How a Hawaii family with deep musical roots ages in place

Chris Kamaka and Sam Kamaka Jr.

A local family with deep musical roots is in tune with each other and making it work.

Chris Kamaka and his father, Sam Kamaka Jr., enjoy spending their spare time sharing music.

The Kamaka ohana has been sharing the gift of music since 1916. Hawaii was still a territory when the family-owned Kamaka Ukulele first opened its doors.

“It’s a little hard for him to hold chords because of his rheumatoid arthritis but he still manages to get a few chords in but he still can sing,” said Chris Kamaka.

Last year, Sam Kamaka Jr. lost his wife, Gerry, who he was married to for 58 years. He turned 93 in June.

“We had seven children and magically one family volunteered every evening to come and bring me dinner,” he said.

His seven children now take turns caring for him.

“It’s turned out fabulous,” said Sam Kamaka Jr. “It’s a beautiful journey… I’m getting to know the grandchildren.”

Chris Kamaka says he and his siblings each have their own “special time” with their father.

“It’s not easy but with seven of us, we try and make it work and it’s really helped because I really feel for those who don’t have help,” he said.

Chris Kamaka’s advice to other children caring for their parents: “Care and have the compassion and be patient, and just enjoy the time while you can.”

“I really appreciate it and I’m enjoying it. I cannot wait for that car to come up the driveway whoever is coming for that evening,” said Sam Kamaka Jr. “Record their smiles in our brain… It’s a blessing.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s