Worse (bad on top of bad), my Grandpa Tom's younger brother Lorin, my Uncle Kink, has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. He noticed a lump in his groin area a week and a half ago, and got it checked out. The cancer has spread to his liver and lungs. He's been given 2 or 3 months to live.
I love my Uncle Kink. He is every bit the great man my grandfather was, another pillar of strength and an inspiration to the whole family. His knowledge of Hawaiiana, botany, history, politics, geology, and so many other subjects is unmatched and invaluable. He is a true living treasure of Hawaii. I meet so many people, in the field of conservation and many other walks of life, who speak of Lorin Gill with awe and respect, and tell me how proud I should be to be his grandniece. I already know.
Kink has long been a role model for me. I can remember from small-kid time, following him around at his very heels on hikes, soaking up every story for every plant, every insect, every sacred place... a habit I have never lost. I wish I could remember even a tenth of what he's told me.
Gary's going to try to get the rest of the oral history recorded. Kink intends to continue with his plans to travel on the Danube and in Sicily, and to expand his bookshelves to hold his Hawaiian book collection. He wants his ashes to be with his mother Lor's (a truly great woman, though I never knew her; no surprise her sons turned out so well) on Konahuanui.
Gods. I'm glad I got to see him, albeit briefly, when I went over for Grandpa's funeral. We got to chat a bit. ...Hell. I hope that's not the last time I'm going to see him.