Historical fiction novel on Thomas Booth Cummings, his assimilation to Hawaiian culture
*** This is the first installment of a book I am writing on the life of Thomas Booth Cummings, who was my Gr. Gr. grandfather. It is being written in the form of historical fiction. In addition to this prologue I have completed eleven chapters, which I hope to add. This is my first venture into creative writing, and it probably shows, it has given me a greater sense of appreciation for those that are gifted with the written word.
THE LAND OF TEN THOUSAND JUNES
By : Kuhaulua Cummings
No matter how much success one attains in life, or how confident they become, in their achievements. No matter how prepared or willing we are to pass into the next quadrant of life, wherever that may be, aside from the pain or troubles that we experience in the last few twilights of our life. There is but one thing that most of us fear in the end, dying alone. To give up the ghost in a room with only oneself would be demeaning if not shameful. The loneliness that Thomas Booth Cummings must have felt in those last few hours before he passed was unbecoming of this man, who for all of his life carried a gracious demeanor about him. Yet this is the way it ended for a man who gave himself to others relentlessly. A man, who experienced grave tragedies at a young age, yet steered optimistically towards the future.What kind of man was Thomas Booth Cummings one might ask? His oldest of friends John Keao, a man much older and wiser once said of his young friend. “Thomas always had the ability to do what was right, and avoided what was wrong”. Others might have said he was kind, compassionate, and extremely friendly, with a wide sense of humor. He was avid towards adventure, an unyielding optimist, and much to trusting. In addition, one might wonder why a man with all these wonderful attributes shouldn’t be surrounded gloriously with friends and family in the final hours of his life. As for the most part the answer is not an easy one, nor does Its remedy lie in one reason. Thomas Booth Cummings lived a life full of leadership, example, and humility and had no enemies to speak of. He cast upon the people that he met something few men are capable of, a pleasing impression. 150 miles to the southwest in a small weather worn village on the island of Maui called Wainee, a lasting impression still lingered after fifty years. The Elders of Wainee were but ten year old children when he first taught them to read and write the English language. They loved Thomas Booth Cummings and he cherished them as his family throughout his life. Therefore with their inspiration his assimilation into the Hawaiian culture was unconditional and through the next fifty-six years it was never compromised.
Though as one ascends in years, sometimes the tragedies, and heart break take their toll. With the passing of his wife, of over forty years, Kahale a few years before, Thomas had become strewn in deep depression, less than a shell of the man he once was. And with his children grown, with lives and families of their own, his overbearing depression and self pity had drove them away, allowing them only the opportunity to remember their father as he was in their youth. So on June 12, 1900 at 1:00 pm Thomas Booth Cummings closed his eyes for the last time. There would be no accolades in the Honolulu Advertiser, and no parades to honor his life, mostly his passing would go unnoticed in the islands at the turn of the century. Sadly this highly imprintive man was left to die alone in a lodging house not far from Honolulu harbor. But this regrettable circumstance would do little to tarnish his legacy. For he was a man that encouraged his family and students to pursue their culture, and to remember that their ascendance as Hawaiians would always be challenged, and by understanding the motives of their adversaries, the goals that they set would always remain undaunted.
Thomas Booth Cummings lived his life, and guided his family through the most tumultuous times in Hawaii’s history with respect, dignity, and an elegant demeanor. And although, born in Boston's 10th ward, Hawaii became his home at age seventeen. Moreover, never could anyone love a place more than he loved "The land of ten thousand Junes".