Yesterday, I attended my Uncle Art's funeral in Honolulu. The bulk of the ceremony was comprised of stories from his three sons. You can see them in the photo above: Carey, Anthony, and Scott. My mom also shared her thoughts and memories. Everyone did a perfect job of conveying his unique and giving personality. My uncle's death is one of the most shocking and saddening experiences in memory, but the day was enlightening, inspiring, and hopefully a bit healing.
Afterwards, we went to the vegetarian side of Legends for an informal banquet. This is where Uncle Art and Auntie Lucille would take me and my friends during our last few visits, and it felt fitting to be there. My mom brought some old pictures of her brothers Art and Yen, and shared stories that I had never heard before.
After lunch, we took the Pali Highway to the cemetery. That side of the island is often rainy, and yesterday was no exception. It was very dramatic, and actually kind of fitting.
The day ended at Uncle Art and Auntie Lucille's house, where we tried to make a dent into the former's stash of ice cream (8 quarts?), had Gina's take-out and Leonard's malasadas for dinner, and then played a game on his Scrabble board. Uncle Art kicked my ass with those tiles many times, and it would have been poetic for his oldest son Anthony to beat me, but I wound up winning when I ended the game.
I flew back to L.A. at 7:00 a.m. this morning but it felt like yesterday lasted forever, not unlike the impression left by Uncle Art on his sons and family. In lieu of flowers, donations were taken for defibrillators to give to youth soccer teams--a perfectly practical yet softie move that perfectly matches his personality.