Thursday, 14 July 2011

Manuia le malaga

I had met you before I ever met you. I had heard so many stories about you, from the boy you brought up, the man I love. Stories that had laughter and were told lovingly (in the wry way only someone who truly loves you can tell stories about you). Like how you used to tell him you walked every day to Auckland Grammer.... from Papatoetoe. And how he only realised that couldn't possibly be true when he moved to New Zealand! In our house, your tales were recounted, your opinions repeated, your life retold. So though I had never met you, there were some things I knew. You were an author, you wrote fiery letters to the Samoa Observer, you weren't afraid to put in your two sene about the issues that you were passionate about (and there were quite a lot of those issues, as anyone who has read the Observer can attest to), and Samoa was the country of your heart. But the thing I knew about you that was the most important, the thing I loved about you before I ever met you, was that you were a fantastic grandpa, and very dearly loved. I know that the man I love, took so many lessons on being a man, from you. I benefit from those lessons every day. He is such a considerate and loving partner and a wonderful father.

Even before I met you, you welcomed me into your family and into your grandson's life. You just wanted him to be happy. That's how love and family work.

When we finally did meet (and I am oh so glad we did) I liked your dry humour, even when you applied it to my driving (that light was orange!!! I learnt 'dem skills' in Sydney traffic!!!). I loved that you loved to read, and that we had an avid conversation about books, and I wonder if you had a chance to dip into 'Inheritance'. I loved that you had projects and plans, and that your age didn't seemed to have made any real discernible difference. Your stroke was so sudden. But you lived and loved so well, right up to the end.

I am so glad Lagi got to meet his great grandpa. We will read him your book and tell him all about your adventures. We will encourage him to follow in his great grandpa's footsteps by living fully and loving well.

I know you loved writing and reading. So I offer this (poor piece that it may be), to honour you (you who meant so much to the man I love) and your life well lived.

Manuia le malaga Bob


Deborah Bartlett said...

A man who leaves this world yet leaves a written legacy for his sons, grandsons and great-grandsons is a wise man indeed. Gods blessings and comfort to all his family left behind.

Teine Samoa said...

Thanks Debbie, It is an amazing legacy which we are so grateful for. We're also so grateful for the love and prayers.