Saturday, February 27, 2010

Making plans

It is time.

I said I'd do it, now I need to make the plans to make my words come true.
I promised myself when my father died, that I'd go back to the land he loved so much and go with my camera...and me. Plus his memory.

I'd go back to the Big Island where so many happy childhood memories still bounce around. Those days seemed endless to a child. I'm sure that the month flew by with alarming speed for my father and mother.

I accompanied dad in October of 2001. We stayed for two weeks and had a wonderful time. He was 83 years old and the roles had been reversed. I was the 'parent' and had to organize every minute of our day, including naps.

He was the child.
It was his job to curiously [and madly] ask me every five minutes of a road trip~~
*Are we there yet?*
*I gotta go, where's a bathroom?*
*I want some candy!*
*I'm hungry!*

It was my first return trip to Hawai'i since 1973. Things had changed. I now drove, dad did not.
He was legally blind and a bit frail.
He could be wonderfully irritating [I may not have thought it at the time, but in retrospect, he was quite funny in an odd way].

This was his gift to me, although I did not realize it at the time.

It was a gift of memories to carry with me forever, even after he was gone.

We stopped at a restaurant to eat one afternoon after a road trip. I'd read reviews about the place and it looked a bit local, but inviting.
We walked up to the doorway were the entrance split into two directions.
To the left a bar.
To the right an open dining room.

There was music and voices in the dim lit bar, some laughter, some in what sounded like Hawaiian speech.
Dad grabbed my arm, and in a panicked voice said, *We have to get out of here before we get mugged! They'll see we are white and tourists, they sound native to me, ...maybe toughs!*

Despite my assurances that we would not get mugged, dad insisted. In fact he stalked off and went back to the Dodge Neon we rented and got in, refusing to get back out.

So our trip went. We had adventures.
We had talks.
We 'connected' with each other like this father and daughter had never done.
We laughed, we reminisced.

And one day while sitting in the shade at the Old Kona Airport Beach State Park, dad said to me.
*This is where I want to be, god forbid I die. Here, right here. Everything comes together right here. Memories of you children, my love for your mom...the happiness we had in Hawai'i.*

I looked around. Surely dad was a very young 80'ish fellow, but I would follow his wish, for his heart never left Hawai'i since the first time he saw in in January 1965.
And so I promised him...

I looked at the place we loved to sit and watch the waves. Our favorite place.
Could I remember this tree?

Could I recall this rock with the crashing waves?

Well, I do recall the fun we had.

So now it is time.
Time to return. promised.

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