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A Life's Journey of Love and Aloha
Dedicated to Fay Rose Reikob (in memoriam)
Submitted by Anonymous
Life's ironies sometimes start with tragedy and end with joy; these are the things that make life a treasure to look forward to every day.
Fifteen years ago, I lost one of the most important people in my life, my grandmother, to a tragic mistake during surgery. As difficult as her death was for me, however, it was devastating to my mother, who had been the pride and joy of her mother's life. Understandably, my mom fell into a depression that threatened her health and well-being. My father didn't know how to begin to console the woman that he'd loved for nearly 30 years. It seemed as if the entire family was falling apart.
I knew that I had to take action, and that the action had to be dramatic and overwhelmingly happy. I surprised my parents with a romantic getaway to Hawaii, strategically scheduled so that they would arrive on Valentine's Day. On a bitter east coast morning in February 1990, my parents boarded an airliner that carried them five time zones and 5,000 miles to the warm, tropical islands of Hawaii.
Planning the trip had been my great joy for months; I'd researched the island paradise to the point at which I felt as if I'd been there. I'd compiled a basic Hawaiian vocabulary list and tourist fact sheets for my parents, created a Hawaiian-themed photo album in which they could store their photo memories, and arranged special activities on each island they would visit. By the time I presented them with the surprise, I was ready to burst with love and excitement.
The romance and beauty of Hawaii was exactly what they needed. While no vacation could ever erase the pain of losing someone as special as my grandmother, the trip to this special place renewed their spirits, their hope, and most of all, their love for each other. They returned to the frosty east coast with their hearts thawed and their outlook renewed. It was the most rewarding gift that I could have ever received.
It is now fifteen years later, and through an odd series of events, I now live in that magical tropical paradise that proved so healing and inspiring to my parents. The places that they had glimpsed are now my daily stomping grounds. The magic that I was fortunate enough to be able to provide to them is now part of my life. Only one thing is missing for me – my parents, who remain on the east coast. My love for them is as strong as it was fifteen years ago; our family tradition is one of deep love and respect. And my parents' love for one other continues to flourish, more than 40 years after they were first wed.