The Little Man in My Life

There’s nothing that makes a grandmother’s heart go pitter-patter more than her grandchildren. As you probably know, I have more than my fair share. When I was 9, my mother gave birth to my rascal baby brother. She worked a lot so I became his surrogate mother. My brother and I went everywhere together. He even went on my dates (no wonder I didn’t have many) and when it came time for cub scouts, I was the den mother.

As I started my own family, I really wanted a boy in the worst way. After all, I’d never raised a girl. God chose to send me girls of which I am most proud. They are amazing. Thanks to them, I now have 4 grandsons (3 from my steps as much mine as any). Living a few miles away brings a special bond and so, it’s Connor Kalimahana Kraus who has been the “apple of his Grandy’s eye” since the day he was born. In spite of all he’s been through, he’s always been a happy kid. I recall once as he was walking thru the house with a smile and his Mom asked him what he was doing to which he replied, “I’m just busy being a happy kid.”

Connor is very self-reliant, cooks for himself, does his laundry, takes care of the animals and is the resident grill master…I can’t say he makes his bed or is “Mr. Clean” for sure. He loves to hunt and work on cars. In fact, his future plan is to do formal diesel training on the mainland. Of course, I hope he doesn’t forget to return to Hawaii but I know there’s always that risk. I watched his senior project presentation and was more than impressed because he is a student at Nawahiokalani ‘- opu‘u iki Lab Public Charter School. I didn’t understand a word (except Tree Works) but he was cool, calm and confident. See, I told you I’m a proud Tutu. On another note, Memorial Day is a few days away. For many, it’s the unofficial start to Summer but I hope we all take time to reflect on the sacrifices that spawned such a somber celebration. I invite you all to join us at Veteran’s Cemetery #2 on the 29th at 9am. The view of the cemetery alone with all the flags will make you proud you are an American and proud to live in Hilo.  Enjoy your day! Love you Connor Kalimihana Kraus!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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Cherie Tsukamoto

June 1, 2023

So sweet, Denise!

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