Some pictures of the coast near our resort in Princeville, Kauai. There are lots of cliffs around us, and our resort doesn’t have a beach because it’s at the top of the cliffs. The pools are gorgeous, though. Four for grown ups, one for keikei (children) and hot tubs. Tomorrow we move to a different resort near Lihue so I’ll share more later.
JP is our youngest grandson who turned five in September. He and his mom and dad lived with us while they were building their house a year ago. Though they’ve moved into their new house now, we still get to pick him up from preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend the afternoon with him. Next year he’ll be in kindergarten all day. He’s so full of fun and remarkably wise for his years!
Last week and this week we have him everyday after school and on Fridays because the other grandparents are vacationing in Hawaii. We love Hawaii, too, and JP and his parents went to Maui on vacation with us earlier this year. He’s just been mesmerized with all things Hawaiian and loves to listen to a CD of famous Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. It’s called Facing Future and you may think you don’t know him because he recorded mostly traditional Hawaiian music. But I bet you’ve heard his very popular rendition of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World, his lovely voice backed by only a ukulele, that was used in more than one television commercial!
One of the songs JP likes best is about the history of the islands and how IZ sings that the king and queen would be disappointed to see what has become of their people and their islands over the years. My grandson takes this to heart and loves to talk about it.
JP: Nana, are the king and queen of Hawaii dead?
Me: Well, yes, that was a long time ago. Now Hawaii is a state in the United States, just like Illinois.
Me: We don’t have a king and queen, do we?
JP: Yes, we do. My dad is the king and my mom is the queen and I’m the boy prince! But you can just call me the prince.
(His daddy calls him boy prince teasingly, but he does have an AWFUL LOT of toys! And four very doting grandparents…)
The Banyan tree in Lahaina, a town on the west side of Maui. The tree sits in what is commonly called Banyan Tree Park, next to the old courthouse building at the corner of Front and Canal Streets. It’s one of the largest banyans in the U.S., all one tree actually. As it grows, it puts down more roots from above that grow into more tree trunks and they all remain connected.
The tree was planted by Sheriff William Owen Smith in 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American Protestant mission in Lahaina, a gift from missionaries in India. The banyan is native to India, one of 60 types of fig trees to grow in the Hawaiian Islands.
It’s quite a sight to behold. And nearly impossible to get a picture of the entire tree because it covers such a large area and is almost 60 feet tall now… The photos are my own, taken a few years ago when we were in Maui with hubby’s brother and sister-in-law.
Yay, I made it! Had my last chemo today and in exactly two weeks I will take my bald head and one saggy boob and one sloshy boob (nope, I don’t mean hubby 😉 although he’s going, too) to the beautiful Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort for a week of sitting at the pool and just enjoying the warmth of the sun on Maui!
There was a lovely little ceremony at the Cancer Center where all the nurses, techs and volunteers congratulated me on completing my journey and beating cancer, I rang a bell to send me on my way, there were hugs and yes, some tears, and I got a chance to thank all the lovely people who were always fun and supportive and kind. So, to Derrick, Kelly, Kari, Heather, Shannon, Juliet, today’s nurse, Tiffany, and everyone else at the Cancer Center, I love you all and really hope not to see you again! ❤
I’d been having that dream I hadn’t had in a long while. I felt as though I was under water and couldn’t breathe. I’d struggled to sit up and cried out for help. The baby, I didn’t know where the baby was, why couldn’t I find the baby?
When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a bench and, God help me, Bobby was crouching next to me, slapping my face. “Stop that,” I snapped at him, grabbing his hand before he hit me again. “I’m fine, you can stop whacking me!”
As I struggled to sit upright, Bobby’s arm slipped around me to help and he sat down next to me, pulling me close. “Will y’all just sit still for a minute,” he admonished. “And I wasn’t whackin’ you, I was tryin’ to wake you up. You scared the bejeebers out of me when you fainted like that. What the hell is going on, are you pregnant? You were talking about a baby.”
Funny how our Southern came out when we were scared or mad. I haven’t heard anyone say bejeebers in quite awhile. And asking me if I was pregnant made me spitting mad!
“Bobby, how could you ask me that? I can’t believe you’d say that. Now y’all take your hands off me!”
Noticing that we were attracting attention, Bobby took his arm from around me and stood up, pulling me with him. “Okay, let’s calm down and figure this out. I don’t even know what’s going on here. C’mon, let’s go somewhere besides the airport. We definitely need to talk.” I didn’t really want to go with him, but I was embarrassed by the amount of people looking curiously at us so I followed behind him. We stopped and got our luggage and he turned to me. “I’ve got a rental car so let’s go pick that up and then we can find somewhere nice and quiet and you can tell me what the hell is going on.”
Just like that, I’m expected to follow along and do what he says. But since I was just going to take The Bus over to the timeshare, it was easier to follow along behind him as he pulled our luggage toward the shuttle stop. After getting the car, he loaded our bags in and asked me where I was staying. When I told him the name of the resort on Ka’anapali Beach, he looked flabbergasted. “We might as well just drive there, then, cause that’s where I’m at, too,” he said. “I’m here for my buddy’s wedding this weekend.”
I was starting to get a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. “I’m here for a wedding, too,” I said. “My old college roommate, Jamie, is marrying her fiancée, Mike, this weekend. And I’m the maid of honor.”
“Crap,” he said looking at me. “Reggie, of course. You go by Reggie now, Gina?” I nodded my head dumbly. “And I’m guessing you’re Rob, not Bobby?” It was his turn to nod at me as it dawned on us that our best friends were marrying each other and we were standing up in the same wedding. As he drove away from the airport, I finally remembered that Rhia had said call her immediately and I hadn’t done that so I texted her. I could guess the emergency now.
I’m in the car with Bobby and we’re on our way to the timeshare where we’re both staying cause we’re in the same freaking wedding! Did you know?? My phone pings almost immediately.
I swear I just found out. Mama told me Rob was going to Hawaii. For a wedding.
Just great. Too late now.
Talk to him, girl! Work things out ❤
We pulled onto Kai Ala Drive and into the gated resort with a beautiful waterfall at the entrance. At the desk, we gave our names and found that our rooms were on the same floor in the same building. Just wonderful, I thought sarcastically, we could walk over together. Bobby immediately took charge, getting a bellman to load our suitcases onto a cart and take them to our rooms.
“Gina, can we grab something to eat and talk a little, just the two of us?” I nod glumly and grab my purse off the counter and follow him out. In just a few minutes we’re seated at a lovely little outdoor restaurant overlooking a pool with the most beautiful turquoise water I’d ever seen. I could have sat there all day just staring at the pool and looking out toward the ocean. As we sipped our Bikini Blondes and waited for our food to arrive, I leaned back in my chair and closed my eyes, savoring the sun on my face. I knew we had to get this out in the open if we had to be together all weekend.
“So, Bobby, why didn’t you come to the hospital?” He’s just looking at me, not saying a word. “Honey,” he says carefully, “I know you think I know what you’re talking about, but I don’t. When were you in the hospital?”
I’m so confused right now and I’m getting upset. “The summer,” I say haltingly, “the end of June after graduation. Right after our big fight. I called your house and your dad answered. I said I needed you to come to Sentara Hospital right away. But you never came.”
“Okay, Gina, but why? What happened that you were in the hospital? ”
“Bobby, where were you?” I’m choking back sobs now. “I know we were mad at each other, but I was in the hospital! Why didn’t you come?”
“Honey, I don’t remember. Maybe we had baseball camp? June, you said? I probably had baseball camp and tryouts for my scholarship. But, Jesus, what does it matter? Why in the hell were you at the hospital??” He’s running his hand through his hair like he always did when he was angry or upset.
“Because I’d just lost our baby, Bobby. I didn’t even know for sure I was pregnant, and then,” my voice is dropping to a whisper, “I started cramping and bleeding and I didn’t know how to find you –”
His beer bottle crashes to the table and he’s up and pulling me into his arms and we’re both crying and he’s kissing me and I can taste the salt of his tears. “I didn’t know. I’m so sorry, baby, I didn’t know,” he says it over and over, clinging to me. And I can’t tell which of us is shaking and crying harder, him or me, and we just hold onto each other and don’t even notice the beautiful Hawaiian sunset over the ocean.
To be continued