Sunday, December 25, 2016

Uncle Joe DeMattos

2006, Taking Home Uncle's Kaka'ako Treasures in a Manila Envelope
Uncle Joe DeMattos made me feel like a princess. He called me beautiful even when I was an awkward duckling. He praised my intelligence and writing ability. Once when I was 18, he took black and white photos of me at Honolulu Zoo. He somehow captured the essence of my heart with his camera lens.

So in 2006, when my brother Rick and I visited Uncle at his home in Maile, West Oahu, we talked stories for a long time at his table outside and he brought out a shoebox filled with his treasured photographs and writings about his younger days growing up in Kaka'ako.

At the time I was so full of the power of the Internet, I had my successful website and sunrise blog, and I said to him, “Uncle, let me put your writing up on your own blog and we can continue to add to the writing when you are ready.”

He trusted me with his treasure and it was so easy, a privilege really, to scan, light edit, and publish his work on the web. I know I made him happy, and I was honored to collaborate with him. And as life shows us over and over again, when you plant a small seed with love, you reap a garden of unending joy...  Uncle's sweet stories helped create the rebirth of his beloved Kaka'ako.

Love renews and expands. Uncle taught me this, too.

The holidays are a special time for ohana and memories are clear and precious. We miss those who are gone even more. But the miracle is this: No one ever dies—they live on in your heart.

Rumi wrote: “Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who's there.“

Joy is the heart's memory. Here is the link to Uncle’s blog:  Uncle Joe's Blog

Aloha and love to everyone...

Me, 18, at Honolulu Zoo, Photo by Joseph DeMattos
Uncle's Mural at Kaka'ako Salt Development