Seven years ago...
This month, seven years ago, Filipo and I decided on getting married since we were soon-to-be parents. I didn't necessarily want to get married anytime soon but was in one of those "f*** it" moods so went along with him to get our marriage license. He asked me to marry him before but I don't think I ever took him seriously. Yes, I wanted a big luau with every drunk uncle and loud mouth aunties (from both sides) and my closest friends in my line and me in a big beautiful white dress. But with our license in hand we had 30 days to tie the knot before it expired. Time was of the essence and money...we have a love-hate relationship with money so we'll leave it at that!
Early March the Waikiki Shell was having their annual Honolulu Tahiti Fete. I really wanted to go that year and Filipo told me he would take me to check it out. So the usual routine of a Laie grown soon-to-be (young) parent: get drunk (beer, hards, kava...what have you!) and twist your priorities, theeeeeen go on that family outing with a bad hangover and complain for days, eat something, and eventually smile and enjoy the day. The dancing was fierce however and we did end up having a good time with one another.
The night before however, would be a night to remember. That would be the last time Filipo saw, shook hands, and hugged one of his best friends good-bye. It was the last time.
I thought this would be an easy blog for me but even seven years later it's hard to comprehend the loss of a loved one. From the time we found out to the day of the funeral and sometimes even to this day I haven't seen Filipo so sad. In respect for my husband and the unconditional love he shared for his best friend, I'll refrain from telling the details of when we were informed of Liki's tragic death to the day we laid him to rest.
March 19, 2005 was the date we all officially said farewell. I felt helpless and had no idea how to make Filipo smile again. I knew I just had to be there for him. Sometimes saying nothing truly says a lot!
Filipo told me the other day, "It's almost the 12th." Time heals all wounds and the best advice I can give him comes from a quote that would mean absolute nothing at any other time:
THERE IS ALWAYS SUNSHINE AFTER THE RAIN.
No truer words. Eleven days after his passing, four days after laying him to rest, we delivered a beautiful and healthy baby boy who we proudly named
Sparing the details of his full name, in honor of Patrick Vaea Ikakoula, we named our baby boy after my husband's best friend. From birth, Filipo has always called him Liki Pepe (Baby Liki--Patrick; Pateliki). To this day that nickname has stuck with him. Filipo sees traits in our son that comes from Big Liki. Filipo started smiling again and this blessing couldn't have come at a better time.
Dallas-Patrick, our first born, is truly a special boy. Intelligent, brilliant even! Kind hearted and extremely loving. We named him well. Sometimes I pretend that I'm not paying attention when Filipo talks to him about how he got his name. Heartfelt. As he gets older he asks more questions and even understands a whole lot more. His veil is slowly dissolving...withering away and that saddens me. But a feeling of joy overcomes me knowing that before my bub was sent here, Liki seen him before us and he was in tender, loving arms. May be the superstitious Polynesian in me, but I'm a believer.
In Loving Memory
Aua ne'i galo
Ofa lahi atu
Patrick "Liki" Ikakoula