The two of us on Maui… Marquita and I. Together. Walking the beach. Eating. Sharing an adventure.
I happen to overhear a conversation with a couple of grieving parents here… who seemed happy enough. I could hear them talking about missing a daughter… and talk of cancelling this trip. The woman said, “I don’t quite feel 100%… but this is fun. I am glad we did this.” And the man answered, “I don’t think we’ll ever be 100%.”
I was going to say that they were older… but really… I’m 50… and I don’t think this couple was any older. And they walked in front of us looking at the shops and pointing at things. She in her yellow sun dress and floppy hat. He in his hawaiian shirt and shorts. Both had oversized sunglasses.
And I thought of 100%… of feeling 100% or being 100%. And what exactly that means.
So we go whale watching the two of us. And see whales. Pairs. Mother and juvenile. Or threes… Mother, baby and “escort”… this year’s boyfriend. And it really is a perfect moment when the male goes under the boat and surfaces in front of me.
Or a perfect day surfing in the warm waters… except for a slightly twisted ankle that hurts today…
And I think about sunsets and dinner with old friends that live here now. And walking front street… or my futile search for Ume Onigiri… And even of spam musubi and perfectly grilled Mahi Mahi. And this has to be as close to 100% of something as it ever gets. I don’t think about grief… not all the time. But it is all part of grieving, I think. Learning to enjoy life. To taste and do and see… without some regret or guilt or overwhelming sadness.
I don’t know why I woke up at night wanting to go home. Feeling fear or anxiety… almost panic really. And when that necklace with the old bone fishhook almost brought me to tears… I didn’t say anything. I would have bought that for Ethan in a second. And driving around Hana highway, I looked back at some waterfalls and knew that I couldn’t take a picture. That the memory would have to be enough and that it would be mine.
A trip. For memories. It will be, like grief, something that I carry… alone… all mine. And really, I am never alone. And if I share a bit of it… you share the memories and grief… a bit of me. I may or may not be 100%… certainly not 100% of what I was… but I am 100% of who I am now…