Better Today Than Yesterday

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A handcrafted multi-colored rug in a marketplace is a completed work of art – a masterpiece if you will – but the work-in-progress is certainly a far cry from any semblance of cohesive beauty. But it is still a beautiful piece of art.

These rugs provide a multifaceted mingling of colors and textures that make a complete design, however the intricacies when not presented as a whole might be anything but worthwhile viewing. It’s kind of like Claude Monet’s painting, Water Lilies, that when viewed up close so that the minutiae stand out, represents only a nearsighted view of the artist’s intended project. However, when we stand back from the artwork – whether a painting or a handcrafted rug – we see the bigger picture that represents the whole.

I like to view the marketplace rug as a representation of the world’s diverse humanity: the elements of race and ethnicity, as well as physical elements and personalities of the global community that paints a more complete and accurate composition. It seems to me that without the diversity of colors, textures, and design, the final product would lack depth and luster. 

Taking this thought further, the backside of the rug may not look all that presentable, what with the rough knots and perhaps the multitude of mistakes that are covered up so that the finished product will render itself pleasing to the eye.

I think of all the rough edges of my life that I have needed to smooth out and the mistakes that I have needed to correct so that I could present a life that was not only pleasing to the eye, but one that would benefit others and leave them better than when I first encountered them. I have definitely messed up in my almost seventy years of life, but I have always endeavored to be a beneficial contributor to the good of others.

In that sense, I don’t see myself as a work-in-progress, rather, I am a progressively better representation of who I am, whether viewed up close, or from afar. A closeup of my life’s minutiae may be shockingly out of focus, but the bigger picture will hopefully render my life as it is meant to be.

My Beautiful Mother’s Legacy

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Julie Braig on our left; my mother on our right, in beige.

My mother, Patricia Constance Conroy Desonier, left my world far too early: September 24, 1994. She was an extraordinary mother, spouse, grandmother, musician, and activist.

As a member of the Honolulu Chapter of the Catholic Women’s Guild, she and other community-minded women spearheaded a ministry to benefit the homeless on the areas of Oahu most populated by those affected by the inability to maintain a roof over their heads. In this article the many charitable works of the Guild were spotlighted, including the efforts my mother and another member, Julie Braig, completed, centered in Nanakuli, Hawaii.

Kid’s playground dedicated to my mother after her death.

They created an Office of Homeless Ohana (Ohana meaning family) where individuals and family members could set up a mailing address so they could send off applications and resumes to acquire meaningful employment and/or receive mail from other loved ones, have a place to shower, receive meals, and gather as a community; playground equipment was even secured and installed so children could play and live just like those who had a home to return to each day.

My family lived 30 miles away from where this shelter existed, and my mother’s abilities were limited because of severe rheumatoid arthritis that plagued her since she was a teenager, but my mother and Julie made the trip week in and week out to help those who needed someone in their corner during a rough time in their lives. My mother taught me many things about charity and living a full life. Here are a few of her maxims:

  • Don’t assume everyone lives as comfortably as you do. Life can change in an instant;
  • Give of yourself in any way you can;
  • When in physical pain, just remember: you can be active and hurt a bit more, or you can stay at home and do nothing and still hurt, nonetheless.

Thank you, Mom, for being such an influence on my life, my family’s life, and the lives of so many who never met you. I love you, and I miss you terribly.