I sat in the rain in Nuuanu at the graves of my grandparents and wondered what life would be like if they were still here.
It’s probably something a lot of think about on Memorial Day, but this one been particularly hard.
I don’t have any more grandparents alive and I see people around me — my parents, the Old Guys — getting older and older. I wish I talked to my grandparents more, wrote down their stories, learned their recipes. Time is so fleeting like that.
So on this Memorial Day, after you visit those who have passed, spend time with those still around. Listen to their stories, learn to make their nishime, and most importantly, hug them and tell them you love them. That’s what Memorial Day should be all about.
I, and most of my elementary school friends my age, have now lost both parents. Most of our dads were WW2 vets who lost friends or brothers in that war. I don’t regret a single hug I gave my dad, who passed away last Septmeber. You’re right, I wish I’d given him a few more.
Excellent sentiments. had an Uncle in the Vietnam War, about a dozen family members in WWII, and some cousins in Afghanistan and Iraq. This day brings back a mix of sad and happy memories. Of all the uncles I think the one I never met deserves honorable mention. It seems poor Iulus, not misspelled, was captured at Bataan. He then survived the march. Then he weathered several years in Camp O’Donnell. When MacArthur arrived to liberate the Philippines he was loaded onto the Shinyo Maru to be transferred to a prison camp in Japan. As she rounded the Mindanao peninsula on September 7, 1944 the USS Paddle parked two torpedoes in her putting on the bottom of the Pacific. Killed by friendly fire. Miraculously all other family members survived horrific battles in the Pacific. Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Okinawa, with Ollis in Tokyo harbor when the treaty was signed. Ollis was Iulus’s older brother. And a special salute to my dad, 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, NC. Wish you were still here, miss you every day. Keep the tee boxes open inside the pearly gates… you and Woodson both are overdue a major a$$kickin.