One of the most beautiful woman that I know is Sam's Grandmother Pine (just look at her smiling at a present, even though she didn't need it). The name Pine is pronounced Pi (I sounds like E) Ne - Not like the tree. :D
We went to visit them quite a bit when they lived near us, but they have gone back to Tonga.
What makes her beautiful? You might ask.
When I met her I was scared of her, her and Grandpa Sungalu didn't like me at the time, they didn't like many "Palangi's."
After getting to know them I have grown to love them and I know they love me as well.
Grandma Pine is just about the most loving lady that I know. She spent long hours watching over my husband when he was growing up, if he was sick she would stay up all night and care for him, placing cool towels on his face.
She is a healer, a true healer. She has an intimate knowledge of the medicinal plants of Tonga and has used them in remarkable ways.
Sam burnt his face once, when he was doing a fire dance and used the wrong type of fuel to blow at the fire with.
She made a really stinky poultice and covered his face, changing it often. All of the hair was burnt off and they didn't think that it would grow back, but it did, you can hardly tell that it was burnt.
She also cared for one of Sam's nieces who had leukemia. She had been in the hospital for many months, and they thought she would die. They sent for Grandma, she called Tonga and asked for different types of plants. She stayed with the little girl giving her the Tongan cure and she recovered!!
What I absolutely know is that Grandma Pine cares, very deeply. She cries really easily, I don't know how many times I have sat listening to Sam talk with her in Tongan as she weeped freely, wiping her eyes with some type of cloth.
When I look at her, I don't see the age so much as I see the kindness. She is absolutely beautiful.
Grandpa as well is like this, Sam has gone many times to them to have them knead his sore muscles and Grandpa helped Sam heal his foot after a Rugby injury.
They do this pressing, rubbing thing to eliminate the bad blood, I think it works!
He is a really funny guy!! A couple of years ago he was seriously ill, he had to have quadruple bypass surgery, he was diagnosed with diabetes. The doctor said that he must have a "big heart" because he didn't know why it was still beating.
We visited frequently during this time, everyone was preparing for a funeral, but he suprised us all. When brought our children over, the kids would run in and give their grandparents hugs and an "Uma" on the cheek (my kids don't learn the word "kiss" until later, we teach them it's an "Uma" and thats what they call it).
Sione, (which incidentally means Jon in Tongan), was really a big comfort to them as he looks and acts so much like Sam, the little boy they raised... Sione would play around with Grandpa even when the rest of us were scared to get him worked up.
I remember one time, Sione started to "Pillow fight" with Grandpa and to our surprise Grandpa, fought back and played quite a while.
This was something that Sam's Grandparents treasured, being treated as themselves, not as some old decrepit people. Sione is still there favorite, they miss him fiercely.
It was hard for them over here though, they lived in a little trailer home, and although Sam's aunt took care of them (and her daughter)they were more alone and worse off than if they were in Tonga.
We took them food many times, they were really poor, but they still longed to be back in Tonga. So after a lot of discussion it was decided that they should go back.
To everyone's surprise, when Grandpa Sungalu started eating Tongan food again, fish, roots, whole foods, he has regained his strength and is now walking around normally again.
He has told me that he is waiting for me to come and visit them in Tonga before they die. We are so poor, the thought of not getting to visit makes me sad. But life can surprise you sometimes. Like growing to love people who are not originally your family, someone who you were scared of at first and I do love them.