I haven’t written a blog for a long time, but I’m back now. It’s ironic that I’ve returned to writing at a time when all I’ve been able to say this week is, “Words fail.”
As many of you know, my husband and I are living in Hawaii part time. We’ve been busy getting settled and my attention went elsewhere. When you come to stay at Hualalai, where we live, you experience the resort as a vacation paradise. And it is.But when you live here, it becomes home and the people around you become family, your Ohana. “Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional).” Being in the middle of the Pacific, far from any land mass and with an active volcano just on the other side of the mountains, creates an environment ideal for creating Ohana. So we have gotten to know people here and forged relationships that will be lasting.
As many of you know, my husband loves playing golf. And he loves playing with the younger generation—our son and his friends, our grandsons and their friends, and the young guys around here—one of them being Tom Callero. They were going to play golf this last Tuesday morning—Moe has it written down. But Tom was killed in a head on collision last Thursday driving home from work. Some guy crossed over the centerline and plowed into him. Forty-eight years old. Three small kids. Now a highway statistic.
Tom was such a kind soul—one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. Five minutes earlier—five minutes later—this sweetheart of a guy would be coming to work this morning and going home to his family tonight.
I’m not a lover of funerals or memorial services but Monday’s helped start the healing. The words spoken by Uncle Earl were healing, as were the tears he encouraged us not to hold in. Being with three hundred other people helped. Talking to Tom’s parents and seeing their courage helped. But as I stood at the ocean’s edge and tossed orchids into the water in Tom’s honor, I felt no relief or understanding. All I felt was the fragility of life. All I know is this could happen to anyone at any time. (I want to grab my children and grandchildren, nieces and nephew and hold them close so nothing can hurt them.)
I posted these pictures on Facebook yesterday in honor and in memory of Tom Callero. I wrote Rest In Peace because I want Tommy to be at peace. But really, I want him here.