When I speak of my father, Charlie, I speak of a man who was 100% dedicated to his wife and his children. This past Monday, Jan. 14th, he turned 73 years old. His hair is all white now, he limps when he walks due to a mild stroke a few years back. I've already wrote about him in some of my previous posts, but to-day I wanted to make a tribute to him, for I am forever and ever will be grateful for all that he has done for me, for my mother and the rest of his children.
My mother was his queen. I grew up adoring the way they loved each others and the way they loved us. I made up my mind at a very young age that when I get married, I wanted someone just like my father.
His examples were not merely from his words alone, but also with labor and much patience at that. I remember him as a mechanic for the school district and as a cook at home. He treated my mother with respect and cherished her until her last breath when she died of breast cancer last year. Never, have I witnessed a husband so loving and dedicated to his wife as my father did for my mother.
This man was fun to be around. Never a dull moment with my dad. He'd take us riding on his big machineries at his work. Plows, Tractors, Bulldozers and we'd watched him dig holes after holes for buildings and other things. Then he fixed cars from all over our island. He fixes things. We'd go to our plantation and plant all kinds of things. And then he'd take us swimming in the ocean. When he does, he loads up our pick up truck full of the kids from our village and head out to the beach up town. Boy it was fun. To this day, I cherish those memories.
One of the funnest things we use to do as kids was playing out in the pouring rain. All the children gather together to the high school and just run wild, slipping and sliding until our skin become rubbery and wrinkly. My father took me out this one night and not only it was raining hard but there was thunder and lightning lighting up the sky. It was the most beautiful thing to me. I stood there in the dark, clinging to one of his legs and just watching the sky as it pours down hearing the drumming of thunders while lightning lights up the sky. I was not scared at all for my dad was with me. I remember everything about my father. To this day it never fail to bring a smile to my face.
I'm thankful that I was blessed with a dad such as Charlie. He would sit on our piano and play and sing so loud. Our house was the only two-story house in the village and when he sings, the who village can hear him. Not that he knows how to sing or play the piano. Noooo. He just made up words and made up notes. It was hilarious.
I don't know how long he's got to live. One thing I know for sure is that I have to make it count. He lives with my brother Tuita. But what I would really like to do is to take him home, back to the island. To his big house and the place that he loves. I think if he dies he'd want to be buried right next to the woman he loves. But I think what would really make him happy is that if he takes a trip back to the home he build and the places he loved. I love my father. He can't read English at all, he speaks very very little of it but it's always funny how I'd go to his house and he'd describe to me what is going on around the world just by watching TV and trying to make out what they're saying in the news.
Charlie has left us all a very rich and joyful legacy. I can't thank him enough for everything he has done for us. Even to this day, he helps in everything that we're in need of. From fixing our broken down cars to our broken down houses. He makes things better and beautiful. I love you dad.