Our Sweet Angel

Our Sweet Angel

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.


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

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