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October 18th 1955
June 22nd 2014
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Always Thinking of Others
Kenui always made time to make others feel important, no matter how busy he was. He called me the day after Mother's Day this year and apologized profusely for not calling the day before, but things had happened and he felt so badly about it.
He called me on my birthday as he was setting up for a gig.
Many call me thoughtful, but I want to strive to be as thoughtful as Kenui was and to make those in my life that I love to feel special.
Thank you, Kenui for making those around strive to be better people.
One Day of the Florida Get Away…
As I am going through my photos and memories, I found a word doc I wrote during our getaway to Florida this past Christmas that I want to share with you.
After a wonderful holiday with family and friends, we had an opportunity to make a quick getaway to Florida. The only catch? We must add our graffiti to the Wall of Friends on the lanai….. I think we can do that. So we packed a few essentials, the rice pot, Leilani’s Aloha Lounge tie dye t-shirts, slippers, Tony Stewart soft cooler, new bottle of Patron and our Tervis adult sippy cups (last gifts from the kids).
We’ve been here for a couple of days now, and have spent our share of relaxing time sitting in the living room of this cozy beach house both on our devices, and watching the tube. We chuckle as we realize that we’re doing just what I described. Robert did bring up a good point, saying that ‘back in the day’ we would have both been reading a book or watching TV.
We’ve been sleeping in as the curtains are light blocking (they really thought of everything!) and we really don’t have a specific schedule to keep. We got up early today, well relatively, around 8:00am and decided to go fishing off the bridge. (Note to the Florida Fish & Game Dept. – only Robert will be fishing as I don’t have a license…. that is unless you need one to shoot fish, birds, turtles, sharks at 1/125 of a second F7.1) Once we arrived, and took a walk around it seemed like a better idea to go to Waffle House for breakfast. No worries all, I am steady on the lookout to make sure that no bacon or sausage make it onto Robert’s plate. Small talk, or should I say sports talk, with the guy in the next booth make me realize how important it is for Robert to spend time keeping up with the latest news. And then, there was the guy in the suit with his two well-mannered children who informed everyone that he doesn’t call it sushi, it’s raw fish and that he likes his sushi southern fried! LOL! As I am posting my ‘Overheard at the Waffle House’ on FB, he says goodbye and I swear the entire staff and patrons said goodbye back to him. That made it really clear to me that this is a small town and we are the visitors just passing through. I guess the Saints football jerseys and flags on the truck set us apart as well!
Off to explore….. we take the road east to Destin. Not too far down the road, we pass a sign that says Ugly Sign, Great Food and see a little brightly painted shack. This is definitely a photo-op Darlin’, would you mind turning around? Have I mentioned how much I love this man? U-turn and we are back on our way, one more U-turn and here we are! I get out to take a photo or two, and the owner comes out to greet us. We order two cups of coffee and sit a spell to learn about how this Shave Ice shack came to be. Notice I say ‘shave ice’ and not ‘shaved ice’, that’s the mark of the Hawaiian influence and sure enough Richard was stationed in Hawaii. I asked his ‘better half’ Angela about the menu items and she proceeded to tell us about them. When she got to the ‘Big Island’ she turned to Robert and said you’re really going to like this one. I knew before she even said it, that it had Spam and sure enough it did. So sorry Darlin’….. We left, but decided to come back for lunch before they close at 2pm.
Down the road, with fishin’ and junkin’ in mind, we came to a beach access in Ft. Walton and decided to check it out. Even though it warmed up today to the high 50’s, the wind still made it a bit chilly. When we arrived, there was only one other person on the beach. I looked around for a stick to write in the sand, because… well isn’t that what we all do? I proceed to etch Aloha in the sand just beyond the reach of the water – at least that is for the moment. Lots of small sea shells on the beach, a broken starfish fossil and wait – whew…. so glad that Robert put his slippers back on. What appears to be a clear ‘blob’ on the beach, then another and another… Yep, jelly fish. We take a few more pix of the water as it builds momentum, and then gently crashes on the white sands of the shore. It’s a cloudy day, but the sun shines peeks through making the water sparkle like diamonds on the sand.
More brightly colored buildings, docks and parks line the highway as we drive into Destin. Hold the phone! There’s a Goodwill! I was quite disappointed in yesterday’s junkin’ adventures and had almost given up on my favorite past time while here in the Pan Handle. From the funky decorated exterior which had many glass trinkets and pieces embedded in concrete to the brightly painted interior, I knew that there were treasures to be found here. Our bounty of treasures included a palm tree with surf shack and wicker shade lamp, doggie treat cookie cutters, a Hawaiian album (LP), new Isotoner Smart Touch gloves, glass surfboard serving tray with fish condiment bowls, a silky shirt for Robert and (insert drum roll here!) a set of Saints flags for the truck! Now we’ll be driving around town with four, yes four Saints flags! Score! Mamma’s happy!
As we head back to Navarre, we stop at a fresh fish market and pick up a Grouper filet for tonight’s dinner. It’s getting near 2pm, and we want to get to Shark Bite before they close for the day. Yummy food and great new friends…. Can’t beat that. Now, back to the beach house to watch the games. Remember I said that we needed to add our graffiti to the Wall of Friends? Well, while Robert was watching the games I got to work…. I petitioned for four bricks instead of the customary one, and was delighted with the affirmative answer. Sandy toes, Salty kisses and Who Dat?! adorns the bricks with the final one donning our names and the date. I love this idea and can’t wait to see the wall (hopefully in person) in a year or two when it grows to include more names and memories.
The Saints win! Yes! I knew that us wearing the jerseys and flying the flags would bring a bit of luck. Now for dinner. This beach house is fully stocked and it is fun to watch Robert play Iron Chef as he peruses the cabinets for just the right ingredients…..T
wenty minutes later and he is serving up lightly breaded grouper seasoned with this years’ edition of Leilani’s Aloha Lounge rub, with sweet chili aioli and a side of sticky rice. I will gladly clean up after this dinner and many more to come!
And so another day is drawing to an end. I look over at my Darlin’ relaxing in the living room playing Candy Crush (who would have thought so many grown adults would play an electronic version of Candy Land?), then close my eyes and bow my head in Thanks to God for the gift of every moment and every day.
I had the honor and privilege of playing with Robert on the worship team at MVC. He played bass and I played drums. We made a solid team, creating the foundation of the music that the team played. Robert always told me how much he enjoyed playing with me. He was always at rehearsal early with all his fancy tech gear ready to rock for Jesus!
He always greeted me with a smile and always encouraged me in my gifting. I always enjoyed playing beside him, whether it was his acoustic upright or regular bass. His rifts during songs always made me smile in the moment. He was such a generous, uplifting man, always putting others before him. I am honored to have known him. It's so nice to know he is in heaven, face to face with his Creator and I will see him again! God is glorified through Robert's life!! Amen!
Heaven's Latest Angel
Remember Robert showing me his fishing pier and lake where he would relax before going to work. The rest of his day was work hard and play hard. He is now up in heaven operating that coffee and book shop telling stories about the big ones he caught. Robert and Sheri made a WONDERFUL couple and brought such JOY to everyone they met.
Love Uncle Ron and Aunt Judith
Proud To Be '73 Classmate
Darelyn Pokropowicz Arter
Dear Sheri & Ohana: I am truly sorry for your loss. Having not seen or talked to Kenui since graduation, I was curious and searched the internet. For hours, I read and viewed your chronicles of "Life with Robert Kenui Pope" from 2007 to present. What a wonderful life! What a wonderful man! Mahalo for sharing such a beautiful love story. I am still in awe that I could "feel and see" the Love, Aloha and Respect you had for each other, your family and your friends. My sincere condolences to each of you. I will think of all of you and Kenui, when I look at my saved picture of Robert on Elvis' shoulder (Blue Hawaii). Aloha, Darelyn Kanno
A shining light
Robert was always so positive, always smiling, and always encouraging. He and Sheri have always been selflessly supportive of me, the entire local music community, and countless charities. I was blessed to have shared the stage with him. Even through my own struggles I could always count on his light. I loved talking football with him and his daughters. It is no accident Sheri is an amazing photographer because she and Robert always see the best in people. What a gift to have been able to share part of my life with this amazing family! But most of all I will remember that every time I showed up to a jam, Roberts reaction that he was so happy to see me made my day. Every time. His kind, uplifting spirit will remain in my heart as an inspiration forever. I love you Robert!!!
Flash of time
Sheri - so sorry for your loss. You are both such beautiful people. It is such and honor to know you and I feel honored to have known Robert, even for a flash of time, here on earth.
The first full day without you was very hard Daddio. I feel your presence all around me, but I still miss your earthly presence so much. Love you forever and always Dad.
I am sorry to hear of Robert's passing. I am glad that I got to know him,if only for a short while.His warmth and smile were genuine, it was obvious that he had learned the greatest lesson of all, to love and be loved in return.God bless him and his family.
My Brother of the Bass
Robert, I wish I would have told you more completely while you were with us of what a great friend you are to me. My memories of you are cherished ones. I am blessed to have been able to share good times and good jams with you my Brother.
From the 1st time we shared the stage 12 years ago at the wretched "Double Shot Saloon" and right up to having you play with us this past Saturday night, I always took away a lesson on something cool to add to my playing. And I always took away a feeling of joy just in knowing you. You and Sheri would light up a room by walking in, and any time spent with you just made my day a better one.
You are the man that all men should try to be; kind, loving, generous and patient. And most of all, GENUINE.
This is not "good-bye", but rather "see ya later", as we will all be together again one day in His Kingdom. And you'll be there to show me where to plug in Bro, right after I get a long awaited special Robert hug
Rest in Peace and know that you are loved my friend.
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