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Pakalaki Memories: 3

Kirby Wright

Gramma said she was sure it was spirits because she couldn't see any light from the kitchen spilling under her door. "Akua don't need light," she explained. I started thinking our house was a ghost trap and that thousands of ghosts were congregating in the hall, up in the attic and under my bed. I tried sleeping with rosary beads around my neck but I jerked my head and the beads nearly choked me.

My mother made Gramma feel less than welcome in Kahala. She'd never forgiven her for destroying our pink suits and hurling our baskets into a pineapple field during an Easter visit. And my mother hated her for never remembering her birthday. She would never make Gramma a lei and, if my father suggested it, she told him their were plenty of leis on sale at the airport. When it came to her mother-in-law, my mother believed in that old adage, "Familiarity breeds contempt." Gramma got the hint. Tommy started picking her up at the airport and taking her to his house in Kaneohe.

My father didn't like the idea of his half-brother entertaining their mother on the other side of the island. He was planning on having her sign over her ranch to him and, besides not wanting Tommy to know, he didn't want Gramma to soften up and give Tommy half. My father insisted on paying for her room at the Young Hotel in downtown Honolulu, a stone's throw from his law office.

"Oh, Normy," Gramma said, "that's big money."

"Nonsense," my father replied.

My mother nodded. "Now you have your privacy, Mother Daniels."


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