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A Promise Unkept
Dedicated to my wife Benita
Submitted by James
I discovered Hawaii, well Oahu, in October of 1962, on my way to Johnston Island, a tiny coral atoll located 800 miles southwest of the Islands. I was on my way to begin my job with Bendix Corporation's Pacific Missel Division, having transferred from its Field Engineering Division. As a missel tracking/maintenance, radar technician assigned to range safety, I was to take part in Operation Dominic, a dangerous exercise of atmospheric testing of nuclear detonations, directly ordered by President Kennedy.
My two days of processing at our offices in Keneohe, Oahu, Hawaii worked its magic on me. How, I queried, a city as large as Honolulu, the stretch of Waikik beach, could it make a person feel so tranquil, be so calming, so embracing of romance? I was determined to find out on subsequent trips.
Twenty-seven months later: missions completed, a vacation trip to the rustic out islands, I reluctantly returned to my native Connecticut. My sojourns to and from Oahu, a trip to Maui and Kwai, fascinating as they were terrific, I felt perfection, had eluded me. Was it the balmy nights, the hot lazy days, the soothing Hawaiian, intense Samoan music, the friendliness of the natives? Whatever it was, or maybe it is all these, I felt romantic perfection, had indeed eluded me. I did know that romance and perfection, lies within being with that special person.
Three years after my return, on a blind date, I met that special person, my soul mate, my helpmate, my friend, my wife, my lover, Benita. I told her of my joys in the Hawaiian Islands, the warm days, the white beaches, the majestic mountains, the people. I told her of the wonderful times I had, great experiences, but incomplete, an X missing from a math equation. I went on to explain, that my sense was Hawaii, and all she had to offer was meant to be shared, with the person whom you are in love with. Whether that love is intense or comfortable, it makes no difference. I promised my Spanish Senorita, many things, and one was that one day we would visit, these sites that I could only paint with words, existed in her imagination.
Producing two children, working shoulder to shoulder in our small business ten to twelve hours a day, we awoke, and 30 years had flown by. Many promises we have kept to each other. Our children are grown now and into careers of their own, our business is sold and five years ago we retired to Valencia, Spain, Benita's hometown.
Most of the significant promises I made to my wife I have fulfilled. As the years spin by my promise and wish to take her to Hawaii seems a distant dream receding into the horizon of a magnificent Hawaiian sunset, unfulfilled, unkept.
The Hawaiian Sirens whispered lures of "return, return" grows weaker every year. The Islands tranquility, sights, smells, romance, a drug that may be suppressed, is never extinguished.
I intend to keep my Hawaiian promise.