• NEENA LOVE

The Best This World Has To Offer: My Dad



I have been away from the blog for quite sometime. I was down with the flu. I can't remember the last time I was this sick. I pride myself on maintaining my health but this flu had me all th


e way down. Having endured this attack on my respiratory system has put me in the mindset of getting healthier than I've ever been. My father is my example of the picture of health. He turned 75 this past October and he's like wine - getting better with time. His skin, his vitality, the sharpness of his mind, no need for medication -- of all the things I could wish for from my father, I hope I inherited his good health genetics. And there is a lot my father can offer but as I age, may I age exactly the way he is aging. This picture of him was taken yesterday. A dear friend took a pic with him and posted it on Facebook. I cut her out of the picture because I don't have her permission to post her picture. I don't have my dad's permission either but I don't think he'll mind.


My father is so talented. He can do anything. When I was little, he fixed all our cars along with his best friend, Unko Bubu. He can paint beautiful scenes, oil or acrylic on canvas. He can fix anything. He can grow anything from acres of tapioca to acres of papaya trees, hundreds and thousands of papaya seedlings, hundreds of ti plants, noni plants, areca palms, anything you can think of - he can grow it or nurse it back to health.


He can play music though he will never admit it. He can sing though he will never admit that either but give him the microphone at karaoke and pick a song for him like, "After the Loving" by Engelbert Humperdinck and he will blow. His mind is sharp and full of so much information. He tells the best stories too especially the spooky ones. He can cook. My memories of my childhood are filled with dishes that he made for us that are now my comfort foods. And though I can make them similar to him, they will never be the way he makes them. Never. He can lay cement - watch the video below where I tell the story of how he did the concrete slab for a shot put ring my senior year in high school. #GoBigRed

He can build concrete walls. My little brother crashed into the neighbor's wall and my father fixed it. You can't even tell where the damage was done. He is a well-trained Karate master of the Goju-Ryu practice. He studied Siu Lum Pai Kung Fu under Sung Au. I think his dedication to martial arts makes him so limber today. I never feel afraid when I'm with my father or even if he's miles away because I know that all I need to do is call him and he will come running. On so many occasions, his wisdom and his spiritual and emotional strength has guided me through my darkest days and I've had plenty of them.


When I think of the best thing that this world has to offer, I think of my father. You would think that I would have remained in Hawai'i to make the most of the time that we have left together. I cannot imagine him ever growing old or ever needing me the way I need him. Yet the reality is that we must all pass through the portals of death into a new birth into the universe somewhere. My theory of the path of least resistance places me here in South Carolina right here and right now. Ideally, I flow like water never struggling against myself but moving with the waves and the currents over stony paths and still waters. After announcing my divorce back in September 2016, I told my father and he has been a pillar of strength for me as I navigate my way around this single-woman thing. He is ever worried that I have no one to provide for me. I'm grateful that I have been able to provide for myself but more than that, I have a strong and steady support system that holds me up. I am truly blessed.


I did not intend for this to be a tribute to my father and yet it is a very shallow one because there is no way I could encompass my lifetime with him in this short post. Yesterday he called me and said, "Babe next week there's going to be X-amount in the bank account. I want you to use it for whatever you need for your new home." This past Tuesday, I made an offer on a home and it was accepted. Tentative closing in thirty days then it's mine, all mine.


I don't know how long I will be here in South Carolina but for the time being I'm going to stay put and try going at this thing all by myself. I miss my family and my whole life in Hawai'i, the friends and my Red Raider loyalty, the beautiful ocean, and all the things that are so familiar to me. It's scary as hell but there HE goes, my dad, making sure that I'm not really alone. The idea of silence and solitude in my own house is almost scary and yet I crave it so that I can focus on my writing. I don't need 1,600 square feet. Really, I probably only need about 500 square feet and yet the path of least resistance has given me the 1,600 square feet. I came here with eleven bins, the clothes on my back, a very broken heart, and a mind full of big dreams. And now the eleven bins are about to expand into a full three-bedroom house and more stuff. My heart is still a little banged up (it keeps me humble) and my mind is still full of big dreams but I'm here. I'm trying to place one foot in front of the other and move toward the life I was destined to live.