Patricia Rule raised Michael Aken and called him by his Hawaiian name — Kaleo.
"Every time he left me the last thing he would say was, 'OK, aunty. I'm going. Give me a hug and kiss. See you.' Every time," she said.
A month ago, Aken started riding a motorcycle. Rule thought it was too dangerous and urged him to get rid of it.
"I told him it isn't a moped, it's a powerful bike," she said.
Sunday night, police say Aken may have been speeding when his motorcycle collided with a truck on Hakimo Road. The truck driver wasn't badly injured, Aken, 33, died at the hospital.
Rule was driving to the hospital when her cellphone rang.
"I had a ping from my phone, a voice mail," she said. "I listened to the voice mail and all I heard was Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office. And then I lost it."
When asked what she will miss most about her nephew, she answered — everything.
"Monday, I'm sitting at my kitchen table looking out my picture window, expecting him to walk down my driveway. That's not going to happen ever again. It's hard. It's hard. Very hard," she said through tears.
Rule said her nephew grew up to be a humble man who had a son of his own. But he also had a problem: his addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Three years ago, Aken showed up at Fisher of Men Ministries, a Nanakuli church. The pastor, James Bird Mahelona took him in at his church, and Aken's life changed.
"My wife got him a job at Sack N Save," said Mahelona said. "Kaleo was a blessing to many, many people. The elders loved him in this church. He was very respectful."
Aken got involved in church activities, worked to clean up his life, and enrolled at Leeward Community College to study auto mechanics.
"His thing was always give 110 percent. He did every single time, even with just telling you hello. He gave that energy off that everybody else fed off," classmate Koa Samson said.
A memorial service for Aken will be Tuesday evening at Fisher of Men Ministries in Nanakuli.