Finally. I’ve accomplished something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time. I love to travel! And I’ve always wanted to leave the country. Well, it is actually happening!
Booked my ticket, sent in for my passport and hotel is next. However, it is becoming a reality that I’m finally traveling outside of the States.
I’m look forward to this trip. To see my British friends and the great sites the city and the country has to offer.
While there we will have the chance to take a train ride over to Paris.
80 years is a long time, A lot can happen within those years. In 80 years my grandma lived the best life she could have lived. Within these 80 years she has touched so many lives and created so many memories with all of you. Here are some of my memories of my Grandma.
My Grandmother; was born Geraldine Blanche Souza on March 13th 1931 on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. Back then gas was only 10 cents a gallon and a new home only cost about $6,000. That same year James Dean was born and Herbert Hoover was President. Shortly after she was born, her family moved to Waipahu, on the island of Oahu where she was raised. Her father; John worked in the Sugar mill as a machinist and her mother Mary a stay at home mom. The world seemed so much more simpler back then. Before there was Facebook and Twitter-the only definition of Social Media was to actually go outside and be social. They lived on Managers Drive like every other Portuguese family in Waipahu. That is where she met her life long best friend May who lived right across the street. They have been friends ever since, and even consider themselves sisters. When you friended someone, it’s because you actually met them face to face and not have to send a request and wait for their approval. When you “liked” something you actually had to say you did and not click a button.
By the late 30’s they would have never imagined the bombing of Pearl Harbor or even 9/11. They had their dreams of getting married, having a family, watching their grandchildren play, getting old, and to live a long happy life. And that is exactly what grandma did.
When she was 15 she met my Grandfather David Franks. She always had a crush on him growing up and years later on May 15, 1954 they were married. Together they raised 4 children; my uncle Dennis, My aunty Yvonne, my uncle Gilbert and my mom Cindy. They raised their family on the windward side of Oahu in Kailua, a town booming with change and prosperity. After their children grew up and moved away, they too started to raise their own families. And yes, this is where I fit into the equation and into my grandma’s life. At this time Michael Jackson was at the top of the charts and gas, was no where near 10 cents a gallon. MTV was the huge craze playing music videos 24-7 and an actor became President.
My name is Wesley Kawika Sabugo also known as “Baby Boy” as my family teases me. They tease me because they believe I was Grandma’s favorite. It may some what be, but she always said “everyone” was her favorite.
Here is why I think I was always named her favorite.
First off, I spell my name W-E-S-L-E-Y, at birth it was spelt W-E-S-L-Y, my grandma noticed it was spelled wrong and ended up paying for it to be changed to how it is spelled today. Second, growing up I was always at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. My mom would drop me off in the morning and my grandparents would take me to Sunshine Pre-School down Kihapai Street, in Kailua. Everyday My grandma would take me to pre-school and bring me back to their house until my mom was through with work. This went on way into Intermediate school (middle school for you Mainlanders). I can remember so much, I remember we would sit in the front room together every afternoon at 4 to watch the Oprah Winfrey Show. Some days we would go to “look” at houses, where Grandma would use a fake name so realtors wouldn’t call her. Sometimes we went antique shopping. I mean what little boy went antique shopping with his grandma at 7 or 8? This little boy.
When we were young and would visit Grandma and Grandpa’s, we used to think we were at a museum. Grandma would yell at us for running through her house, afraid we would break something. The many trips to the antique store is to blame for that. We also would get into trouble if we would put our feet up on her couch.
During my intermediate and High school years she would still pick me and my sister; Ashley up if it rained or if she wanted to go to Windward Mall for Japanese food, while she people watched.
My grandma would worry so much. Then again she was a Portuguese woman. She would always worry about us playing outside, or worried every time she heard a siren. Not to mention sometimes following those sirens to go see what was going on. She would always slam the length of her arm across your chest in the passenger seat if she had to come to a sudden stop while driving. She always made sure we had enough to eat or nice clothes for school. She even would sneak me money when I was old enough to spend it, until I made my own money when she didn’t have too. But in all honesty she still did. That was grandma.
She was always there for any of us, no matter what.
That’s the great thing about my grandparents, they are there for any of us when we needed help.
As many of you know Grandma had her sense of humor too. She would love to get up and dance. Her dances sometimes left us “All shook up” in laughter. Sometimes she would sing a little off key. She loved to talk story, and even would tell us a funny story. And sometimes she would tell a story with too many details. She always had a way to make you smile. We all knew when she would leave your house she would honk her horn twice when she drove off.
I stood in front of most of you 7 years ago, giving another eulogy. As I stood up in front of a crowded church to talk about my cousin Howard and the wonderful guy he was, I remember looking into the crowd to see my family morn the loss of someone so young, someone who too had the biggest heart. I remember hearing my grandma crying in the crowd and knowing that a grandmother should never have to bury her grandchild. It maybe true, But Grandma, now Howard is up there greeting you.
My grandparents ended up moving to Las Vegas to be with the rest of the family. It was quite a change for them as they spent most of their entire life in Hawaii.
Now 80 years later- Gas prices are well over $3.00 a gallon, MTV no longer plays music videos and we have our first Hawaii born Black President. My grandma has seen her 8 Grandchildren grow up and 3 Great Grandchildren brought into this world. See, a lot can happen in 80 years.
I still can’t believe that she is gone. For some reason I thought she was going to live forever, But she lived a long, happy, joyful life even if she worried at times. Now she doesn’t have to worry anymore. She doesn’t have to be in pain either.
Living away from home is hard on me. Hard, because our family has always been so close. Every time I would call her, and I tried as often as I could- she would always be excited to hear from her “Baby Boy.”
Now, I don’t have to pick up the phone and call her all I have to do is whisper, because I know she is always with me. She will always be with Grandpa, with my mom, Uncle Dennis, Uncle Gilbert, and Aunty Yvonne. She will be with all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will always be with us all.
If there is a quote I would use here today it would be from the person my Grandma and I would sit and watch everyday at 4 in the afternoon; Oprah Winfrey
“Let your light shine. Shine within yourself, so that it can shine on someone else. Let your light shine.” Grandma is shining on us all.
Grandma, I love you so much. Say “hello” to Howard for all of us, give him a kiss and let him know we love him too. I’m not going to say goodbye. Just “Until we meet again.”