Obama went to visit ‘Toot’ – short for “tutu” the Hawaiian word for grandmother. Grandma Dunham’s health had declined in recent weeks and doctors recommended that Obama visit her before it was too late. Toot helped to raise Obama from he was the age of ten and Obama considers her to be “one of the most important people” his life. Obama’s maternal grandparents acted as his surrogate parents in Hawaii for many years, while his mother, who had remarried, lived abroad.
Obama looked somber as he completed his one day – 22 hour – trip home.
Obama believes that his will be the last time he sees Toots – Madelyn Dunham who turns 86 on Sunday. He has expressed anxiety in interviews that Toots may not live until Election Day. Obama visited his grandmother several times at her apartment on Punahou Circle where she has lived for about four decades. Obama attended Punahou High School.