Him, Her and Angels Sent…

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Mom and Pops

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As I reflect upon my childhood, the greatest thing that stood out in my mind was the closeness of this family. It didn’t matter to me what the overall financial status was, the family stayed close through thick and thin. After my dad left the army of 25 years he had a very hard time keeping or finding work. From VW salesman to security guard he was out there trying to make a better life for his family.

We were never close as father and son, I was always off doing my own thing and he was trying to find work. I blame myself for this separation, even to this day. He served three campaigns during the wars – Italy, North Africa and North Korea. I haven’t a clue about any of this, he never talked about it and I never asked him. It’s shameful and I’ll always regret not getting closer to the man who took cared of me, who loved me.

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Words cannot express the feelings and love I have for my mother. She reminds me of a mother hen that has all her chicks around her and wherever she went we would follow. We could talk to each other like we were best friends, of course I never would admit that to anyone outside the family but she is where everything started and ended, at least in my life. Yes I was sort of a mama’s boy but hey, alone, with no one around we all are. You can admit it.

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They both led honorable and productive lives living as if the end of the world was on the morrow. However, they both ironically were subjected to the cruelties of life, as I learned at an early age just how rough life can be.
Dad crashed his car one night asleep at the wheel and broke his neck. He would be in beds and wheelchairs for 10 years trying to make the best of his somewhat limited life. Mom developed pancreatic cancer and would die a quick death. It wasn’t easy for this young man to see this and I remember distancing myself so it wouldn’t be in my face.

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I give tribute to my two sisters who took charge of the caring and whatever else they needed in their time of need. It is they my sisters who had that strength and compassion to make their lives a little easier, it is they who I will always remember and forever be grateful to for this love and kindness. They were angel sent…

1. Photos: top, Pops, Retired Major, US Army

2. Mom, Pa’u rider for Oahu in the Aloha day Parade (I think she’s 20yrs here)

3. A rare early photo of a mom and pops

4. The two angels… Love you

The Lehua Flower

A Hawaiian Legend

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One day Pele, the goddess of the volcano, met a handsome young man named Ohia. She desired to have him as her sweetheart. He confessed that he already was in love with another young girl, Lehua. This enraged Pele and she used her magical powers to transform the young man into the ugly Ohia tree. Lehua was terribly sad and pleaded with Pele to return the young man back to his human form. Pele refused so Lehua begged the gods to help her to be reunited with Ohia. Instead of changing Ohia back to a human, the gods transform Lehua into a lovely red blossom to adorn the Ohia tree. Now when anyone picks a Lehua blossom, it will rain because the lovers have been separated.

I digress from my normal postings to share a bit of Hawaii with you. Hope you enjoyed it.

So far, so good… I think!

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Remembering how it all went down.
As a young dad I was pretty naive about fatherhood but my willingness to succeed overshadowed my clumsy attempt at being all I could be. I had no clue about it, I just knew it had to work. I don’t remember reading a book or taking a class about fatherhood, what I did know was the example set by my own father growing up, remembering the times we had together and lessons learned. It seemed that earlier knowledge was packed away somewhere ready to come out when it was needed.

My wife on the other hand seemed to be that supermom, knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. She was in control. She went, I followed… Go figure

If you’re a guy reading this, there’s a great lesson here, keep your mouth shut and follow your women…

Photos: Top, Grandkids in grandpa’s pool. Where else are they going on a summer day

It’s your vision…

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Just because Ansel Adams says so, doesn’t make it right. Open your eyes and see again. Care not what others think might be, but stay true to your vision”.
Onehappyhapa

Photo: Around the island drive-by shooting. Oahu, Hawaii

This should have been my very first post…

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Growing up in Hawaii in the 50s and 60s you were somewhat sheltered from the outside world. Then, Hawaii was a close knit place not complicated, not hard, but simple, certain and safe.
My childhood was centered around a loving family. It was pretty much a “Cosby” or “Leave it to Beaver” scenario. It was predictable. When you have parents who care and kids that are goody to-shoes there’s not a whole lot of drama that’s going to happen.

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I learned later in life that there’s more to life than me. A self-centered person living in a self-centered world. You see I firmly believe my life didn’t really start until I married my wife in October of 1971. For the first time in my short life I’ve done something that will have a profound impact on me in the years to follow.

So I write these stories, whatever you want to call them, so you might know what I know, the how, the why of things that matter to me as a person, as a husband, and now as a grandfather. I dedicate this to my kids that they might read and know about their dad, and that they always remember it is “they” who have kept me going all these years.

And if I have help someone along the way, that would make my heart leap knowing that I was an influence on their life’s journey.

Photos: Top, Kailua Beach
Bottom: Pounders Beach, Laie, Oahu