Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kauai revisited

I mentioned briefly that I went to Hawaii last summer.  I needed to get away on the heels of having called off the engagement, and my folks gladly let me tag along.  I'd never spent so much time with just my parents before, which made the week interesting, intense, and insightful all at once.  We had a good time overall, and now that I look back on it as the last trip I took with my mom, it's so much more meaningful.

[beach, kauai]

[shaved ice]


[4th of july]

[eating in]

In addition to hanging out by the pool and going to the beach, we took a ukelele lesson and went on a boat/snorkeling tour.  We attended an orientation of events at the resort, and the tour struck my mom's interest.  She harly ever suggested activities (she always did what everyone else wanted to do), and I knew that she wouldn't have mentioned it if I wasn't on the trip, so I went along (despite my own inclinations to wallow).  It was a splurge.  We woke up early the next morning and headed out to sea and over about 14 miles of the Napili Coast.  I'm glad we had a chance to see Kaua'i from that point of view -- looking inland we saw kayakers and hikers, tons of waterfalls, the mountains and vegetation, and with us out at sea, as dolphins (my first time!); we even stopped for a bit of snorkeling.  My poor dad got a bit seasick, but my mom and I loved it.

[folks, napili coast tour]

[napili coast, kauai]

I remember sitting on the boat on the bumpy way back, wind and water whipping my face.  I simply closed my eyes and held on, letting nature have its way.  I felt vulnerable yet free and strong and able... a bit scared, out of my element, but at peace.  Later my mom said that she saw the expression on my face and knew I was in a good place, enjoying the moment.  (There are tears in my eyes as I remember and type that.)  Of course she knew, because she knew me: she was my mom.

[me and mom, kauai 2010]

[pink plumeria, picked by mom]

[sunset, kauai]

I don't know much these days.  The person that I always thought would be there, so much so that I never accounted for her absence, is now gone.  I wanted her to see me get married, I wanted her to see me become a mother, I wanted her to hold and take naps with her grandchild.  And I can't even say that at least she knew who I would marry.  How strange, yet how natural, is it to mourn the future, those things that will never be?


  1. I was never able to meet your mom, but seeing the picture of her on the boat I definitely see a lot of her in you.

  2. I forgot that...what a cool opportunity you had. A little gift there for you :) PS, you look so much like your mom, Jean!