reading and create a document to capture a moment in time.   I found that doing this well has usually required some sort of inspiration - whether it was happy or sad. Since starting this blog, that inspiration has come solely from our beautiful princess.

Life is now about putting one foot in front of the other.  Crying when I am sad, laughing when I am happy, waking each day with a desire to make my TLP proud and being the best dad and husband I can be.   Life is never about moving on.  It is about moving forward.   And...it takes everything I have and leaves little room for inspiration for the blog.

The pain of not being able to hold Carmen, kiss her, laugh with her, spin her around when she ran to me when I came home from work and tuck her in at night hurts every second of every day.  At the same time...we are in a place that is okay.

In some strange way, Heather and I are proud of Carmen.  Proud of her for having the strength and courage to become spirit. 

As parents you always think your child is perfect but we all know they are not.  Though Heather and I would always keep this to ourselves,  we both felt that Carmen was a bit awkward.  She never quite looked comfortable in her little body.  I do not mean this to be a negative or sad thing.  On the contrary. Carmen always looked like she was going to take flight.  Almost as if her body was holding her back.   She tip toed everywhere.  And when she ran, it was as if she really was going to take off.

Watching her wear shoes was the funniest thing.  You never want to laugh at your child, at least not in front of them.....but...... wow did she look funny.  Even when she wore her little pink Crocs it looked like she was wearing clown shoes.  When you took those shoes off or put her in the water she was as fast and graceful as you could ever imagine a child.  "Liberated".... is the only word that comes to mind.  She would be gone.   A million miles away in her little world, full of ferries and little kittens.  When we would try to enter that world, we would see such passion, such freedom.  Her wide eyes, those beautiful eyes, seeking and searching for adventure.

The body she chose in life was broken and stopped working.  Or did it???  What if that little body was just too small?   What if it held her back and stopped her from flying?  She profoundly changed thousands of lives in her short time with us.  What if she was supposed to change millions of lives?

We are the ones left to ask those questions.   To look for answers to the "why's" and the "why not's". 

 
But.....what if we stop asking these questions and listen?  Truly listen.

Maybe.....just maybe......the answer is all around us and all we have to do is be open enough to hear it.

Above all else Carmen stood for LOVE. 

I am not always in a good place but when I am I see Carmen free and full of light & love.  A light that is so bright I can barely look at it.    

She is Free to Love with nothing holding her back.

We should all be so lucky.

I hope we are making you proud my Tough Little Princess.

Love you,

Mommy and Daddy


Heather, Trevor and myself are doing okay.   Thank you for all of your on going support.

Love and Light

Team White

Images of the Moment


 Darth Shaka


 Trevor Christopher White, Photographer


 Handsome Joy


Pre School Graduation


Time to start shaving


 Celebrating Grandma and Grandpa White's - 51st!!!!!


 My name is Trevor and I am 5!!!!!


 Waimea Rainbow's


Daddy misses you baby.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Birthday My Sweet Baby




Aloha my Sweet Baby.  I miss you so much.  It’s been such an amazing month of transition for our little family.  Though I know you were with us all month and on my shoulder during Daddy’s first triathlon I find myself in such a tough spot on this special day. 
I just can’t accept that you're not coming back.  It’s so hard to think about all of the good with you while my heart hurts with each beat.  I know in my mind you are ok but my heart is just hurting and misses you so darn much.  It’s amazing how much I think about you and still cry when I see your art “projects”.   I still remember every stroke of the paint brush and smile on your face when you and Daddy created something so special.   One of the hardest things to look at is your Princess Bike…it reminds me of your love filled eyes and courage to never stop trying.   The eyes that would speak volumes without words.  The eyes that would light up my heart in seconds. The eyes that were so deep and so brilliant.  I just miss it all.  I have been doing good recently but every day is still rough.  My biggest fear is people will forget you someday and say “I remember that girl”.  When a parent only has memories of their child the thought of forgetting them haunts them.  My thoughts and prayers are now...."Please do not let me ever go a day without remembering my “Tough Little Princess”.  The same is true when I think of people forgetting you.  At last week’s Lava Man Triathlon, over 1,500 athletes and countless more friends and family now know who you are and what you fought for but will they remember you.  
On the day of your 6th birthday….another day to celebrate and miss your life.

I wish I could return to this picture and accept that dance again and again. Love you. Care for you. Be there for you. It's one of my favorite pictures.  I know that won’t happen but I have to go there right now.  That moment in your eyes right before we danced together.  I hear you saying “dance with me daddy”.  I feel your hands in mine. I feel your little feet stepping on my toes. I smell your sweet smell. I feel your body snuggling to mine as we take a “dip” at the end of the song.  
I thank all that I believe in for you and pray for you.  I miss you my sweet baby.  I hope someday you visit my dreams. I will continue to look for you in the sights and sounds that show themselves during each day.  I know you are here with us!!!!

Miss you tons…love you more…see you in a blink of an eye.  I promise!
Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet baby girl.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who do YOU Race For??

Below is a letter that Heather and I sent to our Lava Man team mates today.  For those of you who do not know, 17 people joined together to form Team Carmen to raise money for LLS and complete the Lava Man Triathlon.

To learn about the race and to follow us next Sunday March 24, visit:

 http://www.lavamantriathlon.com/waikoloa/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Aloha Team Carmen,

We are just over a week away from the Lava Man.

Heather and I wanted to take a moment to let you know how proud we are of all of you for taking on this challenge in Carmen's Honor.

As we approach race day, we will all go through different emotions - nervousness, excitement, anticipation and in some cases fear. 

Regardless of how you are feeling about this race you should be holding your head high because you are all champions - even before you take one stroke, one peddle or one step.

You all embarked on this challenge back in December to raise $27,000 for LLS in the name of Carmen Leolani White.   And you did it!!!

If you have any doubts at this point, allow me to remind you exactly who you are racing for. 

Our 5 year old daughter, Carmen Leolani White, was full of pure love, joy, bliss and above all was incredibly strong.  After she was diagnosed with Leukemia in May 2011, she never once complained.   She never once said she was tired, or she could not do it, or she had a cramp, or she was too hot.  Right up until Carmen became an angel in October, she woke up everyday with a smile on her face, a jump in her step and a determined spirit to kick Cancer's ASS!!! 

You think about this little girl next week when you are feeling tired.  You think about this when complaints enter your head.   You think about this when you think you can not do it and want to quit. 

You think about this not only for Carmen but for every kid out there who battles Cancer who would LOVE to be Swimming, Biking and Running right along side of you.

This is who YOU are racing for. 

You are doing this for our daughter and for the parents everywhere who have lost a part of their soul.

This is not just a race for Heather and I.  This is not about our time, or the accomplishment or even to raise money for LLS.

This race is about making Carmen proud.  To show our little baby that we can fight too.

I know Carmen will be on each of your shoulders next Sunday guiding you to the finish line.   Talk to her, laugh with her and show her that together we can kick Cancers ASS one step at a time.

There are going to be over 500 people racing as part of Team in Training next weekend.   They all race for their own reasons.

Let's show them how strong Team Carmen is!!!!!!

In closing, I would like to let you know that you have inspired more than just Heather and myself.   The Lava Man Race Director called me today, to let me know that they have heard of Team Carmen and will be dedicating the entire 2013 Lava Man Waikaloa to Carmen Leolani White and to all members of Team Carmen who race for her.

You are champions!!!!  You are warriors!!!!! 

Love and light

Chris, Heather and Trevor  (Team White + 1 in Heaven)






Sunday, March 3, 2013

An Angel Smiling on Us

Aloha everyone,

It has been so long since our last post.

We are doing the best we can, living moment to moment.   There is comfort knowing our little girl is still with us, in a different way keeping us strong.  Her love surrounds us everyday.  

Our spiritual journey is taking us to places we never thought possible and although we desperately wish to have  our little girl to hold tight we know in our heart she is where she needed to be.   Her love and light shines over all us.

Our life now is about moving forward.  Not moving on.  And that's okay. 

Trevor keeps us laughing and extremely busy. 

Heather and I are training for the Lava Man Triathalon on March 24th.   Carmen is the honorary angel for the entire race.   Team Carmen is made up of 17 people is working hard to raise $27,000 for Leukemia Lymphoma Society's, Team in Training

Check out our Team Carmen page:



Below are just a few images and video's. 




An angel smiling on us.  We miss you every second.
 


"Ummmm.....Dad.......I got this"


Fore!!!!


Look at that form.  That's my boy!!!
   Doesn't every 4 year old have a pyramid of golf balls stacked for them???




After a tough day on the range.  Chillaxin at the Four Seasons.  


Planting Carmen's Koa Tree

Daddy and Trevor taking it all in


Carmen's Koa Tree.  There were no other yellow flowers to be seen anywhere else in the area, except beside where Carmen's tree was planted.


 Trevor with the lone Kona Tree.   The highlands of the Island of Hawaii are on the slopes of Mauna Kea at 4,700 feet above sea level.  It was the site of the ancient Hawaiian Koa Forest.  Koa was used to build war canoes and is considered sacred to the Hawaiian people.   The tree represent Power and Strength.  Certainly a fitting tribute to TLP.


Trevor first time at bat.  Gazoo

video

Big Hitter

video

This is how T Bone Rolls!!!!!


Believe in Christmas


Road side Bootaaaayyy Scratch


Flat Robert at our favorite beach


Aloha

Love and Light

Team White