Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Farewell in Blue

Photo by Ruth Shiroma Foster

We rode on a white foam trail, dozens of us in six boats, from the Waianae Boat Harbor to Maili Beach. I watched Jason sit in the corner of his boat, cradling the copper urn that carried his father's ashes.

The motor was loud, but constant, like a meditation. The blues of the water were rich and clear, like jewels. It was then that the song Time by the Alan Parsons Project began to fill my head. And, it was then that time stood still, and I could look to the Pokai Bay shoreline and remember Bob Adair, standing in the shallow waters, his hair soaked, wearing no glasses and always that smile from within, alongside my dad countless times during baptisms. Two mild-mannered men doing the humblest of tasks, together. Bob Adair was a deacon, he was a friend. I know the mountains in the backdrop behind Farrington Highway, each mountain proud to have its own shape and color, like old friends, all different, but meant to be together. Bob knew these mountains very well, too. It was good to say hello again to the water and the mountains of Waianae, even on the occasion of saying goodbye.

When the boats stopped at the spot that marks Maili Beach, below the Waianae Comprehensive Center, family members huddled around Jason, the youngest of Bob's children. Jason stepped with one foot on the ledge of the boat. Then, it was time. The ashes were rich grey plumes in turquoise blue, a transfixing sight. It was a moment when the ancient soul gathered to its chest a new and beautiful soul.

Farewell, Bob. To be in the sea will forever be sweeter.