This past week I’ve been pretty busy, getting ready for Father’s Day. So my post today is just going to be a quickie – a short excerpt from Finding ‘Ohana inspired by my own memories of my dad:
When I first landed on O’ahu, I missed Dad. I never told him. Lucas and I had chosen to come to Hawai’i for college because it was the furthest we could get from our hometown without fleeing the country. (Lucas missed his parents, but saw the trip as a rite of passage. I, on the other hand, wanted to get away from the church and those in it as much as I wanted to get out of that town.) The added bonus was the paradise aspect of the island. When we got off the plane, our first stop was the beach. As soon as our feet touched sand, we dropped our enormous suitcases that would get us through the semester, and ran for the waves. We had worn our swimsuits under our clothing for hours and hours, just for that moment.
I was surprised by how warm the water was. Of course I knew the air was warm in Hawai’i, but I thought all bodies of water were inherently cold, no matter what part of the world they were in. The next thing I knew, I was neck-deep in salt water. I floated with the waves, letting them wash away my exhaustion from the flight. One went higher than I expected, and I found myself sputtering the salt out of my mouth.
I was instantly brought back to our family trip to Florida. I could not have been more than eight years old. Billy was just a toddler, playing in the sand with Mom while Dad took me out past where I could touch the ocean floor. He held me above the waves, swinging me in and out of them as they swelled around us. I was scared to be where I could not reach, where I had no control, but I trusted my dad. He laughed at my joyful screams. It was one of my happiest memories of him, probably because I was still innocent – the part of me he could not accept had not emerged yet.
I had not had the taste of salt water in my mouth and nose since then. Not until I was in another ocean, thousands of miles away.