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A Legacy of Love
Dedicated to My Wonderful Husband, Steve Jackson
Submitted by Molly
A romantic and magical week in Hawaii taught something very important to me: It's never too late to have a happy honeymoon.
My husband Steve and I were married September 18, 1982. Plans had been made months in advance for a wonderful wedding and reception in my hometown of Robbinsdale, Minnesota. But in late August, as we tended to the final details of our celebration, we received tragic news. My father had been diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. The doctors operated on him Labor Day weekend. Steve and I debated postponing the wedding, but Dad insisted that we go on with the show. He rallied his strength and was able to attend the wedding.
I had always dreamed of a blissful and romantic honeymoon. Steve and I had rented a lovely cabin in northern Minnesota, planning to hike in the woods and contemplate our future by the side of a pristine lake. But the cabin had no phone, and I spent most of the week crying and worrying about Dad's condition. Steve is the most supportive man in the world, and I was grateful for his willingness to hold me safely in his arms.
When we returned to Robbinsdale and spent a few more days with my parents, Dad apologized for the sorrow his illness had caused. "You deserve a happy honeymoon," he told me. He made Steve promise to take me to Hawaii someday.
Mom and Dad had visited Hawaii after their twenty-fifth anniversary. I still remember the stories they told of their once-in-a-lifetime vacation: the time Dad lost his shoes in the pineapple fields, the glorious sunsets they saw from their lanai on Maui, the luau, the plumeria leis. Most of all, though, I remember how they looked in their Hawaii pictures: like newlyweds, so happy and so much in love.
Time went on, and our own three children were born. We put our second honeymoon on hold in favor of road trips to mainland destinations. In a heartbeat, the kids grew up, and the day arrived when staying home alone sounded more exciting to them than visiting a theme park or National Monument with us.
So last April, with Steve's promise to Dad echoing in our hearts, we made our Hawaiian dream come true. Leaving our three young men at home, we flew across the ocean to the Big Island, to renew our love and refresh our spirits in the most beautiful place on earth.
I felt the spirit of my parents' love in so many moments of our Hawaiian honeymoon. I heard their laughter as we fell asleep listening to the surf crashing on a sea wall. I saw their love personified as the spinner dolphins played in the waves outside our window. I felt their warmth in the sweet music of a moonlight luau.
Now I understand the happiness my parents found in Hawaii. And I'm grateful to them for sharing the secrets of paradise with me and the wonderful man I love.