In Loving Memory
David Kamahalonuiokalani Kahau
19 November, 1974 – 1 November, 2016
David was born on November 19th, 1974 at Kapiolani Maternity Hospital in Hawaii. He died at St. Joseph’s hospital in Orange on November 1, 2016. David will always be remembered as a young man who had a heart so big that it could contain more love than we ever could use. Sometimes a person’s circumstances overshadow the good parts of their life and we forget how amazing that person is until they are gone from us. David was one such person.
In life, David was trouble with a capital T! In pre-school we once found a note from the teacher to the pre-school director that said “David Kahau was jumping on the cots during nap time – AGAIN!” We went to pick him up one day and found the pre-school director following a trail of jam down the hallway, a trail that ended at David. When asked if he had got into the fridge and purloined the jam, his sticky face lit up with innocence and asked “Who? Me?” He thought it was a good idea to use his school socks as catapults, we found them years later on top of the school roof. He thought he could sell all the candy he produced fake ‘preorders’ for, the ants had other ideas. He thought it was a good idea to go joy-riding in Pastor Johnstone’s truck, it was not. He always meant well, but did not always think things through. Those events that caused us to pull our hair out when he was little have softened over the years into funny stories.
David never got great grades in school, which was frustrating, because he was so incredibly smart. He generally either forgot he had homework, or if he did it, he forgot to turn it in. We always wondered if he really forgot. He could memorize every line, detail and expression in a movie he loved and knew every word to the Anamaniacs “States and Capitals” and “Nations of the World” songs. He had an endless of amount of trivia stored in his head and remembered the words to every verse of every song he loved to sing. He knew the characters and back story of all the characters in the books he read. He had almost superhuman recall, but conveniently forgot to do his homework? Really?
David was also a wizard at math, read voraciously, played a mean game of chess and had a great vocabulary. He could take apart and fix almost any type of electronics, and could fix software issues on most computers and operating systems. David had the most beautiful deep singing voice and could sing exquisite harmonies. It was a joy to listen to him sing and play. David was, in short, an extraordinary, talented person.
If you think about the things that frustrated us later in life, they often reflected his generous nature. He was asked to leave more than one short-stay motel or RV Park because he had too many people living there. You see, he could not bear to see his friends without a place to stay. We often found that the little money we gave him to help out with groceries was feeding way more than David and Mark. What little he had he shared.
David dreamed of the lottery win that would fix all his problems and created spreadsheets that detailed how he would spend his winnings. We often laughed at them, but in reality, those spreadsheets were not really about what he could keep, but what he could give away to his family and friends. This sweetness and generosity typified the David we all loved.
David was, in many ways, a very broken person. His weight and his health deteriorated steadily over the years. He was never very neat and the losing battle to keep his environment clean and tidy was never ending and frustrating. To put those memories tidily away and never pull them out again would be very nice, but sometimes putting away the very things we don’t want to remember would losing a part of the very real presence that was David. But we can rest assured that God loved him dearly, every last problematic, irritating, and crazy part of him. You see, one of the things that never wavered in David’s life was his faith. He was not always the best example of a Christian, but how many of us really are. He believed deeply, profoundly and completely, which is the only thing that really weighs on the balance scale.
And it is there that David’s life ends. We could not fix him. We could not make it everything he deserved. We could not fix the broken body or the untidy home, no matter how often we tried. So now it is God’s turn and we know that He will always succeed where we have failed. David is in a soft, clean place, where the harshness of the world cannot touch him and he is free of the prison that was his body. He waits for us to join him, someday.