Lionel Phillips Camara

(November 7, 1913 - July 10, 2006)

Dad / Grandpa / Avu

Lionel P. Camara (blue studio shot)      
July 15, 2006 Memorial Service Recordings and Transcripts

To Download: right-click on each link and choose "Save Target As..."
Track Name and Transcript Length VBR MP3 at 90%
with active signal enhancement
01 Our Father (end) 0:33 01 [705 KB]
02 HYMN 21: How Great Thou Art 4:43 02 [6,668 KB]
03 Psalm 23 (MAL) 1:27 03 [2,087 KB]
04 Eulogy (JLL) 10:22 04 [15,077 KB]
  Eulogy (LJC)    
05      1 Thes. 4:13-5:11 2:03 05 [2,996 KB]
06      Part 1 4:23 06 [6,424 KB]
07      1 Cor. 15:35-58 2:34 07 [3,767 KB]
08      Part 2 6:22 08 [9,221 KB]
09 Solo - Amazing Grace (Kalani Brady) 3:02 09 [4,463 KB]
10 Meditation (Rev. Dean Vestal) 7:40 10 [11,274 KB]
11 Pastoral Prayer (Rev. D. V.) 1:40 11 [2,442 KB]
  HYMN 242: In the Garden    
12      (beginning) 1:04 12 [1,502 KB]
13      (end) 1:13 13 [1,661 KB]
14 Closing Prayer and Benediction (Rev. D. V.) 1:39 14 [2,320 KB]
15 Benediction Response (Aloha 'oe) 1:19 15 [1,863 KB]
16 Organ Postlude (Aloha Hawaii?) 3:32 16 [5,003 KB]
53:33      [75.6 MB]
 Note: the recording of the service was made onto tape and the levels were set WAY too high, so everything's blown out. I digitized it using my computer and my wife's little pink stereo. If anyone is interested in trying to run it through some filters to clean it up, you're welcome to request the original WAVs, or my mom has the original tape. I don't have the time to really mess with it, and it only can get so much better.

I set up a forum to share your memories. You can freely read what's there, but to post you will need to first register (use your real "Firstname" and "Surname") and validate your email address (you'll receive an email with a link to click), then I will activate your account. We'd love to hear the memories you have of Grandpa - how he's touched your life.

8/9/06 – Lionel J. Camara (LJ):

About 6 years ago (mid 2000), the fact of my grandfather’s mortality hit me. I don’t remember any particular event, but I was visiting at their house. It couldn’t have been anything medical because I walked home (we were renting a house up the street). Kris’ boyfriend was over, and I managed to hold it together long enough to get in the shower and weep. I probably just realized that things had changed and would never go back to the way it was. I’m not sure if it was before or after I got saved, but it was around that time, and I remember him being on my mind those first few Sundays that I went to New Hope.

Four years later, after Granny had her stroke? or fell down? I was in the shower at our apartment in Kaneohe, and basically God told me that I’d be doing a eulogy and the “preach the Gospel in & out of season” scripture (“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; …” 2 Tim 4:2). We’d always assumed that Grandpa would go first (because of his medical problems), but at that point I was thinking it would be Granny since so many things were happening back-to-back with her.

It’s amazing that I keep seeing that 4-2 pattern. [to link]

I was watching the video of Grandpa’s 90th birthday party earlier this year (or maybe late last year) [todo: online video or DVD]. He talked about asking God for a few more years and I realized that this is the third year. He was always worried about Granny and my mom and how they’d be after he was gone. He told me that there were still so many things that he wanted to do. I think many of those “things” that he was referring to had to do with making sure Granny & Mom were taken care of (legal arrangements, etc.), but it has been very clear that he did an excellent job planning everything (including most of his memorial service).

On June 12, I happened to wake up early. I decided to finally get a start on the eulogy. I just brainstormed, writing memories that I had of them (mostly focusing on Grandpa). I’m glad that I did that, because it was very helpful when I finally sat down to write during the two days before the funeral. I kept thinking that I had plenty of time - no rush - so even though, during those two years, I kept thinking about vague ideas of what I would be saying, at least 80% wasn’t done until the night/morning before. I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I wanted to be, in many ways.

I had known that this was coming, and I knew where Grandpa was going, so I thought that the grieving thing I had done six years ago was it. I thought that God had brought me to that spot so that I could help my family deal with things, and at first that was the case. After having seen his condition in the hospital briefly on Saturday?, when I went back on Sunday I was expecting to need to lead him in a prayer to let go. It was something that I had hinted at with him, but he was always trying to hang on a little bit longer (something that I couldn’t really understand, given the physical and emotional condition of his life these last years).

At the hospital, he was still sleeping. From talking with Mom and the doctor it seemed that he had finally accepted what was going to happen. The Holy Spirit used me to lead Mom in a prayer, which was cool. The doctor didn’t expect him to regain consciousness. People visited. People called. It was kind of a surreal experience. Most said that they would pray for him. I wanted to shout “Pray for GOD’S WILL, NOT HEALING!” but luckily tact won out, though when I could I tried to direct people to instead pray for Granny, Mom, Aunty Mary Ann, etc. I’d been experiencing the consequences of a rash prayer in my own life, and was particularly sensitive to the need to seek God’s will FIRST. Our God, the good father that he is, will never give us anything that’s bad for us, but he will sometimes say yes to our requests and allow us to experience the “natural consequences.”

We all watch too much TV, I guess. It’s natural to want to say “one last goodbye,” but that never happened. He went home the next morning.

We were at Hanauma Bay that day (Monday). There was some confusion with Bailee. I’m not sure what we said to her, or what she thought at first, but when we got to my grandparents’ house later that day, she said “I thought Avu had died for real.” It was cute. We had already talked with her a lot about what happens after you die. She likes to talk about God and Satan (the “potato”) and ask lots of questions.

The funeral was set for Saturday, and as the week progressed it became apparent to me that I wasn’t going to be as “ok” as I had thought. I went to work on Tuesday, expecting to only take off whatever time I needed to write my eulogy, but then I realized that wasn’t going to happen. I kept asking the Holy Spirit to hold me together until I’d finished what I needed to do. He is faithful to provide.

I nearly lost it at the first song - I remembered what Grandpa's voice sounded like when he would sing in church.
He spoke to me through the songs he chose.
I'd envisioned it going a little differently than it did. I'd expected to have my parts mostly memorized and just refer to my notes when I needed them. That was a problem since I never actually finished writting it. I wound up just reading my notes and when I came to the end of the semi-done part I just started shuffling through my notes, picking-and-choosing the parts I felt that I should read.