Sunday, March 12, 2006
Aloha 'Oe Uncle Freddie
Growing older has its benefits. I make more money than I did when I was 22, I own a car and home, and I value relationships more. But there is one thing that is inescapable as one gets older, one thing which strikes heartache and tears and that is the inevitable fate of all of us, death. When I was young, I never thought about my own mortality nor did I think of the mortality of others. But as I've aged, once youthful friends of my parents have started to pass away.
Yesterday my family said goodbye to a dear family friend, Uncle Freddie. I've known Uncle Freddie for decades. He and my father worked together years ago and while he had other occupations, I will always remember him as a Waikiki Beach Boy. In the 70s and 80s, Uncle Freddie worked on Waikiki Beach teaching people to surf, paddle canoe, ride catamaran, and anything else that can be done on the beach. During the summer of my 4th and 5th grade year, Uncle Freddie came by to pick up my brother and me and take us to Waikiki. We'd get up at about 5:30 am and Uncle Freddie would get us and drive us the 30 minutes to the beach. We'd spend the whole day there hanging out. During a lull in the day, Uncle Freddie got us surfboards and took us out. He got us seats on a canoe so we could learn to paddle. And if we were good, or obnoxious, he'd get us seats on a catamaran. The days were filled with sun and ocean. We wouldn't come home until 8:00 pm, completely exhausted. It was the best summer.
Over the years Uncle Freddie supported our family by attending family events, graduations and numerous parties. Several years back, Uncle Freddie was diagnosed with throat cancer, which he lived through brilliantly. After my father was diagnosed with liver cancer, he became my father's cancer support buddy. As each recovered from numerous chemo treatments they would plan trips to Vegas...and only Vegas. In fact, they had planned a trip for April.
The last time I saw Uncle Freddie was in December 2005. He attended my graduation party which my parents hosted for me. He looked healthy and handsome, which is how I get to remember him. Growing older has its benefits, but it also has its heartaches.
Posted by suzan at 5:24 PM