EVERYONE HAS A STORY - Week Thirteen
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
HAWAII – WEEK #10
May 23rd -May 28th
Every Memorial Day for the past eight years, I have visited with my Veteran at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego. I knew that it would be impossible this year, and due to quarantine, the trip to Punchbowl National Cemetery in Honolulu was cancelled as well. I love this day, a somber reminder of all servicemen and women who served our country. Some never came home from the conflict in which they served, others brought burdens home that lasted a lifetime, and some lived long, healthy, productive lives. It has always meant so much more to me than backyard BBQ’s, and the weekend that launches summer.
My niece and nephew had a surprise for me, an unforgettable opportunity that will not soon be forgotten. With all tourist attractions still closed, a visit to the Arizona Memorial was scratched weeks earlier. But…their friend, an Air Force Major, offered to accompany us to Ford Island, an islet in the center of Pearl Harbor and an active military installation not open to the public. This is the spot where the Japanese attacked and destroyed aircraft that were sitting on the airfield, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. ships, including eight battleships. The Arizona, Utah and Oklahoma were permanently lost. We walked the three and a half mile loop around the island, and I was able to drench myself with history as I experienced this hallowed ground. I saw sights that most tourists never have the chance to experience, and it turned out to be a Memorial Day like no other, one that can never be replicated and one that was the perfect gift from my niece and nephew the last weekend before my departure.
Every moment, every day, every drive, every hike, every meal, every bedtime, every activity with my niece, nephew, and great-niece is etched in my mind. On Monday, May 25th, this chapter of my life in Hawaii, the first thirteen weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, came to a close. Good-bye, for now, to my Family in Motion. Most of the last three months were spent in lockdown, and it's only been the past few weeks that we've been able to move about. I never saw a Hawaiian beach sunset, got a lei, went to a luau or fancy tourist restaurant, visited the Dole Pineapple Plant, sugar cane fields or hiked Diamond Head. But...the little one learned to ride a bike, decorate a cake, how to sew a bean bag, swim in the ocean, count by 5's, stand up on a paddle board, and graduated from Kindergarten. I wrote the first draft of my third novel, created this weekly blog, logged hundreds of walking and hiking miles, and became a vital part of this little family. Thank you, Kari and Josh, for taking such good care of me on your watch and sending me home happy and healthy! From the bottom of my heart, I love you, and I can honestly say...I didn't miss a thing. I'll be back! 💕😔😊💕
And now it’s time to carve my future, re-assess my priorities, and be exactly where I am supposed to be. Wishing all of you good health, and as much joy as you can wring out of every day during this crazy chapter in our world history. Read books, experiment with new recipes, plant a garden, wash the car, write letters to your elderly relatives, take walks…and stay safe!
The trip home was without incident, airports and planes were empty, and my beautiful daughter was waiting at the airport for me when I arrived home.
I had an unscripted, 3-month adventure that I never expected or could have invented as a plot for a novel. I think all of us could write a book.
I got to be a grandmother to my beautiful great-niece. I think my sister and brother-in-law were watching the entire time.