Life has Been Rozie

Dear Little Island Girl with Big Dreams,

When I first heard the saying, “The days are long, but the years are short,” I felt a little lump in my throat. It was a reminder that there would be an end to my daily mommying to you, my first baby.

Well, that day has come.

Today we reach that fork in the road and the years don’t only feel short, they feel condensed into this weird blackhole of life called “the past.” As I think about this, God whispers something comforting in my ear that seems almost a faint foreshadowing of the words we all want to hear someday in Heaven: “Well done my good and faithful servant.” I look at how far you’ve come and know that God has done an amazing work already in you and I am honored to have played even a little part in that.

As a mom, I fell short more often that I would have liked. I didn’t do everything right. I apologized often for my shortcomings and I’ve learned that it takes an infinite amount of grace to live more Christ-like each day.

The days and months and years went by, and as you grew into a young lady, something miraculous happened right before my eyes. You started to reflect Christ too. You offered me grace and comfort when I felt exhausted and weak. You gave me hugs when I needed them yet didn’t even know it. You held my hand in church when I needed a hand.

I cannot even put in words how thankful I am that God gave me the kind of mommy-heart that felt called to put Him at the center–albeit in my clunky-I-don’t-really-know-what-I’m-doing-Jesus-take-the-wheel kinda way. He showed Himself through my motherhood experience.  He is kindness. He is grace. He is honor. He is just. He is faithful. He is love.

Therein lies my hope for you today. I want you to know that as you start this amazing college journey of learning, discovery, and growth, you will soar and you will dip. You will smile and you will cry. You will be happy and sometimes you will feel lonely. Yes, sometimes you will even fail–but He will not. Today, I leave you in good hands–the best hands actually. You are in God’s.

Tonight we will celebrate a communion service together and end with cheers and words of encouragement, with hugs and kisses and more hugs. Then I will turn around and walk away leaving a piece of my heart in a college dorm half way around the world and I will lean on our awesome God and trust that His plan for you is greater than mine, and it’s going to be amazing!

I love you Rozie. Sing to the Lord!




4 thoughts on “Life has Been Rozie

  1. Carol Santos says:

    Ahhhh Janiece, that was both beautiful and touching! You spoke from your heart and actually reached into our hearts! You are an amazing mother and your dad and I are SUPER proud of the woman and mother you have become. You and Greg are doing a phenomenal job raising not only Rozie, but all of your children. They certainly have been blessed with, in my unbiased opinion, two the most astute parents I have the privilege of knowing.

    Thank you for being YOU! I am your mother, but you have taught me some of life’s lessons along the way and I am so grateful to you and to God for having captured your heart. One of the latest teachings I will forever remember is ‘the light bulb’! In just a few short minutes, that analogy and your knowledge enlightened me and put things in prospective for me.

    Rozie, you will indeed soar! Mirror your parents and you WILL, without a doubt , succeed! Papa & I are absolutely proud of you Rozie and will only be a phone call away, when you need us. We love you and pray that God’s plans for you are all that you want them to be! E pili mau na pomaika`i ia `oe (May blessings ever be with you).


  2. Hi! I'm Janiece says:

    Okay, that just prompted another tsunami of tears. Thank you Mom. I believe God has an amazing plan for each person and the tapestry that He creates with threads of our history that will reach into the future are all a part of the amazing work He is doing. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for Ellery or for each of my other children, but I do know that they will be proud of their heritage and the two amazing sets of grandparents that are a part of their stories.

    Love you too Mom!

  3. Garthea Henson says:

    Dear Janiece, I
    t is for this time of life, her life, you have raised her. How sad it would be, indeed, if she were not ready. I remember her tears on the steps of the aud. during 2nd grade play practice, and am thankful she was learning to depend on God’s help even then. It has been a joy to watch both of you grow in your love of God and in your walk with Him.

    His grace has always been sufficient and will continue to be. After all, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    It will be exciting for me to watch how He continues to sustain you and grow Ellery.

    Much love,

  4. Frances Marriott says:

    The fruit does fall far from the tree! From Carol and Joe Santos, The Senior Sablans and You Janice and Greg. You all are an inspiration to this world! You truly are blessed! I too learned from you and am still learning as a mother. Thank you Janice for sharing your heart of huge strength and courage!

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