Remembering Carol Laumilo - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Remembering Carol Laumilo

By Steve Uyehara – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "Ready Casey?" The question is asked not just from coach to player, but father and son.


Sonny Tabula watches as his 7-year-old son Casey takes off from first base to second.

Sonny coaches Casey's team and after watching this set of drills, he likes what he sees.

"Getting Bettah," he says with a tinge of enthusiasm. Getting Bettah!"

Sonny enjoys his time outdoors and seeing his kids running around.

"The more active they get, the less they kinda' think about it," says Sonny. "Cause when they idle, they not doin' nothin' they start to think, ah?"

What Casey and his brother Chance start to think about are memories of their mom Carol Laumilo.

Carol died last December after a 6-year fight with breast cancer.

She left behind the boys... and a daughter from a previous relationship.

Sonny checks in on her every week but his main concern right now is Chance who's just 5 years old.

"Just lately he been asking the question oh, when she coming back," Sonny says as he tries to choke back his tears. "How you supposed to answer that?"

This month Sonny and Carol would've celebrated 11 years together.

Her cancer initially showed up right after Casey was born.

It went away and a couple years later she got pregnant again.

The name "Chance" fit perfectly because they seemed to have a brand new start.

But 3 months later the cancer was back.

"Was like one roller coaster where you get good news then you get bad news," he said.

The cancer was aggressive and it spread to her uterus and eventually her brain.

After she died Sonny and the boys moved in with his family.

Come December they plan to lay carol to rest next to *her mom.

The boys wrote Mother's Day cards to her... and even have pillows with family pictures sewn into them.

And Dad he went with something a little more permanent.

"I dedicated my whole sleeve to her," said Sonny, pointing to the giant tatoo that runs up and down his left arm. "I get her Japanese. He get one Samoan band. I get her favorite flowers, the plumeria. Just added on more koi to keep it oriental. This is my youngest son Chance's name, his Japanese Akio."

And as Sonny continues to flip through pictures and remember the good times he also recalls one thing he never got to do.

"We was planning on getting married before our son was born, our oldest son, and then she got pregnant. We pushed the wedding back," he recalled with a look that says "if only." "Then she had cancer, push the wedding back. Then she beat 'um, got pregnant, push the wedding back. Then cancer again, push the wedding back."

But for now his focus is on the present and what he has to do to keep his family together: work, coaching anything his boys need.

Because while the pain and loss he feels are not his alone the responsibility going forward is.



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