Ohana o Lindsey
“E ola ke kanaka i ke aloha me ke kōkua o ka ‘ohana.”
(We live with the help and love of family.)
This is one of the few precious pictures I have of my Dad’s parents. My grandfather’s sister is to his left. They died before I was born. I wish I had time with them but am very lucky because I have learned a lot about them from those who knew them well. As I have gotten older, every bit of info and story about them is a priceless treasure that I hold close and one day will share with my children.My grandmother’s family is from Hamakua and my grandfather’s from Waimea since “forever”.
From what I have been told, my grandmother was not above 5 feet tall but was a ferocious disciplinarian. Her priorities were Ke Akua, family and hard work. She believed education was the key to sucess in life. My grandfather was easy going and everyone’s friend. He was a dreamer and thought about the many possibilities in life, but did not let that distract him from working hard to provide for his family.
Their priorities and values are timeless and extend thru generations- caring for our families, hard work, education and “dreaming big”. I try to live my life in a way that would make them, my parents and my family proud. I see my commitment to be a servant leader for the people of Hawaii Island and the entire state as an OHA Trustee as a part of that effort to make them proud.
MORE LINDSEY FAMILY HISTORY IN PICS
MY MOM’S FATHER
My mom’s father was part Muscogee (Creek) and born in Oklahoma. Like so many others of the ‘Greatest Generation” he joined the U.S. Army, served during the Second World War and made the military and employment with the federal government a career. He never went back to Oklahoma and shared only “bits and pieces’ of his childhood and family. My mom’s brother has conducted extensive research so we know about the Muscogee branch of our family tree.
Some of this history is sad and shouts of injustice. The Indian Removal Act, enacted by the United States in 1828 resulted in the forced relocation of Indian Tribes from their ancestral lands east of the Mississippi to the west. For the Creek people it was Arkansas first and then Oklahoma. Letters from Creek chiefs to the U.S. President speak of harsh conditions and how the basic supplies- like blankets- that were promised, never arrived. But it is also a history of perseverance and overcoming hardships.
I spent many a summer with him at his home in Central California helping him garden, handyman work around the house and running errands. He was a quiet man, but firm. By then he was “retired” but still staying busy with various business endeavors. Looking back, I now realize he grew up during the Great Depression and survived the horrors of war. This is just my guess, but maybe he didn’t speak about life in Oklahoma because it was too hard to remember and he decided to look forward.
For me, his legacy is overcoming life’s challenges and making your own destiny. I am extremely proud of this part of my family’s history and know it will help guide me in my work as the OHA- Hawaii Island Trustee.