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May 4, 2022

Mother’s Day on Lanai

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we asked people around town to share special memories of their mothers. Here’s what they had to say:

Megan Amby
Mother: Fiona Amby

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What is your fondest memory with your mother?
During 4th of July weekend when I was around 8 years old, I was upset that I was missing the Pineapple Festival since I was sick, so my mom rented movies of my choice from the old rental store. We spent the night watching movies and hanging out while my brothers and dad were at the festival. At the time, I was afraid I was missing out, but I think what we did was even more memorable.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
My mom always told me to “not sweat the small stuff.” Although I didn’t take the advice right away, I always consider it now as an adult.

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
The thing I appreciate most is the calmness she brings me, and that I know I can talk to her about anything. I know if she is there, everything will turn out okay.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
If our family is happy, my mom is happy. Also, she likes when people compliment her cooking!

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
As a mother myself, I know we share the same “mama bear” instinct and we are both extreme caregivers. We are also both trustworthy and hardworking.


Anthony Pacheco
Mother: Darlene Pacheco-Rapp

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
When I was little, my mom would sometimes take me out for night drives. Parked outside of town, we’d look at the stars together and she’d ponder over the infinite mysteries of existence, then turn to me and ask, “What do you think about why we are here, Tonino?”

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
With regards to masculinity and raising a son, “Show love so he can show love when he grows up too.”

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
I appreciate her bold and unwavering loyalty.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
She’s transcendent in the presence of a good song.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
We’re both very imaginative. We can get fully immersed in any creative project we start. I get confused as a technologist a lot but I’m way more artsy than technical, and that’s really thanks to her.


Nicole and Michelle Fujie
Mother: Nola Fujie

Nicole Fujie

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
My fondest memory is when my mother stayed with me in Washington while going through stem cell transplant at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. I loved making Snap Chat videos with her. She was always so funny and said random things during the video.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
Your a** is the boss. (When you gotta go, you gotta go)

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
She always encouraged me to try new things and to never give up.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
Food. She would always plan the next meal.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I most definitely look like her. She inspired me to shave my head after she got diagnosed with cancer. I saw she had a nicely shaped head and was very cute while growing back in. I have kept a short haircut since January 2021 in memory of her.

Michelle Fujie

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
My fondest memory is going on walks together with our dogs and watching her play with my children.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
Make yourself happy first so you can make others happy.

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
She was always there for me and would give the most honest advice. She also loved me unconditionally.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
Food and being with her dogs.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
My fun-loving nature and generosity.


Erin Atacador
Mother: Chelsea Trevino

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
My fondest memory with my mom is of the day my son was born. She made sure we were both well taken care of, with a smile on her face the whole time.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
“Life isn’t always fair, but still try your best every day.”

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
I appreciate the never-ending support my mom gives me. No matter the circumstances, I can always count on my mom to be there for me.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
I think spending time with family and friends makes her the happiest.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
The most meaningful trait my mom has shared with me is to always see the good in people – always keep an open mind and never judge.


Michele Holsomback
Mother: Charlotte Holsomback

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
I have many fond memories with my mom shopping! She won’t admit it, but we both have a love for shoes! As long as I can remember, we were always trying on shoes. It helps that we wear the same size shoe, so we can always justify buying new shoes and saying the other person can “borrow” them.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
“If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
What I appreciate the most is our communication. We talk all the time. She has always been there by being supportive and understanding.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
My mom is the happiest when she’s talking story with family and friends! She enjoys catching up with family and friends she hasn’t talked to in a while. She also enjoys visiting family and friends she sees regularly – especially with her great-granddaughters.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
Putting family first, accomplishing whatever you put your mind to, and being kind. My mom is the kindest person I have ever met. Her kindness extends to anyone, whether she knows you or just met you. If I can be at least half the person my mom is, that would be awesome.


Joelle Aoki
Mother: Florence Endrina

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
One of my fondest memories with my mother was watching her in the “Great Koele Stampede.” She rode a soft sleigh, towed by a rope, by one of our most spirited horses, named Misty. Misty was ridden by my father in a race with other Lanaians at the Koele ranch. As my father raced down the arena and back, with my mother hanging on for dear life, they won the blue ribbon! I remember her big smile, infectious laugh as she was covered in dirt, and the genuine trust and courage she had for my father and our horse.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
My mother once said sometimes it’s easier to just “let go.” Later in life, she finished the sentence with “And let God…”

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
I appreciated many things about her, and I didn’t realize how much until she was gone. On some mornings, I would wake up to the piano playing as she taught students, classes, and choirs. She played hymns from church, Joplin, and Beethoven. As a 7-year-old at the time, I did not realize how fortunate I was to be woken by the sound of the piano playing. Today, the notes ring through to my head and heart with gratitude for the relationship I was blessed with by my mother, and her music which is now a beautiful memory.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
She was the happiest when she could eat Chinese food, watch a great movie, spend time with her grandchildren painting, creating ceramics, or reading a good Nora Roberts novel in two days.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
Some of the traits I share are my independence, courage, talkativeness, humor, and maybe a little of her smarts.


Kaleo, Ola and Kaeo Ropa
Mother: Sandra Ropa

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
Our fondest memories consist of our camping and fishing trips to Honuapo and Ka Lae. Also, our celebrations on Christmas and New Year’s holidays in Kau.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
Always be humble, and “eat all your food; get kids starving in China.”

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
We are grateful of the fact that our mother is able to help raise our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She has unconditional love for all of us and her hugs cure all heartaches. We appreciate having everyone together as a family as our home base.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
She’s the happiest when my Dad visits her to remind her he is still watching over her.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
We share the love for our ohana and the Aloha we have for our Hawaiian culture.


Mahina Romero
Mother: Heather Romero

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
My fondest memory is when my mom and my late father, Louis Julian Romero, would sing with each other in our living room together. She would teach Pine, Kamaunu, Kekai, and me how to sing and entertain. Serious moments, but also bus’ laugh moments too. The happy days.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
Don’t lie or cheat or get “lickins”.

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
I appreciate her reminding me every day about the same thing, over and over – so I don’t forget. And helping our entire family in times of need.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
Being with all of her grandchildren.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
We share the same laugh. If you know, or have been around us, you know what I’m talking about.


Aulii Kamalii
Mother: Leilani Spitalsky

What is your fondest memory with your mother?
My wedding day. I asked my mom if she would do me the honor of walking me down the aisle before handing me off to my dad. Without her, I could not have started this new chapter in my life. She made me the woman I am today.

What is the most memorable advice your mother ever gave you?
Always try to be the best at whatever you do in life.

What do you/did you appreciate the most about your relationship with your mother?
I always appreciated how nurturing and encouraging she is, and her unconditional love.

What makes/made your mother the happiest?
Being outdoors or at the beach, surrounded by family and friends.

What are some traits that you share with your mother?
We are both bold and sincere.

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