IN MEMORY OF ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO'OLE
May 20, 1959 - June 26, 1997
I am placing this page here in loving memory of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. He has touched the hearts of many. His aloha and his song live on in our hearts. I know that we will all miss Iz. His tribute to the hawaiian nation is one that will live on. I am proud to have known this wonderful hawaiian man. He will never be forgotten. He was truly a wonderful human being, and a good friend to all. Peace be with you my friend.
Oh stars in the high heavens
Climbing cloudless far away skies;
And all that's best in dark of night
Become humble in his sight.
The moon and planets in the heavens
So calm, so soft, yet so clear;
Where thoughts serene sweetly express
Our Father in Heaven so dear.
By Helen R. Augustine (Mom)
I met Israel Kamakawiwo'ole on the Kailua Hale Chatline about one year ago. I was rather new to the internet and just happened to find this chat line.
A very good friend of mine just returned from a visit with her family at Hilo. She always returns with something for me, as I do her. On one visit she brought me a cd. The name of the cd was "E ALA E". I had never until this time knew about Israel. I listened to the cd and enjoyed what I heard. I was very thrilled with my new treasure.
One night, I went to the Kailua Hale and saw the name IZ on the chatline. I said, "Is you the Iz that I think you is"? He then replied to me, "YES, I am da Iz dat you tink I Is". I was thrilled, and we became good friends from then on. Every time that we met on the Hale, it would be a greeting like...((((((TAMZ)))))))...and I would reply...(((((IZ))))))). We became good friends. I always waited to see Iz come online, along with the rest of my friends there. Everyone loved Iz. He was so special, and one hawaiian man with a heart of gold.
I was very fortunate this year to meet Iz at two concerts. The first was at Kailua Kona on March 25th, 1997. My brother, nephew and myself were visiting the islands and we were lucky in that we were at the island during his concert there. Iz called me at the hotel that I was staying. He asked me, "Tams are you going to make it to the concert"? I replied, that I did not have tickets for this concert. His reply was, "no need for da tickets Sistah, just come over to da hotel, and we meet you".
We hurried and got ready to go. We were going to meet Iz. We arrived at the hotel and was greeted by Nancy. Nancy is the mother of BB Shawn. She took us backstage to eat. We ate, and then we were taken out to be seated. We watched the show, and I must say that I was so filled with emotion. I felt as a queen, and treated so special. We were taken in as family, and treated so well that I was lost for words.
After the concert, I knew that Iz was very tired. We left him to relax and would talk the next day. We did talk on the phone the next day. Iz was wanting to know if we enjoyed the concert. I told him that we had a wonderful time and thanked him for taking us in like that. I then told him that we would see him again on Maui. He was going to perform again there, so I had tickets for this concert.
Again, another wonderful concert with Iz. My nephew, who just turned six years old, was anxious to see Iz again too. Little Jeffrey wanted a ukulele, so we got one for him. He was so intent as Iz performed. He watched and listened to every song. I saw Jeffrey smile so many times, as Iz would sing song after song. Iz would tell about the song, and Jeffrey really smiled when Iz sang Hawaiian Superman. How thrilled little Jeffrey was to see and listen to Iz.
Iz called me once again, and told me that he would call when he got back to Honolulu. He did and I was once again moved by this wonderful man. He wanted to make sure that we were enjoying our stay, and he would be in touch with us.
When we returned home, I got an email from Iz. He welcomed me back to the Kailua Hale, and sent me two photos. One was my beautiful Waikiki Beach, and the other was a wonderful photo of him.
Although I am not family to Iz, I feel that we are close. We are all family in a way. I will miss him very much, as we all will. Such a loss for us that love him dearly. He lives on in our hearts and in his music. Each time we listen to one of his songs, we will again have him with us. He will always be with us. He is truly a Hawaiian Super Star.
"Aloha 'oe", Bruddah Iz. Until we meet again, my dear friend.
I leave you with a poem that was written by my mother. She always wrote poetry and left these with me. She is now gone to heaven. But, like Iz she did leave something for us.
My heart is filled with sadness,
With it, no sun in sight;
Come awaken all ye sleepy birds
And carry to me bright sunlight.
Oh sing away the thick clouds above
Until all have moved to the west;
Leaving the sky only with heavenly blue
Tis then I know you have done your best.
Then sing again to me Bird of Paradise
Through the branches of the tall tree;
Sing of green hills and valleys far away
For these things I can not see.
Then upward he soared with his golden wings
Clutching my sadness he journeyed along;
As if to let me borrow for one to-day
His wings, his happiness, his song.