Tanya Kionasina Grey*
Dearest Grandpa, there would have never been a right time to say goodbye to you. Throughout this time, I’ve reflected on the last week of having seen you deteriorate at an alarming rate.
To think, that this time last week, you called to ask if I was coming up for Sunday lunch and to make sure Aunty Tanya gets up the farm, too. We knew the routine. If tomorrow would’ve had been like every other Sunday, I would’ve passed you on the road as you finished your church service, I’d be going to Aunty Tanya’s to prep for our Toonai... a few beers down with her, and up we would have gone. You’d tease at the fact that we would have a beer in our hand before we greeted you. We couldn’t help it; a well lubricated mind was what it took to keep up with you.
We would eat and talk with you. Then, you would leave us for the news, rugby or some classic movie on TV. I didn’t think that last Sunday would have been our final To’onai with you. I mean; you’re the healthiest, sharpest, strongest man of this age I know.
You’re always full of surprises. And this one definitely floored us.
When it comes to giving an example of the person with the most essence and subliminally inspirational, you leave everyone for dead.
God could not have created a more perfect and perfectly flawed human being. Your mind was absolutely astonishing to witness at work.
Yeah... ok... you tied your roof down with ropes, but it did the job. Your work ethic is that of legends... and you are one. And your great, big, full heart is the most elegant and graceful I have ever encountered.
The kind words people have of you; they are the stuff of knights and heroes. You’re a superb being to have to live up to and I thank the Lord for granting me the privilege to be apart of your life.
You forever influence and inspire me to be the best possible version of myself. You never wavered from your morals. Your words to live up to were always “be meek and humble of heart.... ok? Pull my finger!” Your sense of humor, oh I will miss that especially.
To be the butt of your jokes would give me so much pleasure to be able to dish it right back to you. To be challenged by a great mind such as yours, created a resilience and a thirst for more.
I’m so saddened that your vessel that has carried your noble soul throughout this life has been spent, but Lord knows, it carried you with such swagger.
A great Soul has risen to the heavens and God must admire what a perfect design he made when you come before him. May he grant you the ability to come on down here and share a beer with me every now and then.
You lived life with a Good heart, filled with love and kindness.
We, Samoa, mourn a great man, La’auli Alan Grey.
Manuia lau malaga, Grandpa. You are so very missed. Love, always and forever.
*The piece is a tribute by La’auli Alan Grey’s grand daughter she originally penned for Facebook.