"Quicherbellyachin E." threatens to toss the young bride into the swimming pool next to the wedding reception hall.
The groom and bride slip away, their faces aching from too many smiles.
A smörgåsbord of construction jobs, college classes, selling strawberries, antiques... anything
My first memories of you flicker in. It's "cowboy Bob" (now I know it was really just Daddy) dressed in a cowboy hat - come all the way from the wild west just to visit me.
A small amount of American cash, a telephone number, a business plan, and God's leading. You were on the plane to Hawaii only 2 weeks after deciding to start the business.
1990 - 1998
McDaddy's breakfast on Saturday mornings. Daddy-Daughter dates to have tea or attend a George Winston concert. Building go-karts. Long rides to and from jobs in Hilo full of conversations, "So, now that you're nine years old... have you thought about the type of man you might marry someday?"
This theme recurs over and over through my memories: You love Mom. Every year, all the kids were farmed out to family and friends while you and mom snuck away. A voice was often heard bellowing in tune through the house, " I love my wife."
You left the Big Rock for the City Isle. Dozens of employees, late night inventories, managing managers, T-R-A-F-F-I-C: this so your own dad could retire.
1998 - 2008
Dad, you work harder than almost anyone I know.
Even when you're sitting at your desk, surrounded by papers, and screens, and a day-planner the size of Texas, and a water jug only slightly smaller than the day-planner, and two co-workers that are helping you solve a problem, and pressure to complete a task for Corporate, and telephone rings from track work customers who urgently need... even then, I never hesitated to walk into your office. I knew you'd set it aside to talk with me, 'cause I'm your daughter and you love spending time with me.
I have a vivid memory Mom sending me in to talk with you. There was an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I had done something deserving grounding for 75% of the rest of my life. Funny, now I don't even remember what the something was. What I remember was your response. "O.k.... (pause too painful for words) I'm going to offer you grace. That means you don't have to pay for what you did." It seemed so wrong. I wanted to pay, to make it right somehow, to be miserable for a while for the thing I'd done. But you explained that Jesus, God's Son dying on the cross, offered us grace. We can't pay off our sin of ignoring God and going our own way... we just have to take the grace.
Thank you for loving Mom. Thank you for working hard. Thank you for showing me Jesus.