Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunsets for Dad ~ Forever







All day I felt a bit apprehensive.

Well ~~ all the while I've been 'in charge' of my Father's box of Ashes, I've felt a bit odd.
Not bad odd.
Just a tad bit odd.
As if there was a weight on my shoulders.

In our last visit, he'd requested to come back to Hawai'i.

Around 5pm Hawai'i time, we put the 'box' in the Jeep and jumped in. My son and his wife drove me to the Old Kona Airport Beach.
I wore a 1965 vintage dress that had been made for my mother by Doi's of Kawaihae.
I felt elegant in the dress.
The mumuu flowed around me ... to just above my ankles.


I pointed to the path that Dad and I had used in 2001.
*There,* I said to my son and his wife.
*That's the place, pull in and park by that sign.*

Before Ed and Joy even got out, I found my feet leading me down the path towards the ocean.

To my relief, the tree was still there.
The picnic table still chained to the tree.

I glanced towards the north.
Yes, there was 'the rock'. This was the place. My son and his wife caught up with me.
I dropped to the sand, lava, and coral chips...that made up the beach... and began digging with a piece of flat lava that my son had handed to me.

No special words really.
I had none.
For Dad and I exchanged few words here, but simply enjoyed each others company.

The sun was setting soon.

This was the right time, the right moment.
The tide was coming in.
I dug quickly, my son dropped by my side and began to dig also.
We stopped.
*Big enough?* he asked.
[Thank you Joy for taking photos...]
*Big enough.*

I opened the black box.
The box that had traveled on several airplanes and had waited a long time for its contents to be released.

The ashes looked like ground up lava rocks, with chunks...but nothing very large.


I pulled the twist tie off the bag [it was not difficult to open the plastic box]. I felt the contents through the bag. Felt its consistency.

I touched the ashes.

Yes Dad, had been gone for 5 years.
But.
This was a 'mission'...his final trip to the place where he was always happy.
A place where he always enjoyed the sunsets.

Ed, Joy, and I gathered bits of white coral and made a circle.
Then I laid a Hawai'ian head lei in a circle over the coral.


Everything was biodegradable...no harm to the environment.
I felt a sob pull tight in my throat as I gently patted the sand.
I felt happy ~ yet sad.

I did and didn't want to let go of his ashes...the last physical connection I had to my Dad.

I sat back with my camera and took some photos of one of the most gorgeous Hawai'ian sunsets that I'd ever seen.

This was the right place.

This was the right time.

I said Aloha to my father with my head bowed.
...and then I said Mahalo quietly, and thanked him for being my father. Mahalo Dad, may your sunsets always be spectacular.

Side note~~~
We went to dinner afterwards at the Kona Brewery.
Just before we left the singer strummed up the song *White Sandy Beaches* and *Over the Rainbow*.

Yeah that did it for me...I cried when we got back home and sat on the porch watching the moon rise over the Mauna Loa Preserve.

2 comments:

Christina said...

Wow. That's beautiful, Val. I'm glad you were able to take your Dad's ashes back to such a special and beautiful place. Sounds like you are having quite the vacation/mission. The photos are gorgeous- that sunset, speechless.

Val said...

The sunsets are beautiful because of the right mix of clouds and sulfur from the volcano in the atmosphere.
This trip has been incredible in many ways.