Rudy Laelae Aiono
Rudy “Big Rod” Aiono and wife Laelae RIL uso

A man should choose a friend who is better than himself. There are plenty of acquaintances in the world; but very few real friends ~ Chinese proverb

I woke today to the devastating news that a good man and a dear friend was no longer with us. How good a man you may ask? The kind of man who made people smile even when he was having a crack at you or your favorite sports team. The kind of guy who had no enemies and whose very nature was to coddle a friend in need, defend his beliefs, answer a cry of distress and spread love in any way that he could.

Over the past 24-hours, his social media accounts have been besieged by family and friends who praised the virtues that have become a common theme for a life well lived. Rudy Aiono was a man that we all loved to be around because he loved to make people laugh, smile and reflect on life and what makes us tick as people.

He once asked me if I could write about his Dallas Cowboys on my blog. I laughed and told him that I could never write about a team that I despise so if he wanted people to read it he would have to do it himself. In true Big Rod form, he did it and did it well.

He was a big fan and a frequent commenter on my blog and I’m eternally grateful for his support. I will miss his criticisms and his praise. I valued his input because he was sincere and it made me better.

He absolutely adored his wife Laelae and their baby Ituau and the world loved his wry sense of humor and his absolute obsession with his favorite teams – The Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins.

I’ll miss our banter. I’ll miss his cheek, his honesty, his commitment to his family, his love of God and that goofy smile. God welcomed a beloved son home today and I lost a friend. Rest in love and peace dear uso.