Friday, September 30, 2005

Still in Hawaii

I've been back from Hawaii not quite a week yet. Came back to a lot of work (I am SOOO swamped!) and even more things to work out, but every now and then my mind wanders back to Oahu. I really missed the island and though I made a lot of promises in the past to visit more often, it took me 15 years to come back. I only wished it was for a different reason.
It has been a rough week, not only because of work but I am still sifting through all the emotions of the past couple of weeks. I haven't had a chance to slow down and process everything yet because not everything has been resolved, a few things are still hanging in the air. Every time I do get a second to rest my eyes, my head... I go back to this...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Laura's resting now

We had Laura's funeral two days ago. The cemetery is so beautiful and peaceful, I had almost forgotten how peaceful. All the cousins that we grew up with were the pall bearers. The last time I was at the cemetery was 15 years ago when I visited our grandparents for the first time. I was not able to attend their funeral. I felt that I could talk to them then. When I went back today, I knew I was not going to be able to hold back the tears but I was surprised that I was able to talk to her. I wanted to go there alone so I went early in the morning. These are what you can see...

The name of the cemetery is Hawaiian Memorial Park Cemetery. I'll be putting up directions for anyone wishing to visit Laura.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Technical Difficulties

It seems that I can't get any of my pictures uploaded while here in Hawaii. The internet gremlins are hard at work here to make my work almost impossible. Besides my school and work assignments that I brought with me, I am having a terrible time getting on Blogger.
My cousin has an iMac and it doesn't want to play nice with my laptop. The internet connections at the Borders in Waikiki is crap! It is very slow and keeps resetting itself so any downloading or uploading of anything gets interrupted. So I guess it will have to wait until I get back to do it from home. So....

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Driving Around the Island

September 20, 2005

Most of the preparations for tomorrow have been taken care of. So my cousin Rene took Celia, James and me around to some of the places that Laura liked.

Not that long a walk, though a little steep and slippery at some places.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This spot was beautiful!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Of course we had to stop for some food…
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Then there's dessert...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Then there was Pali Lookout, by far one of the best views in Oahu. I had to piece a number of shots together, but it still doesn’t do it justice.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Then there was Hana'uma Bay
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, September 19, 2005

Settled in

Finally got settled in. I almost forgot how beautiful my aunt’s house is. It is in the area called Nuuanu and it is a few blocks from the old Magnum P.I. house. The house is below the street level so all you see is the roof from the street. You can’t see it from this angle but across from the front door is a pond with fishes.
Image hosted by

The backyard is even more incredible. The house is in a valley, which gives these awesome views from the back porch. This one was taken from across the pool.
Image hosted by

This is the view to the left.
Image hosted by

It took a while but I am starting to remember a lot of the things here. I am getting my bearings well enough to be driving around. Though the laid back attitude that Hawaii is sort of known for is a little hard to get used to, especially in their “traffic”. I was driving around during “rush hour”. Celia, James (my brother in law) and I were laughing at what they call traffic. For the most part, drivers are also pretty laid back here. Though they do not go out of their way, they are more than ready to let people pass, enter into traffic or stop for… well… anything.
This traffic jam… wasn’t really.
Image hosted by

Another thing, there is something else missing here...
Image hosted by
Oh yeah, where is all the stuff that makes things look hazy?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Leaving for Hawaii

I left for Hawaii this morning with my sister Celia and our mom. I am sure it will be the start of a very emotional week. We are bringing Laura to Hawaii to be buried with our grandparents. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been to Hawaii. The last time I went back was for my cousin, George’s wedding. That was a lot of fun though there was an incident at a luau, which involved my getting into a fight with one of George’s uncles.
Anyway, I want to thank James for bringing us to LAX so early in the morning. He has been a real friend to my family and me. Some might say he was a HERO. Anyway, here are some pictures:
Nervous? Me? Nah!
Image hosted by

Nice view huh? You know something? Clouds are much more interesting from above. These look like a bunch of cartoon characters on parade.
Image hosted by
What? Don’t you see them?

On Highway 1, headed to my Aunt Luz’s house. If only the freeways in LA had this kind of scenery, people wouldn’t complain so much about rush hour traffic.
Image hosted by

Will keep you all posted…

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

There's this song...

There'll Be Sad Songs to Make You Cry
by Billy Ocean
Sometimes I wonder by the look in your eyes
When I'm standing beside you there's a fever burning deep inside.
Is there another in your memory?
Do you think of that someone when you hear that special melody?
I always stop and think you
Especially when the words of a love song touch the very heart of me.
There'll be sad songs to make you cry, love songs often do,
They can touch the heart of someone new saying I love you, I love you.
I often wonder how it could be you loving me, two hearts in perfect harmony.
I'll count the hours until the day, the rhapsody plays a melody for you and me.
Until the moment that you give your love to me,
You're the one I care for,
the one I will wait for...

This song has been in my head for the past two days. It is still playing right now. The funny thing is that I told James the other day that I got into listening to country music the past week. Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, etc. I have to admit I was starting to like it. It didn't sound like the country songs I knew and disliked. I was actually enjoying it, but all the songs were more "pop"-ish.

We finally finalized the date for Laura's burial. It will be on Wednesday. The family will be leaving for Hawaii this Sunday. I have so many things that I am trying to deal with right now. I am just hoping I can keep my head from going into overload. At that altitude, it won't be pretty...

Monday, September 12, 2005

I gotta stop already

I have been very selfish of late. I am not handling Laura's death as well as I let everyone believe. I've been trying to put up a "brave" face here and there and come to realize that even by myself I still have that face on. I have been short with some people (sorry) and I've been pretty distant with my family (I'm really sorry). I had my meltdown of sorts last week Monday, I really thought I could hold it together until after the burial. Now, with all the delays with the burial, obligations at work and school, a personal crisis I created and to top things of, I start my first real teaching gig in a couple of weeks... *KA BOOM*
I'm sure I haven't gotten it all out, I doubt if I ever will. I do think that the worst of it is past (I hope) and I think I can be a source of comfort to everyone now even as I continue to mourn. I think my sister would have wanted me to be a source of comfort. I've caused enough strife for this family and I am not ready to give up on them just yet.
I just need to stop being angry. I miss Laura.
But I'm also miss talking to my parents and Celia.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Nice day for a picnic

Cornerstone had its picninc today and we could not have asked for a nicer day. The sun was out, there was a nice breeze and the company was awesome!
We had FUN!

And of course, we had FOOD!There was kite flying, horse shoe tossing, badminton and some lounging...

and more...

Later that evening, Jolene, Enie, James and I went to La Creperie Cafe. They are in a new location. La Creperie as it's name suggests has crepes, very good crepes. The crepes are amazing, I have yet to try the rest of the menu, but I am definitely looking forward to it. There is live music every night and it feels like a french cafe, haha, who am I kidding? I've never even been in a french cafe! But people tell me it feels like one. It would be a great place for a romantic dinner (anyone?) or a fun night out with friends.Me, Jolene and Enie. James was the one who took this picture.

This was the Last Wish - a crepe with nutella, bananas, walnuts and Grand Marnier. It was very good. I really like nutella and they load the crepe up with it. The walnuts were not crushed but weren't huge chunks either. The only thing I would have done differently was to have a couple of scoops of ice cream with it, but then again I would have never survived the sugar coma. Celia would like the new location.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My sister Rocked!

My sister worked for Senator Barbara Boxer. She was the Senator's webmaster here in Los Angeles. Her office placed her picture on the Senator's website announcing her passing and honoring her for her service in designing the Senator's website. At her memorial service yesterday Tom Bohigian, from Senator Boxer's office in Sacramento, read from Senator Boxer's letter to the President of the U.S. Senate.

My sister rocked!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More goodbyes

We had the viewing/visitation at the Mortuary for Laura this afternoon and the Memorial service at Adam's this evening.

At the Memorial service at Adam's, a few people shared their Laura stories with everyone. Ali started things off with a beautiful and embarassing slide show, we're sure Laura was shaking her head at us (mostly Ali) for some of the pictures, Ali then said a few words. Celia shared some stories growing up with Laura and asked everyone to share their Laura moments.

I didn't have a clue as to what to say and I wasn't all that confident that I was going to be able to say it without babbling. At times, I was jealous of the relationship my sisters had. They were closer to each other than I ever was with either of them. Well, that was to be expected, after all I was the only boy, I was the oldest and together they were more clever.

Other people went up and shared their Laura moments, like Tom from her office and there was "dancing Eric".

Afterwards, people broke up into different groups, helped themselves to an awesome buffet provided by Adam and shared more Laura stories.

I asked Adam what he wanted to do with all the leftover food. He said that he was going to give it to the homeless in the neighborhood. Stephanie, Casey and I volunteered to do that for him. It took all of 15 minutes, I wished we had more.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Goodbyes made

Last night at 10:35, my sister Laura lost her fight with cancer at home. She has been in the company of family and friends this last week. The cancer that has been causing her so much pain finally took its toll and she died peacefully in her sleep.
Memories of times spent with her came flooding in last night and still continue. Laura always lived a life worthy of admiration, she was as intelligent as she was passionate. I will miss her so much.
July 5, 1969 - September 3, 2005
Laura and Mary at The Getty. October 2000.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Laura goes home.

My sister, Laura, has been diagnosed with cancer July of last year. We were so full of hope that she was going to survive cancer. In the past few months, I became less and less hopeful. In the past two weeks, it has gotten worse. Laura developed pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and was left with more pain than ever.
Last Saturday, Laura removed her feeding tube. Her husband James called the paramedics and she was brought to County USC Medical. At the hospital, Laura decided that she did not want the feeding tube replaced. James, Celia, our parents and I spent hour after hour, trying to convince her to have the feeding tube reinstalled but her decision was final. Monday the doctor told us that Laura's cancer was so advanced that even if she were to have the feeding tube reinstalled she would most likely have the same amount of time remaining.
Laura went home Tuesday to spend her last days at home with friends and family. The doctors tell us that Laura has anywhere to a few hours to a few days left.
It has been six days since she has had food or water. She is so weak. She will sometimes wake from her morphine and sedative induced sleep and see us there with her. Today, she pretty much slept the whole time.
What does it mean when I say that I miss her already? Real old picture, but I like this one.