Entries Tagged as 'In Memoriam'

Dia de los Muertos is a Celebration of Life!

November 2nd was Dia de los Muertos (the day of the dead) this year.  I was going to talk about this for the most recent Carnival of Aloha but I was too slow.  Talking about marigolds and a picture of these flowers was all I could muster.  The mystique of the marigolds intrigued a couple of readers and now I have to try to make this even more fascinating.

Birds watch over Puea Cemetery on School Street in Honolulu

I love how these white cattle egrets look so creepy sitting on those grave stones?  Most people refer to them as garbage dump birds but I’m going to go with Michael Walther at O’ahu Nature Tours and call them egrets.  Mahalo, Michael, for that information and reassurance!

Regular readers know how much I love and respect our graveyards.  Does this strike you as morbid?  It’s not!  Honest!  Let me explain.

CBS News Sunday Morning found itself on Halloween this year.  There were so many wonderful stories but I selected the best fit for this post.  I hope that link will work, at least for a while.  Fortunately for those strange people, like me, who are stricken with a touch of graveyard addiction, they spoke of all kinds of things like the tombstones of celebrities and some of the self-made monuments of the ultra-rich.

They even talked about the human fascination with, and dissecting of, the afterlife and near-death experiences that people often talk about.  I couldn’t help but be intrigued by America’s nerdy need to put a scientific explanation on it all.  Yeah, they actually think they might find one!  Good luck with that. Wonderful show, CBS, I so wish that I had taped it all!

What CBS missed, being stuck in Halloween, was a much more beautiful way to deal with the memory of our deceased families, friends, and yes, even celebrities.  I am anti-Halloween because I have read about its evil origins and, to be honest, it frightens me.  I love the silly dress up and the eerie nonsense, but the reality is not something I care to deal with if I can avoid it.

Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) puts the celebratory feel where it belongs — on treasured memories, not on ghouls and goblins.  Mexico doesn’t mourn their dead, they celebrate their lives!  What a beautiful way to remember loved ones and our ancestors.

I need to bring this all home to Honolulu.  Dealing with the memory of our loved ones and caring for their resting places is always a concern and very much a part of Hawaii’s culture, to be sure!  Sometimes the cultural observances of others overflow the borders of countries and are adopted.  Hawai’i should know all about this!

Don’t get me wrong; we celebrate too.  A good example of this is our celebration of the much revered King Kamehameha whom we remember with lei and a parade very year!  But, what do we do about our families and friends?  We take flowers, say prayers and/or recite words of love, and then weep.  I think I like the Mexican tradition better. 

I think we should blend the traditions.  Take flowers, say a prayer, recite a message of love, and then party!  Celebrate their lives and the people that they were.  What a wonderful tribute that is to them.  If they are still hanging around nearby (depending on your beliefs), they can join in and appreciate our efforts!

Marigolds from Home Depot

I know, you’re wondering, “Yes, but why the marigolds?”  My sister mentioned that they were a popular flower with spirits.  From what I’ve read, they are the flower of choice for Dia de los Muertos events.  Home Depot had a lot of them!  I noticed that many of them disappeared between the afternoon of November 1st and the morning of the 2nd.  Perhaps I’m not the only one?  Just an observation.

On November 2nd I quietly combined the traditions and took some marigolds, prayers, wipes, and water, and went graveyard hopping.  The sun was not always in my favor for picture taking but the photos are full of sentiment!  The places and the people may or may not be familiar to some but the message is universal.

Rose Pelayo stone at Puea Cemetery in Kalihi.

I started at Puea Cemetery because one of my readers who leaves comments from time to time told me that his grandmother was buried there.  I’m hoping that Rose Pelayo is Keahi’s grandma.  I have not seen him for a while so I hope he will let me know that I found the right lady!  If not, I’m still happy that I visited and prayed for someone there.  This little cemetery needs all the prayers and visitors that it can get!  These grounds are under the State of Hawaii’s jurisdiction and the State is in need of a reprimand but that’s another story for another time.

Nu’uanu has the best neighbors!  My dear friend’s grandmother is at Nu’uanu Memorial Park cemetery so I had to visit there.

Grandma Helen at Nu’uanu Memorial Park cemetery.

The sun was very warm that day and it was drying up my cleaning quickly!  The flowers seemed to like it though.

Zadoc and Lawrence Brown’s stones at O’ahu cemetery.

When it comes to upkeep and elegance, O’ahu Cemetery will not to be outshined by its neighbors.  It is worth noting here that my marigolds were not single flowers but rather a collection of little potted plants — that’s why they are not inside the vases.  The Brown family has a nice little area at O’ahu Cemetery and there is a lot of history there.  That is one thing that O’ahu Cemetery has a lot of — history!

Young Gill Jamieson buried at O’ahu cemetery.

I cannot, and will not, forget little Gill Jamieson whose story still shakes me because I know that story is what my own mother’s warnings were based on.  I washed his stone, gave him his marigolds, and told him that he didn’t die in vain.  His story has and will continue to protect children from the harm of messed up people like the one who kidnapped and murdered Gill at the tender age of 10.

Paticio and Francisca Yangson’s stone at Hawaiian Memorial Park cemetery.

Then it was time to shake a leg and move over to the Windward side and Hawaiian Memorial Park cemetery.  There are a lot of friends and family buried there.  I couldn’t find my own grandparents but I was able to find my husband’s grandparents.

James Wallace at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

Behind Hawaiian Memorial is another military cemetery, Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.   This is my stepfather’s stone.  The red dirt doesn’t help photography either.  I set a rule at the start of this day that I would not cry.  This was a day for the celebration of their lives.  Remember I said we are supposed to celebrate rather than weep? Rule broken.  I couldn’t help it!  This is fitting since today is Veterans’ Day!  Jim was more than a soldier for our country; he was a soldier for our family.

Mililani Cemetery grounds.

Mililani Cemetery is the best kept cemetery.  The grounds people are going at it constantly, and it shows!

Albertina Botelho’s stone at Mililani Cemetery.

Albertina Botelho is buried at Mililani Cemetery.  She was always a very dear friend.  I still remember things she said to me and the things I learned from her.  In my senior year, only a few months before graduation, she asked me for a graduation picture.  A few days later she was gone.  I had already broken my no-cry rule once today; I broke it again as I watered her marigolds.

I said my little prayer about eight times that day and used a lot of Lysol wipes. I wanted to do this — to celebrate with these dearly departed souls because the opportunity presented itself.  So, I did.  While exhausting, this was an accomplishment that felt really good, inside and out.  Um, I think I really like marigolds!

Presidential Proclamation!

King Kamehameha statue draped with leisI have to admit to being stunned.  I shouldn’t have been since Barack’s roots are here, but I have to admit it — I was speechless (for all of about 3 seconds).

Just in case you missed it, I am more than happy to share it with everyone here!  I missed it when it first came out.  I heard about it through word-of-mouth from about three or four different sources, including the morning news, and then I had no problem spreading it around! This is kind of how the conversations went:

“Did you hear about the President’s proclamation?”

“What proclamation?” was the usual, wide-eyed response.  I think the expectation was that there was something new about the economic drama or some new find or fix for the oil spill — since those have been the buzz topics taking over the news recently.

“He said the country should recognize King Kamehameha Day!”

“No way!?!”

“Isn’t that something?” was my usual reply with a big grin.

Still don’t believe me?  Here it is, verbatim, from the White House website:

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

June 10, 2010

Presidential Proclamation–King Kamehameha Day

Two hundred years ago, King Kamehameha the Great brought the Hawaiian Islands together under a unified government.  His courage and leadership earned him a legacy as the “Napoleon of the Pacific,” and today his humanity is preserved in Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe, or “the Law of the Splintered Paddle.”  This law protects civilians in times of war and remains enshrined in Hawaii’s constitution as “a unique and living symbol of the State’s concern for public safety.”

On this bicentennial King Kamehameha Day, we celebrate the history and heritage of the Aloha State, which has immeasurably enriched our national life and culture.  The Hawaiian narrative is one of both profound triumph and, sadly, deep injustice.  It is the story of Native Hawaiians oppressed by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom.  These grim milestones remind us of an unjust time in our history, as well as the many pitfalls in our Nation’s long and difficult journey to perfect itself.  Yet, through the peaks and valleys of our American story, Hawaii’s steadfast sense of community and mutual support shows the progress that results when we are united in a spirit of limitless possibility.

In the decades since their persecution, Native Hawaiians have remained resilient.  They are part of the diverse people of Hawaii who, as children of pioneers and immigrants from around the world, carry on the unique cultures and traditions of their forebears.  As Americans, we can all admire these traits, as well as the raw natural beauty of the islands themselves.  Truly, the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii echoes the American Spirit, representing the opportunities we all have to grow and learn from one another as we carry our Nation toward a brighter day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 11, 2010, as King Kamehameha Day.  I call upon all Americans to celebrate the rich heritage of Hawaii with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

I don’t need to say anything; it speaks for itself.  The only thing that comes to mind is to say to the President, “Mahalo, bruddah!”

Big Business Creates the Best Stories!

WalMart store signIt always comes as such a surprise and I am  always quite moved when a corporation takes steps to assist the community where it does business, and/or takes steps to educate itself about that community.  Respect, preservation, and education is not always something taken on by corporate America’s larger brand names.

In the most unlikely of places, we found a little bit of cultural respect from Wal-Mart.  I’m not one to give a lot of credit to Wal-Mart since most of what we hear about them is anything but good news, but I’ll give them this one.

In Hawai’i, the finding of iwi (bones) is probably one of our most sensitive and touchy subjects.  Honolulu probably suffers from the largest number of incidents because it is constantly growing and there is always something being built.

The discovery of iwi during the construction of the Wal-Mart store on Ke’eaumoku Street was a finding taken very seriously.  The last I heard when this came to light was that there were 64 set of iwi that were about 150 years old.  While things were kept relatively low key, it was not an all-happy or non-confrontational event!  Findings such as these occur much more frequently than we would like them to and the parties involved had no problem sharing their views.

Memorial at Honolulu Wal-Mart

After reading through some of the articles, it seems to me that some of the “experts” hired to do a job were perhaps not the best choice to handle a matter so delicate and/or to handle the treasured bones themselves.  I know we have talked before about the importance of the iwi in Hawaiian culture.  These are not dinosaur bones from an archaeological dig!  They are family members!

Wal-Mart, and any other business for that matter, cannot always control the behavior of the people they hire to perform a service.  It is difficult to be at the mercy of those performing work that is outside one’s own line of business.  That’s why they hire specialists.  All of that aside, I think the completed memorial is actually very attractive and whoever was in charge of that, did a fine and respectful job!

Corner of Makaloa and Sheridan Streets

There are, as you can see, “Keep Out” and “Don’t Walk on Grass” signs all around this little monument.  It looks quite a bit like a heiau and it is surrounded by newly-planted indigenous plants, the kind often found in such places.  They originally said it would be landscaped and open to the public so perhaps they’re waiting for the plants to take root.  In case residents haven’t found it yet, the photo above shows you exactly where it is — on the corner of Makaloa and Sheridan Streets on the property shared by Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.

Cultural preservation is on the upswing in Hawai’i and it’s not all being left only up to us.

Getting ready for work and listening with one ear to the news the other morning, I was stopped in my tracks and had to run to the TV and press rewind on the remote (thanks to Oceanic Time Warner Cable, we can do that!).  As I fumbled for the right button I muttered, “They’re doing what?!?  No way!”

I love this story and I’m sending a shout out to the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel for being a part of the community where they do business and for proactively reinforcing its culture!  KHON2 News did a nice little segment about a family whose son wanted a big tree on their property to be made into a canoe.  I hesitate because links like that one often become dead when the story gets moved so I’ll include the gist of it here just in case.

Their son passed away six years ago but his dream may still become a reality.  The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel asked the family to donate that same tree for them to turn into a canoe!  Based on a quote from the KHON2 News article, the father responded:

“The only thing we like out of this is to have the canoe named after my son cuz for a while he had already seen this being one canoe”

The hotel agreed, and named the canoe “Kaililaau.”

The canoe is being built as part of the hotel’s Pookela program which allows employees to learn aspects of the Hawaiian culture.

Building a canoe is certainly no easy task and for the hotel to have done this with the goal of perpetuating a piece of Hawaiian culture is nothing less than commendable!

Mahalo to KHON2 and kudos to the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel!

See how great it is when big business does the right thing?  🙂

Feeling it in Our Bones

The Mana

Mana is a Hawaiian word that is most often used to refer to a spiritual or divine power.  Sometimes it is used to define a miraculous or authoritative power.  “Mana makua” is parental authority.  You see, mana is one of those words that, like “aloha,” can mean several different things.  Mana has more of a spiritual essence to it than most of the English words we’re used to.

livingcemetery.jpg

Aside from the fact that there are four or five different species of birds in this photo taken at Oahu Cemetery, the cemeteries do have a life all their own.  Could it be that “mana” that we sometimes feel when stepping onto the grounds of one of these burial places?  Each cemetery gives off its own “sense” when you visit.  Oahu Cemetery is, like its namesake, friendly.  There’s a sense of “thanks for coming to visit” when you go there — it’s peaceful and, yes, friendly.

If you follow the traditional way that Hawaiians always regarded the dead, the essence of a person resides in their bones.  I’ve touched on the spiritual significance of the iwi (bones) before.  With that in mind, there actually should be a “feeling” at all cemeteries, right?  What we don’t always know is just how many other hidden treasures a cemetery may be holding.

I do frequent the ones in the Nuuanu area, Mauna ‘Ala included, because I’m weird like that.  Unbeknownst to me, the maternal grandmother of a very dear friend from my high school years was buried right across the street from the burial ground pictured above.  I kind of found this out the hard way.

My darling girlfriend and her mother were there one day recently when I called them.  They were taking a lunch break in the midst of trying to deal with arrangements for their newly-deceased father and husband.  Sometimes when you lose track of the people you’re close to, you meet up with a few shocks in the process.

Grandma Gaughen

This was not something that I had planned to do but I was certainly at a loss for what the heck I should do!  So, I went to visit grandma, my newly-discovered neighbor, and took her some flowers.  What else could I do that would have meant anything to the ohana that I had been separated from for far too long?!?  Then I wanted to talk about all of this; I had to talk about all of this internal drama and I had nobody to share it with.  Wait!  “Hey, idiot, you have a blog!”   Oh yeah!

uncleherbert.jpg

~ Herbert Walter DeCambra ~
October 21 1934 – August 24, 2009 

Late Saturday afternoon I listened while friends and family shared their feelings and stories of a much-loved man who left a definite mark on all who knew him.  This memorial service was a unique experience for me.  It was one that his family labeled “A Celebration of Life.”  Somewhere between the tears and the laughter I realized that this title was perfect.  I am very grateful that I was able to be there with so many people I grew up with, got into trouble with, pissed off Uncle Herbert with — you know the drill.

What touched me most was the joining together of long lost relationships —  friends, family members, and some that were a little of both.  Some of us may be on the opposite side of the island but that doesn’t stop the love or break up the treasured memories.  While holding on to some of the dearest friends from my youth, I realized that we cannot let this happen again!  We’re back in contact and we’ve got to keep it that way!

There was one more gift you gave us, Uncle Herbert.  You brought us back together!  Everyone will miss you but I will always be in your debt for making all of this happen for us!  You were “felt” there!  I’m going with “mana makua” — a parental authority that is now a spiritual, parental authority.  I will carry this revelation with me in my heart and all the way to the bone for many years to come.

Aloha and may God bless the DeCambra family in this time of loss and transition. He p?maika’i ‘ia mai ke Akua!  My heart and prayers are with you all!

Honolulu Says Aloha to President Sue Wesselkamper

Chaminade University sign

Chaminade University of Honolulu has suffered a great loss that is felt in the hearts of many in the community.  Sue Wesselkamper, President of the college, passed away on January 3rd.  Cancer has taken yet another victim and left a community and one of its educational icons to mourn.

While I didn’t know her personally, I knew her name.  I’m feeling the twinges of sorrow from those community members who did know her.  The Honolulu Advertiser published a wonderful article about Dr. Wesselkamper and the Catholic college she helped to revitalize.

Memorial services were held yesterday, January 10th.  Aloha, Dr. Sue, may the Lord welcome you home.

Farewell to a Memorable Woman

We want to bid a heart-felt aloha to Madelyn Dunham who passed away just one day before the election of her grandson to the highest office in the Nation and across the globe.  We were all devastated that it happened just one day too soon.  Sigh. 

She was a heck of a lady and one that no one ever forgot.  She left her mark on people she worked with and on people, like me, who only heard about her.  Apparently, from what I’ve read and followed (thank you, CNN); she left her mark on her grandson as well.  He will carry on her drive and determination — we’re counting on it!  I’ve read about things he has done in the past and I don’t doubt it! 

madelynbarack.jpg

I don’t know who to give credit to for this photo.  I have seen it everywhere.  I have to send a huge mahalo out to whomever it was that took this picture.  I chose to include it here because it shows, not only her maternal adoration of her grandson, but it also confirms that she really was the support that Barack has always claimed her to be.  Most significantly, it shows how very proud she was. 

Many of us, me included, were devastated when she passed away the day before his election.  But, I took comfort in Obama’s acceptance speech when he stated that he knew she was watching.  He’s a strong man but that had to hurt.   


To the likes of Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, I hope you guys are pleased with yourselves.  Here is what Limbaugh said:

“Who announces days in advance they’re rushing to the side of a loved one who is deathly ill, but keeps campaigning in a race that’s said to be over, only to go to the loved one’s side days later? See, I think this is about something else… This birth certificate business, this lawsuit that a guy named Phillip Berg filed in Philadelphia in August for Obama to produce his genuine birth certificate, and he still hasn’t replied, he hasn’t done so.” 

As much as I hate to admit it, I used to listen to Limbaugh because I thought he was an informed and gifted speaker.  I don’t know what happened but he’s become nothing more than a no-class loser!  To compound the felony, I actually bought Michael Savage’s book because I thought he was intelligent.  Again, what happened?  

Personally, I hope Barack Obama makes them all eat crow! 


You raised a heck of a man, Mrs. Dunham!  I personally thank you for your accomplishment in that regard.  I also thank you for the example of leadership you set for those in your line of business.   Quality leaders one and all!  Yours is one bloodline that I am very happy to have leading my country!

Aloha, Madelyn, may your memory stay with us always!   

Memory Eternal, Metropolitan Laurus!

Orthodox Cross with ilima and tuberose leisHis Grace, Metropolitan Laurus, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), fell asleep in the Lord this morning. The Russian Orthodox parishes across the country are feeling this loss very deeply. Orthodox blogger, Felix Culpa, shares a nice post with more detailed information than I have been privy to and for that I am sincerely grateful! Thank you, Mr. Culpa.

After Liturgy today, the Russian Orthodox Community of Hawaii, the Holy Theotokos of Iveron Russian Orthodox Church, served a pannikhida (memorial service) for the Metropolitan. From Honolulu, Hawaii to Jordanville, New York, the Orthodox share in this loss. For the monks in Jordanville, my heartfelt prayers go out to you for your continued strength and fortitude during this confusing time.

There is some peace to be found in knowing that Metropolitan Laurus was able to see the lines of communication opened between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate. He was able both to witness and to participate in the healing of that division.

Give rest, oh Lord, to the soul of Thy departed servant! May his memory be eternal!

Honolulu Says Aloha to Another Legend

Aunty Genoa Keawe at Ma'e Ma'e Elementary School in May of 2007Genoa Keawe, that’s Aunty Genoa Keawe to most who knew her, passed away yesterday, Monday, February 25th. She was 89 years old.

KHON Channel 2 put together a nice tribute to her that explains her life and career.

In spite of it all, Aunty Genoa’s memory and all of the music she left behind will live on for decades.

Someone that I would have called a living legend, Genoa Keawe, will be remembered for her many contributions and influence on Hawaiian music, culture and the entertainers that followed after her. I will also venture to say that her work will continue to act upon the entertainment industry for at least several more decades.

This snippet from The City and County of Honolulu News and Events, released yesterday, quotes Honolulu’s Mayor who sums it up quite nicely:

Mayor Hannemann said Aunty Genoa should be remembered for her kindness and contributions to Hawaiian music, and as a symbol of Hawaii’s culture.

‘Aunty Genoa was an icon in the Hawaiian music scene for more than 50 years, and her signature falsetto voice and tremendous repertoire captivated audiences everywhere,’ Mayor Hannemann said. ‘She was a true island treasure who served as an important resource for scores of local musicians.’

The choir of angels just acquired a very powerful soprano! Rest in peace, Aunty, while your music and memory live on! Every Day is Lei Day in Hawaii, and in Heaven now too!

A Grief That’s Shared by an Entire Community

This story is one that Oahu residents are still scratching their heads over — the senseless death on Thursday of a child who was not quite two years old. Somehow, a peculiar resident of a small neighborhood in Makiki took little Cyrus Belt to a pedestrian, freeway overpass and tossed this toddler over the side and into the moving traffic.

I’m angry. I know others are angry. A little voice has been silenced and we want to know how such a thing could happen. Pictured below is a view of that bridge, facing in the direction of the east-bound traffic on the H-1. To the left you can just barely see people at the end of the bridge. Read on.

View of pedestrian bridge looking eastward.

Partly from frustration and partly from an anguish that I have not been able to put my finger on yet, people are leaving memorials, cards, balloons, signs, letters, stuffed animals, etc. I say frustration because I could “hear” it in some of the things that were written for Cyrus. The messages say things like, “You’re safe now,” “this was not supposed to happen,” “God please hear our prayers,” and other sentiments calling for awareness and a plea that this be a wake-up call for the community. We can’t fix this tragedy, we can’t do anything to make it better for Cyrus. All we can do is not let it happen again!

Gifts left for Cyrus

This is the memorial that was set up for Cyrus on the bridge where he was thrown to his death. It started in the middle of the bridge but the Department of Transportation had to step in and move the mementos to the end of the bridge for safety reasons. Trust me, it’s not because they wanted to… they had to for public safety. KHON2 has a perfect video to share and explain this.

Crowd to pay respects to Cyrus continues to grow

The Honolulu Advertiser printed a letter that was sent to them for them to share that asked, “How do I put away my grief?” This letter spoke volumes of the mass devastation being felt across Oahu County. People cannot pass over or under the bridge without being brought to tears.

People coming to remember Cyrus.

See for yourself — nobody called anyone, these people may or may not even know each other, but there they are. I didn’t know anyone, but there I was. I tried but I couldn’t stop the tears from falling — I finally gave up and decided I would just let them fall.

I was at work when the story broke on Thursday. I wanted to cry then. People in the office canceled plans they had made for that evening. It was just too much to absorb for many of us. The shock and disbelief was just too hard to figure out and it was too difficult to make sense of it all. “Why? How did this happen? Who could have done such a thing?”

Motorists stop for pedestrians wishing to visit the memorial.

I wasn’t the only one drawn to the scene. People continued to come to this little shrine on the bridge. Motorists gladly stopped to allow mourners to cross Magellan Street.

Traffic backed up but for good reason.

After I tore myself away from the bridge and headed for home I thought to myself that, “I shouldn’t have done that. Why did I do that?” I had to. The amount of parents with small children blew me away! After thinking about it, I realized that… they had to. I can tell you this much, this one is definitely a study for the psychology texts. I’m crying even now and finding it very hard to finish this post that I started two days ago.

The pictures above were taken Saturday afternoon. The pictures that follow were taken this afternoon (Sunday), approximately 24 hours later.

Sunday crowds leaving mementos.

People are still coming to the bridge to leave a piece of their heart with Cyrus’ memory. The only difference is that the memorial is larger and expanding its way down the wall along the side of the street.

The gifts increase in number

Yet this community remains in mourning and waits for answers to questions — answers that will let us stop the emotional turbulence. Afterwards, we can begin to contemplate ways to deal with the legal issues and the processes that will need to be implemented to protect the community and its keiki.

I was speaking to a very nice woman at one of the news channels in one last effort to get more answers before posting this. In the course of our conversation, something this lady said made me finally find something good about this whole scene. It suddenly dawned on me, you guys, that we’re not immune to it all!

We haven’t built up an immunity or steeled ourselves to these tragedies. We still care! This is who we are! The ohana that is our community feels the need to band together and, like any family that has lost a family member would do, we just need to lean on each other for a while. We’ll draw on each other’s strength and deal with the recent tragedies that our community has had to face.

For now, we say aloha to Cyrus. Go with God, little angel, we’ll pray for you!

Cherished Memories

Did I tell you guys that I got a new camera for Christmas? I’m hoping that the pictures will be improved since the mega pixel count is more than double what it was on the old one. The beauty of blogs is that those pictures we try very hard to get just right, stick around for a very long time. The photo albums of yesteryear are wonderful but the photos fade over time.

My father, Charles Henry Hunter, Jr.I have an old photo of my father that I will need to do something with before it is gone forever. I know there are people locally who do photo restoration. I’m afraid of that because this is the only real picture that I have of him, as I remember him. But, photo restoration may be my only option. Old photos are certainly worth restoring or preserving somehow!

This photo is what my father looked like during the latter years of his career as a history professor at UH Manoa. You can barely see it on the right of his face (case in point) but he is smoking a pipe. Like I said, it needs to be preserved, and restored, somehow.

Another thing that I ran across while I was searching around was a company that will actually take a photo and paint an artist’s rendition of it in oil! I have heard of this before but I have never really seen it in action like this. “Paint Your Life” — what a great name! Well, they certainly paint a person’s memories! Neat stuff and the videos on their site show you what they do step by step.

Yes, I know there’s Kat Vondee with her tattoo-artist’s eye, but this is art on canvas, not skin… and with oils! If you want to, you can have them stretch the canvas, mount it, frame it and wrap it for shipping. Maybe this is another thing to add to my shopping page. Even though it’s a little late for Christmas, there are still the other occasions for gift-giving and this would certainly make a great birthday gift!

Those birthdays are coming along fast a furious too! Egads!