Mother's Day 2020
I've been thinking about my Mom a lot the last few days. So I thought I would share her story, as much as I know.
Bernice Kealoha Hulihe'e Chung-Hoon was born on August 8, 1914 and died on April 20, 2002. She was the first born of David Hinae Hulihe'e and Evangeline Camara Hulihe'e. Her siblings: Edwin Hulihe'e, Elizabeth Mokihana Hulihe'e Buinac, Agnes Hulihe'e Wilson, Bernard Hulihe'e and Ralph Hulihe'e, all of whom are deceased.
She was born in Eleele, Kaua'i and raised in Hanapepe, Kaua'i. Her father worked for one of the sugar mill plantations and her mother was a domestic and seamstress. She moved to Oahu to finish her high school education and graduated from either McKinley High School or Farrington High School in Honolulu. She was an accomplished seamstress. She would tell stories of being 10 years old, taking a part the clothing of her siblings and then putting them back together, teaching herself to sew.
She met Ernest Chung-Hoon sometime in the late 30's. She was mother to 6 children, Edwin Ernest (1938), Puanani Rowena (1939), Violet-Elizabeth (1942), Ernestine Kealoha (1943), Agnes Naomi Piilani (1948) and Samuel (1950). There are grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In January 1949 she started attending the Kaimuki Church of the Nazarene in Honolulu, HI along with her husband and children. Pastor Reuben Welch led her to the Lord soon after. She loved the Lord and it was evident in her life. She became very involved in the ministries of the local church and served as Missionary President and Sunday School teacher of the Adult Sunday School class for many years. She was very well known and loved on the Hawai'i Nazarene District.
When I think about my Mom and the legacy she left, it is about the beautiful creations she made using her faithful Viking sewing machine and her love for the Lord. She read her Bible faithfully and could readily quote scripture. She loved her family unconditionally and spent much time in prayer for all of them. Her heart ached for some and for the lifestyles they chose, yet she continued to love them.
We spoke often on the phone and had some wonderful conversations. I still especially miss the birthday phone calls. She always called me on the day before my birthday. I would say "Mom, my birthday isn't until tomorrow". She would say "oh, what do I know...it was too dark". I was born 7 months after Pearl Harbor and it was black out time. I was born at a midwife's home in Kalihi and she would tell me that there was a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling with a black cover around it and the windows were covered in black. I was born right after midnight.
When I called our first pastor, Reuben Welch, to tell him Mom had passed away, he told me she was like a sponge soaking everything in about the Lord and he was certain she was sitting at the feet of Jesus getting answers to all her many questions. I'd like to think that is true.
Mother's Day is difficult for me yet I am so thankful for the Mother I had. Life was not easy for her yet she did the best she could to make sure her children were fed and their basic needs were taken care of. At times, our relationship was difficult and we actually went for several years of not speaking. Yet in her last years, I knew for certain that she loved me, prayed for me and wanted me to be happy...most of all she wanted me to continue to serve the Lord, which I do.
And so tomorrow, Mother's Day 2020, I will once honor the woman who gave me life and in my heart thank her for everything she gave me, taught me and most of all, loved me. Happy Mother's Day, Mom...I love you so very much and looking forward to seeing you again.
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