Sonny Ray and his family met Stewart for breakfast the following morning. All heads turned as the family entered the restaurant. Stewart sat at a table drinking coffee. Nikko didn’t particularly like eating in restaurants. A couple of years back she viewed a program on television with cooks and other food worker types were spitting in customer’s food or urinating in coffee pots for one ridiculous reason or another. Since the show aired she had no reasonable expectation to believe that people had abandoned such childish and disgusting practices. Sonny Ray had similar concerns, but he had to eat. “Okay ladies, what would you two like?”
Sonny Ray smiled at his wife with a knowing glance. She returned fire with a Rihannaesque lip check. Sonny ordered coffee. Stewart looked up from his mobile pocket computer. “Whisper and Michelle are going to meet us at the funeral home.” Sonny Ray looked intently at his brother. “That’s fine. Nikko and Raye are going to do a little shopping, and then stop by to visit her step dad while we are at the funeral home.” Nikko knew how Sonny Ray felt about little Raye viewing a dead person, particularly a relative. That family gem was born when Sonny Ray was five,
and living on Parker Ranch on the big island. In 1965, their grandmother had died from cancer. Sonny Ray often recalled the day of his grandmothers wake.
His family had held it in the living room of the small ranch house on Parker Ranch. Dozens of friends and family came through to pay their respects. Many came from various ranches throughout the big island.
On the final day of the wake before closing the casket, Sonny Ray vividly recalled his ignorantly insistent mother who had demanded that he kiss his grandmother goodbye. Wanda had picked up her little boy, lowering his smallish face into the abyss of the casket. She held him by the hips as he clung desperately to the sides of the casket. He recalled crying in a confusion of fear as he strained upward, trying to escape from his oddly still, and unmoving grandmother. He remembered the chalky like makeup on her face, and how it tasted and smelled on his lips. He fought as long as he could, but his mother won out. Sonny Ray had nightmares of his grandma for years afterward. He was traumatized by that event so much so that when he got older, he promised himself that no young child of his would have to face or endure such assimilated madness. Well that moment had arrived, and little Raye would not remember her grandpa in this way. They sat in the little country restaurant eating with quiet restraint. Sonny Ray sat comically tense, resisting the urge to peek under his over medium eggs for a big wad of spit. Nikko on the other hand was her cool calm, and collect self. Stewart was immersed in taking care of all the details of his father’s final requests. After breakfast Sonny Ray walked his wife and daughter to their car. He hugged and kissed his family. After going to the funeral home to say their goodbyes they would meet back at the resort. Sonny Ray and Stewart waved as the two ladies drove away. Nikko wanted to go to the mall, and get little Raye a dress for the funeral.