A beautiful friend, Bobby Ebanez, posted on Facebook about missing Dennis Pavao and put a link to a song of his. It brought back a beautiful memory of mine from 2007. I had fallen asleep while listening to songs on an iPod. I would periodically wake up throughout the night and listen to a song or two...and then drift back off to sleep. At some point, I was dreaming, and the dulcet-toned voice of Dennis came through singing the somber song, Ka Ipo Lei Manu, composed by Queen Kapi'olani for her husband, King David Kalakaua, as he left the islands never to return alive. It is somewhat prophetic.

 Ka Ipo Lei Manu

I have a feeling of love
For my cherished sweetheart

My companion is a bird
Who dwells in the forest

The `i`iwi bird of the uplands
Appears yellow in the rain

The two of us
In the night of great rain

The rain of Hanalei
I'm numb with the cold

I'm also cooled
In the cold misty rain

The hau of Ma`ihi
Swimming in the sea

The vegetation
Spreading out

The fragrance of the hala
Is borne on the wind

Sweetly scented
Is the fragrance of the rose

A sweetly recurring thought
Urges my body to travel

I am made happy
By thoughts of your arrival

Tell the refrain
My chief is gone forever
The story of this song comes from as researched and tranlated by Lehua Kalima:

Source: Researched and translated by Lehua Kalima - In Hawaiian poetry, the sweetheart is personified as the `i`iwi bird. Julia Kapi`olani, the shy and retiring widow of Chief Bennett Namakeha, was one of the most beautiful women of her time and married High Chief David Kâlakaua, Dec. 1863, who was elected king in 1874. A devout christian with high morals, her motto was "Kulia I Ka Nu`u (Strive for the Highest)". Beloved by her people, distinguished by her charitable deeds, two missions close to her heart stood out: (1) she always raised money for the leper settlement in Kalaupapa to improve their living conditions, and (2) perpetuation of the Hawaiian Race. She wanted to establish a hospital for underprivileged Hawaiian women to have the best care for mothers and babies. 

Attending Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebration, 1887, in London, Kapiolani made many visits to hospitals and foundling homes and returned to Hawaii with much enthusiam and exciting plans for her hospital. She raised $8000 and her most cherished dream was realized when Kapiolani Maternity Home opened June 14, 1890, on the site of the former home of Princess Kekaulike. 

Queen Kapi`olani composed this song for her husband after he left Hawaii for the mainland aboard the Charleston, Nov, 1890. Under great political stress, his doctors thought a change of climate would benefit his failing health. He arrived in San Francisco, Dec 4 and took up residence at the Palace Hotel. He toured southern California and returned to San Francisco the middle of January for medical attention. January 20, 1891, the King died at the Palace Hotel. His last words were "Tell my people I tried". He never heard this haunting love song. Copyright 1935, Miller Music Inc.

 In my dream, I felt like I was in Heaven. The colors were so beautiful and bright and so much light was cascading down through the canopies of the trees all around me. There was a flight of stairs and at the top of the stairs, Dennis was singing and my Mother, who was still alive in 2007, and some other family members, were at the top of the stairs. It was so peaceful and bird song filled the air. I never felt so content and at peace before. 

I woke up just as the song ended and struggled in the dark to figure out what had just happened as my eyes were filled with tears. Then another song started and I realized that I had my headphones on and it all was just a dream. It was a glimpse of Heaven. I have no doubt. Only recently have I heard direct messages from King David Kalakaua given to a beautiful gifted friend. He expressed that he did not die in San Francisco from illness. Rather he died from a broken heart. The feeling that he had so let down his beloved Hawaiian people. Queen Lili'uokalani also communicated that it is her desire to help restore the honor to her beloved brother as there are Native Hawaiians today who blame him for many things. Everyone is entitled to redemption. To truly love. To forgive. To find absolution. The greatest gift we can give each other. The greatest gift we can give ourselves. In this life. In the beyond...


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