If you’re like me, you get pleasure out of browsing the shelves at thrift stores and other second-hand shops. While the places can offer some great deals on clothing, they also house many interesting items that you won’t be able to find in a retail store today. A person could spend hours browsing the shelves of their local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or Savers searching for that perfect item to complete their wardrobe or the décor in their living room or dining room.
While browsing her local Salvation Army in Lihue, Hawaii, the only thing that Shannon Hiramoto wanted to find was a muumuu. She adored the traditional Hawaiian dress, which fit loosely on the body and was very comfortable. That’s why she often went to thrift stores looking for muumuus in the vintage style. But when she found a particular dress at her Salvation Army, Shannon knew that it was special.
Although the dress was exactly her style, when she got home she noticed something else about it. The dress had a handwritten message on the tag. This was unusual, but she looked closely and was able to decipher the writing.
When she realized what it said, the truth hit Shannon like a truck. It was mu’umu’u magic. And it all started decades ago.
In an interview with KHON2, she told everything:
“I saw this beautiful muumuu right here, and I’m like, ooh, a mini one, because you know it’s always fun finding a shorter one. When I looked at the tag, it said Liberty House, then it also had handwritten on it ‘Kamei.'”
The name was very familiar to her. Kamei was her great-grandmother’s last name before she married and began starting the family that would one day become Shannon’s.
A sense of “knowing” overcame her. That’s when her memory jogged, and she recalled a photo of her great-grandmother wearing a frock that looked very similar to the one she had bought at the thrift store.
“I just knew that she always liked to wear muumuu that had pink or purple or red, and it seemed familiar in this memory way.”
Shannon went searching through the family photo albums. She wanted to know if her great-grandmother was ever pictured in the dress. But she found nothing.
“Then a couple nights later, my mom texts me a photo, and it’s this (pointing to muumuu), and it’s her, and it’s a full-body shot, and I was just so excited.”
She found the photo and then realized something else. In the background was the United Church of Christ in Hanapepe.
And that’s where her family had laid great-grandma’s ashes to rest.
“What’s really special about it is she’s there. Her ashes, her remains are in the back of the church there, so it was like visiting her again.”
In the video report below, you can hear more from Shannon and what it was like for her to come across the piece of history from her family’s past.
What do you think about this amazing story of a family come full-circle?
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