In his salutation of Star Medeiros - who passed away unexpectedly, yet quietly, in her Napili home last month - Kahu David Kapaku spoke of the clarity and brightness of the night sky at his country homestead in a valley outside of town.
He described the vivid starlight that is somewhat muddled at his workplace in town, but shines brightly when he gets home in the valley. This greets him with a sense of internal warmth and optimism for the future.
Kapaku added, "Although those stars have actually died, the beams of light continue on for many years to brighten our existence. And this is what the memories of Star Medeiros will do for us, and that is to continue to illuminate our lives with warmth and clarity for what is pono."
A brilliant and precise analogy indeed, as the life of Star Medeiros, though cut much too short, shined widely. It was an existence of family life and community service that surely represents the core values of Maui.
As the wife of Wes; the mother of Casey Smythe, Jansen and Preston; sister to Crystal, Dawn, Jasmine, Melody and Duke; and as a labor leader for ILWU Local 142, Star Medeiros cast a wide beam of life light that brought clarity and love to so many.
This, along with the treasure of friendship she nurtured - evidenced by every eulogy given (every speaker calling Star "my best friend.") at the overflow celebration of life held for her at the ILWU Hall in Wailuku - signified the beautiful spirit and strength of this Star.
She and Wes formed a complimentary couple of dry and simple humor, respectively, in raising the three boys and as a pillar to the West Maui and Lahainaluna High School athletic community.
Friends who spoke at the celebration all agreed that, with this lady, support for Lahainaluna was unquestioned. The Lahainaluna Quarterback Club and the Luna Class of 1974 will attest to that.
One of those "best friends," Kumu Hula Kathy Ralar, the mistress of ceremonies at the service, insisted that this be a celebration of Star's life - and indeed it was. Music, dance and laughter filled the hall, and food was prepared by more "best friends" (no caterers needed here) led by Merle and Brandon Bernades.
Everyone in attendance was filled with unmitigated joy. The light warmth of Star shined brightly.
To Wes, the boys and the entire family, the village of Lahaina sends its fondest aloha and condolences to you all. May peace be always with you, Star. Shine on.