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Saturday, January 05, 2013

Hau'oli La Hanau, Ikaika

The first birthday without you.  It sucks.  But then, all of these "firsts" have sucked.  It's been hard without you.  My feelings about that are small compared to those of your friends, and especially those of your parents.  I'm not telling you stuff you don't already know.  You knew before you left us that that would be the case.  You talked about how worried you were about your mom and dad.  I promised you that we'd look after them.  And we have.  But you also knew that we would do that anyway.  We love them too.

Last week, just a few days before Christmas, your mom called and said she was looking through some pictures of you and one of the pictures had "orbs" in it.  We laughed together because ever since I told them about my orb experience back home in Hawai'i, they found comfort in thinking that picture orbs meant spirits, and perhaps your spirit is still amongst us.  I believe that anyway, orbs or not.

On Saturday, your parents had a BBQ to celebrate your birthday.  Your besties were there.  Again, I feel in my heart you already know this.  But, I have to tell you that my favorite part of the day was when Bry and I were there alone with your mom and dad.  Bry took a barstool over to your picture, put a beer up next to "you" and started to play his guitar.  Just him.  And you.  In a moment I won't soon forget.  I would have taken a picture, but it seemed very intrusive.  A moment between you two.  One of many between brothers and kindred souls, not meant to be infiltrated upon.  It moved me to tears and I turned away so as not to let your mom see my tears.  But when I looked at her, she was watching too and her eyes filled.  Oh sweet Jeff, you are so loved, and so missed.  My head is often in the "it's not fair" place.  But I remember that you NEVER said that.  You never felt sorry for yourself.  I know that we have to find comfort in that.  The time will come.  I hope.

Your dad made his rockin' ribs and we watched Led Zepplin on the BluRay.  We know you were there.  We just know.  Bryson and I argued over Kashmir and who looks better between Jimmy and Robert.  Your dad loved that I had Houses of the Holy and I was jealous that he'd been to their '75 concert at The Forum and my parents wouldn't let me go with my brother.  Now, THAT'S no fair!

When Jon, Edgar, and Karli got there, the conversation turned to Jon's tat in your honor and Edgar tried to put some fonts down for Bry's tat too.  Karli and Gina gave your parents the memorial book they'd put together since your Paddle Out.  Candles burned.


I think you're proud that your dad is picking up your guitar and wants to play.  He and Bry have already had some lesson seshes.  Things will be different.  I'm not ever sure they'll ever be okay, but they'll be better as time passes.  Watch over us, Ikaika.  Help us get over this long, hard, sadness that lingers in the wake of you going to that other place.  If we think of it as that Endless Summer journey, it helps.  If we think of it as you made it there, to that perfect wave, then it doesn't seem so bad.  So we'll keep thinking of it that way.  But there will never be a day when your sweet, gentle, funny, talented self, will not be missed.  That day will never come.  We love you.


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