Story of My Life One Day At A Time

Some things that run through my head. More like a Journal. Or a blog. Well whatever you want to call it. Just a place to rant about the happenings of daily life.

Chapter 1

Papa and Grandpa

So over the past few years my aunties father, who I also call Papa, has been ill. These last few months have been a hard time for him and it looks as if he will be passing away soon. So I would like to take some time to filter my memories of this great man out in the open.

Papa was always a strong and soft spoken man. He wasn't a very big impact on my childhood since he lived further away from me. Papa in these last few years has been too hell and back with his health. He suffered from Alzheimer's, so the times were filled with reminding him who we were and trying to persuade him to come home with us. He was a loving and funny man even through his hard times. He used to always laugh with me and say things like 'they don't know I can understand them but I do." When speaking about his own grandchildren. I always laughed at the things he would do to them ex. chase them with sticks, throw rocks the size of softballs at them, throw pots and pans at them. Half the time, they deserved it. Ok maybe more then half.

Papa always sat and talked with me, even though half the time he was speaking Samoan so I couldn't understand him, but I still knew that just sitting there and saying "Ole'a?" (how are you?) or "Manuia le po/aso"(good night/day) would make him happy. His day would brighten when I would end our visits with a small "ia iolele" (sp) (take care of yourself) or even calling his own grandchildren "valea" (stupid) when they would piss him off.

Today is one of his last days on this earth and I can't help but think of my own grandfather. My fathers, father who is currently residing in hospital in Hawaii. At the times I stayed there or visited him I always felt a sense of peace. Of belonging. And now I wish to be with him and sing to him, read him to sleep, or just fall asleep at his side studying my school books. I never had the real chance to get to know my own grandfather on my fathers side. He had lived here in the mainland once for several years when I was younger but it is now a distant memory that is more fully covered in home video's. He has lost the ability to speak and to walk. But he is still functioning enough to get his point across in his facial features. I feel as though I have somehow failed my own grandfather by not being there for him in his time of need. And now I am grief stricken at the thought of never being near him before he passes away.

I have lost my Uncle, my grandmother (my fathers mother) and my grandfather( on my mothers side.) My uncle and grandmother are my reasons for wanting to be nearer my fathers family. I feel so distant from them. I never knew them before they passed, only home videos showed me what they were like. I had to rely on stories from my cousins who had lived with them long and way before I did.

My father is a caged bird. In fact he has made his cage his home and decided to make it permanent. You see my mother likes things the way she wants them and does not wish to change things. She refuses to let my family move closer to my dad's family and although she doesn't say it I know it's because she thinks less of them. You see I am of mixed race (white and samoan) in other words afakasi. My mother's family is mostly open to us(my sibling) being brown. But I see it in their eyes the way they look at us. With a hate that can only be described as discrimination.

Now I'm trying to play the 'brown card' well in fact I can't really play that card since I'm the lighter skinned one in my family. So how does this all tie in together? Well, this past week of seeing my aunty struggle with the fact of losing her father, I have come to the realization that I need to visit my own grandfather and care for him in his last days. But unforgivable circumstances are holding me back from the choice I wish to make. I only wish to see my grandfather live the rest of his days in peace, but sometime's it seems as though it is certain family members (cough my mother cough) mission to keep my father from his family. I wish for her to understand and quit being so selfish, but it seems that wish will be unanswered for.

So I also wish for one other thing. For my papa to have a safe journey through this life and into the next. May the Lord accept him into his arms where he may rest until the call for the rest of us to come home to him. He has earned his rest and may he find it peaceful and fulfilling. Tofa mai feleni. And may you be reunited with those you have long waited to see. Love you papa. you will always have a place in my heart.

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