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Healing in Hawaii
Dedicated to Jim
Submitted by Bettye
The tiny irredesient bubbles of oil burst through the waters of Pearl Harbor like upside down tears. Moment after moment, for over fifty years, they had popped to the surface, black tears shed for the servicemen and women who died during the invasion of Pearl Harbor.
I was ashamed of my own tears - clear, slightly salty and shed only for myself. I was not alone - not like the widows, many escorted by grown children, who mourned the loss of their mates, killed during the invasion.
No, my mate was alive and well. It's just that his thoughts always seemed to be centered on someone else. There were his nursing home visits, his brotherhood meetings, his band council pre-meeting and post-meeting meetings. Sometimes I felt like I needed an appointment to plan a meeting with him. I had complained about his too busy life style on the long flight from the mainland to Hawaii. I watched him as he studied the memorial. What was he looking for? His father had gone on to Iwo Jima and had returned a hero. Suddenly I had an idea. I found a guard at the exit and pointed out my husband to him. I told him to let my husband know that I would wait for him on the beach.
I found a patch of smooth, wet sand - damp enough to write on but not in danger of being washed away. I would let my husband know that he is still my hero. I found a pointed shell for a stylus and drew an eight sided medal. I wrote "HERO" at the top and drew wavy ribbons at the bottom. Then I wrote a list: provider, lover, companion,God fearing,protector, great father, loving son and husband.....I saw his sneakered feet next to my somewhat crooked drawing.
"I didn't know you still felt that way," he said, his voice husky.
I nodded, too choked up to speak. He reached for my hand and pulled me into his arms. I smelled his familiar masculine odor and felt the muscles of his arms.
"I can't promise you Hawaii every week, Honey," he said, "but I do promise to set aside more time for the two of us each week."
"Thank-you," I whispered.
"Happy 25th anniversary." He kissed me and then he pulled his cameral from his pocket. He took a couple of snapshots of his medal and winked at me. "A reminder," he said, "in case I start to let life get too busy to spend time with my heroine."