comscore Letters of thanks: Postal Service heroes; Caregivers show aloha for kupuna; How to spell grateful | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Letters of thanks: Postal Service heroes; Caregivers show aloha for kupuna; How to spell grateful

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                                A postal worker collects mail from a collection box at the corner of McCully and South King Street on Aug. 25.


    A postal worker collects mail from a collection box at the corner of McCully and South King Street on Aug. 25.

2020 has been a whopper of a year: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hurt, politics and elections. But surely there is much to be thankful for and to appreciate. We want to hear from you.

In the spirit of the season, we are now accepting letters (150 words max) and essays (500-600 words) with uplifting messages to share during this holiday season.

Email to; or send to 500 Ala Moana Blvd. #7-210, Honolulu 96813, c/o Letters.

Below are letters sent in from readers.

Caregivers show aloha for kupuna

I’d like to say a big mahalo nui loa to all the wonderful and dedicated family caregivers and the wonderful hearts caring for our treasured kupuna during November’s Family Caregiving month.

During this Thanksgiving season, in spite of much anxiety and uncertainty our loved ones and friends have been challenged with this year, we truly have so much to be thankful for! Mostly the gift of ohana, our grandparents and those who have gone before us teaching us by their example that being others-minded is powerful and exemplifies the true spirit of aloha that Hawaii is so admired for.

Caregiving is such a noble calling that takes patience and compassion to help the quality of life of others. It takes special people to stay the course so our kupuna remain safe, valued and loved! Mahalo nui loa.

Janet Hochberg

Hauoli Home Care

Downtown Honolulu


Gifts from friends

It was Monday and I was on the last remnants of toilet paper. On Wednesday I opened my last package of spaghetti. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they were not to be found on the shelves.

That afternoon my good and dear friend, Marilyn, phoned and said that she wanted to stop by briefly. She dropped by, handed me a rather large shopping bag, and promptly drove off. Inside was the biggest roll of toilet paper I have ever seen, two boxes of spaghetti, a large roll of paper towels, two bags of coffee beans (which I have not yet run out of), chocolate and other candy — and so much more!

The next day, James, the landlord’s gardener, brought me a bag of great big oranges from his tree.

I am truly blessed! Thank you, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, for letting me tell my story. Mahalo ke akua!

Antoinette Papa



A more relaxed pace

What a year it has been, for all of us. So much to face. Sometimes we all wonder if life will ever be the same.

I, for one, hope not all the way: I’ve enjoyed the slower pace.

This year has given so many of us the chance to figure out a few things that truly do matter. I’d bet that most of us have missed seeing family and friends the most. Yet, I‘m grateful we have such excellent ways of communicating available to us. Just 20 years ago, that would not have been the case.

I think the people I call just to check in are happier for the call than ever before. I know my family appreciates me more.

I’m grateful that I live in a beautiful place where I can still go outside and experience unmatched beauty.

I’m grateful for the break our Earth has gotten as we slow down our speedy existence.

Most of all, I’m grateful to be alive. I have Stage 4 cancer, and I’m still feeling well. Thank you to all medical personnel who work around the clock for all of us.

It helps to focus on what we all do have, instead of what we do not.

I send my wishes for a blessed year to all of you.

Deborah McGuire



Leaders choose life

I am very thankful for the leadership of our county mayors, especially Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and Gov. David Ige during this pandemic. Being responsible for the largest island county and the entire state is a monumental task during one of the greatest crises in the history of our islands. Hard decisions needed to be made between life and economy. Both of these leaders choose life. And hard decisions always lead to harsh criticism.

But an old friend said to me, “You can always make money, but a life lost is a life lost forever.”

At the end of the day or this pandemic, the one fact that will be most remembered is how many lives were lost during our leaders’ watch. Hawaii’s lives lost per capita will be among the lowest in the nation. This is what I am very thankful for. Let aloha rule the day.

Bryan I. Yamashita

Ewa Beach


Appreciating each day

It is fitting we enter the “holiday season” with Thanksgiving. Congratulations! You are here! You have today. We have lost many people since our last Thanksgiving. On the virus front alone, more than 1.4 million people in the world did not survive their brush with COVID-19. They are no longer here, and do not have today. Those of us still here have a chance that with care and a vaccine we might be more fortunate, though nothing is guaranteed.

For now, I am thankful for today. This day brings opportunities! There will be moments we can listen and be kind, there will be new things to learn, and feats to accomplish! There are insights waiting to be discovered, opportunities to support one who needs a helping hand. There are dreams to dream, and people to share the journey with. In Hawaii, we have a special abundance of nature’s gifts available to enjoy. We can pause, pay attention today, and enjoy them.

To extend kindness, expand compassion, and enjoy the wonders before us, are all possible as each day stretches before us. Yes, I am thankful for today.

Jane Chu

Hawaii Kai


A sister’s sacrifice

Giving thanks to my sister, Barbara, for her kindness and devotion caring for my 94-year-old mom, who is nearly bedridden. I am unable to help her since I live on Oahu and they live in Kona. I am deeply and forever grateful for the sacrifices Barbara has made for over two years.

Mary Jo Segawa



For many blessings

I am grateful for the following on this Thanksgiving weekend:

Not having an empty seat at the dining table.

For the volunteers at the food/plant distributions centers.

My job that has not been interrupted so far.

Paying it forward with my contest winnings.

Scientists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for educating the public of the COVID-19 pandemic.

High-ranking federal leaders who were willing to protect the American people’s health, safety and freedom, rather than listen to the White House.

Kapolei Foodland for implementing COVID-19 measures and more; and workers Nora, Richard and Kathleen for making me feel like one of the Foodland family.

Johnnie-Mae L. Perry



We can live happily

’Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all around Hawaii

Not a creature is near you, except your own family

The keiki wear masks, half covering their heads

After going to school, while lying on beds

Many are weary from working at home

With too many Zoom meetings while sitting alone

Eight tragic months have long been upon us

Because of an awful coronavirus

But throughout our state, when we realize,

To wear our masks, keep our distance and sanitize

We can display many healthy ways

And live a happy life in Hawaii Nei

Soon, all our beautiful faces will again be seen

Because, coming our way, is a two-shot vaccine

So, let’s be grateful for the food on our table

And remember to give to the needy, if you are able

We can all be thankful to the good Lord above

And shout “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” from Hawaii with LOVE!

Vera Arita



Focus on climate

I am especially grateful that this newspaper, and newly elected local and national politicians, are finally giving attention to the climate change crisis.

Quick and substantial action is now required to at least mitigate the suffering headed for countless species around the globe.

William Metzger



A grateful veteran

I am thankful for seeing the light of day each morning with many good ones, at age 86, and warding off the pandemic as a senior.

I am thankful I can look toward the Veterans Administration and the Tripler Army Hospital for my health as a veteran, especially the Geriatrics Department at the VA. They are all superb; God bless America for taking care of its veterans. There are 110,000 veterans living in Hawaii.

I am thankful for finding government affordable housing this year, which cut my rent in half, giving me a chance to breathe, budget-wise.

Life is about family, too. I am thankful my brother and two sisters who are older than me and are still surviving.

I am thankful for my son, Nick, and his wife Allison, and my granddaughter Liliana at age 12.

And assuredly, for living in Hawaii, the best place ever.

Michael Augusta



Postal Service heroes

Through the heat of day, the rain and the pandemic, our postal workers are hard at work delivering letters and a multitude of goods.

Election ballots, medication, diapers, furniture, tires, toilet paper, toys, computers, bed frames are a few of the items delivered by the men and women of the United States Postal Service.

Mahalo for your hard work and your dedicated service!

Scott Kamiya



People in our lives

Are we a grateful people? Every year we have set aside the fourth Thursday of November to attest we are, hence Thanksgiving Day. But who or what are we thankful for?

Many have impacted our lives that deserve our gratitude:

Our families with their unconditional love.

Our friends and neighbors who are always there for us in times of need.

The health-care workers for their undaunting dedication to care for the sick.

Our military personnel for their unflinching courage to keep our country safe.

Our church leaders for their spiritual guidance.

And most of all to our God for his Divine Providence, Divine Inspiration, Divine Protection, and countless blessings.

Trifona Andres



How to spell grateful

Generosity could be seen throughout the community

Roy for being a supportive and loving husband

Aunties and Uncles who help my child with internet and homework concerns

Thankful for Bristol Hospice for being there for our family during mom’s final weeks

Environmental concerns we all need to do our part in taking care of the earth

Face mask to protect those around me

Unemployment Insurance office for processing claims

Loving grandparents who take care of my child while I am at work

Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Allison Yonamine



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