A different kind of GOAT

Updated: Mar 19


Exceptional, competitive, trusting, and caring. And, he loves being a family man. So why was Joe Brady being called a GOAT?


Honestly, a function of my age is not understanding today’s language. More than once, I’ve had to google a collection of letters to get its meaning. This is the latest instance.


But, of course, Tom Brady is a GOAT – Greatest of All Times.

I chuckled. Then, I thought.


We all know GOATs.


When I read about the passing of Faye Kaible. I stopped. I just stopped. Then, the memories bubbled. Faye and I worked together in Curriculum & Instruction during the ‘90s.


She served as a school program consultant for health and physical education. Faye developed and facilitated training programs for HIV Aids, CPR certification, LOTE, drug resistance programs, PE and others – like customer service.


As Faye was meticulous and an invaluable team member, her care resonated quietly and with a vibrancy that strengthened all she worked with. That work ethic resembled her love as a mom. Always, always concerned about Kim, Krystal and Kyle, Faye wanted to ensure her children were on a good path with only the best that they deserved.


Once, Faye drove me home. In the driveway, we talked about our challenges as moms. At the beginning of my journey with autism, she assured me all would be okay. Just keep loving and moving forward. We talked about finding soul mates. She shared she was content with concentrating on her work and her children. She spoke of her church and the fulfillment she received with them. Faye was a firecracker – short stuff with a delivery that was always amazing and spectacular.


I truly regret not keeping in touch with Faye. As I read about the Wildcats missing her, I believed it. When I watched a video about students and faculty appreciating her, I believed it.


Last year, a mom shared how a person named Faye Kaible helped her and her son not only survive but thrive. Faye believed in the inherent goodness of people. She worked to help all belong – Faye was the greatest of all times – at believing and delivering.


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When I saw the notice about Joe Mendiola, I bowed my head. Joe, as a team member and manager of 36 years at Parks & Recreation, was a guardian angel. Whether it was at the Agana Pool or the Paseo, Joe welcomed Eric. He helped him complete his tasks. When there was a situation, Joe monitored – ready to step in.


Joe and Nacrina were so close that they share an email address. When I wrote to them inviting their Downs Syndrome Association for a special Christmas Display showing, Joe responded immediately. Absolutely! Like most parents, but certainly like a parent of one with a disability, Joe grabs all opportunities for inclusion.


Johana was Joe’s precious daughter – for whom he believed, he did, and he insisted. Nacrina, his wife of 40 years, shared how Joe always smiled when he spoke of Eric. That was a smile of understanding, compassion and acceptance. No surprise he was a winning coach for many teams – Yona Red Hawks, Guam Southern Little League, St. Francis, Notre Dame, Yona Spartans. Joe was the greatest of all times – at succeeding, at teamwork, at welcoming.


When I saw the notice of Rose Calvo, I said a prayer. And, I smiled. Ms. Rose worked for the office of then-senator Dennis Rodriguez. Our offices shared a street. Rose would often bring reports for review. Sometimes, she would share her delicious baked goods – her cakes were awesome. But it was her smile, respect and love that we appreciated. Rose Calvo was the greatest of all times at being a great worker, proud of her senator, proud of her family.


Yes, death is a part of life. But, know that memories of the greatest of all times move you forward. Who are your GOATs? Do they know?


Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32 Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at aline4families@gmail.com.


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