A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 33

Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve and Garden

When we lived on the Big Island, the Garden was still called Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden, owners Dan and Pauline Lutkenhouse. We lived within walking distance, became lifetime members and visited often. In 1991, when my parents came to visit, we wanted to honor Mamma for her suffering, her love, her courage and perseverance during our years in Japanese concentration camps on Java. She loved trees and she loved the ocean, so the Lutkenhouses invited her to plant a tree in the Garden. They selected a Sea Putat, an ocean loving tree with fragrant pink flowers from Madagascar. We had a tree planting ceremony: it was a 4 feet high “keiki”, with fresh green leaves, and Mamma loved it. They put a plaque at the bottom with her name and date, and the name and origin of the tree.

About fifteen years later, when we went back for a vacation, we saw the tree leaning to one side and supported by a steel cable. Now, thirty two years later, I kept wondering if it made it, if it had not slid into the ocean; so I wrote to the Garden. They are under new management (hence the new name) and responded the same day with two pictures:

Your mother’s tree is healthy and strong by the ocean.


It had bloomed a few months ago: I noticed a pink flower on the ground in one picture, a brown wilted one in the other.

Mamma’s Legacy in Hawai’i!



And that’s a wrap for today!

Be well and celebrate life!


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