Sixty years ago our mother Marita Aroha Johnson was a beautiful new bride who left her home and her family in Aotearoa New Zealand to come live in Samoa.
At Dad’s farewell she spoke about how when (our super handsome😉) Dad proposed to her on a NZ beach, he told her he would take her to an island across the sea, and that together, they would travel the world to many places. He could not have known then that their life together would include raising their children in Hawaii, Ithaca New York, Samoa, a diplomatic posting to Washington DC, consultancy work in many countries for various regional organizations, and a senior couples mission in Siberia Russia. She told of his love and patience with her, that everything he promised her came to be. “In all our life together, I have never doubted for a moment, Fili’s love for me.”
It’s a blessing to have parents who love and care for each other in a way that endures all the trials and challenges found in a 60 year marriage. Dad was our mother’s best friend, helpmeet and partner in all things. And now he is gone.