It’s been ten years since something happened that changed me, and probably, maybe, every person I know to varying degrees, forever.
Hold the dramatics, I know.
Ten years ago my family traveled to Hawai’i during the June/July school holidays. I was in 17 and in my last year of high school. My brothers were 14 and 12. We had such a great time. The weather was perfect and our week in paradise was just that.
A few days after we returned home my Dad collapsed and was rushed to hospital with Deep Vein Thrombosis. He was not expected to make it through the night. He did. Then he made it through the next week. Things started looking up. He came home. But then my Mum got some news. She had breast cancer.
It’s too much pain to drag up those details. There has been surgery, extended stays in Sydney (they live in the country) and in the USA, and painful treatments. They are both safe and healthy now. My Dad walks every day. And a few weeks ago it was his 60th birthday. And we went to Hawai’i, this time with The Designer and my brother’s girlfriend (shall we call her The Marketer or does that sound too vile? She’s lovely, not vile, so I’ll keep it as a working title) in tow.
And paradise was just the same. Oh, except that my brother ate a hamburger that his flu riddled best mate made the day before we left and he got quite sick. Then he proceeded to pass that sickness along to his girlfriend, my mum and my dad… so that was a bit annoying. But that aside we had a week of mai tais and sun and those sickly lowlights made way for some unreal highlights.
Diamond Head in the distance. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Indulging our senses at the Moana Surfrider: sipping mai tais, listening to the ukulele band and watching the hula. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawai’i.
The Designer and I working the stand up paddle board. Fort Derussy Beach Park, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Duke Kahanamoku overseas a busy Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Lunch at Buzz’s Steakhouse on the Windward Shore. Kailua, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Perving at Sandy Beach, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Fairytale view from the Pali Lookout. Nu’uanu Pali, Oahu, Hawai’i.
The wheels we rented for a day.
Mai Tais beachside at Fort Derussy Beach Park, Oahu, Hawai’i.
Scooping up every last skerrick of our final sunset.
You know when you go away somewhere faraway, and you do not get to go there often but even so it feels like you’re going home? For me, that’s Oahu. And maybe in part it feels that way because of the bad times. Home. For some reason.