Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Parents Come to Hawaii

Most of Kauai is behind me. At the foot of the Pacific Ocean, I sit close to a small wedding party. The ukulele player is plugged into an outlet on our lanai; because of this, we are invited to the party. Thanks, we nod, although neither of us want to, and probably won't, attend. Kindness, certainly, deserves more. Why don't I know how to politely decline graciousness? Say no?  Instead, I shrug with ambiguity, smile, proclaim thanks, and prove a no-show. I don't think I was raised this way. Both my parents, for different reasons, would have gone. My father to enjoy the toast; my mother the people. Perhaps that's why I'm unable to considerately demur such thoughtful spontaneity. My parents would never have done so. 

Tonight, my mother sits 6000 miles away from me; my father's ashes swim the seas. And I'm nearing 40. Still, my parents come. A mother's ear, a father's heart, forever trained to the call of their daughter. Show me what I need to know. My father, not frightened by death, nor my mother by distance, arrive knowing I will never be exactly like them-- they raised me with too much independence for that; yet I take what they give, shape it into my own, become more of who I am.  

The wedding party is surprisingly quiet. The uke player, now on guitar, strums his way through Margaritaville with jumbled lyrics. No matter. The palm trees sway with the song anyway, holding the music close before pushing it gently out to sea-- a jumbled number, in harmony with the world. Cradled by the trade winds, it slips quickly over the ocean. Gone, but not lost; for the well-trained ear, the prepared heart, always hears the call of its own. 

Mahalo Mom and Dad.  



  1. Thanks for reading it! I meant to write a little about Hawaii, but instead it turned into something for my parents. Funny how that goes. :)

  2. I loved your writing about your parents. It's so hard to put parents into perspective at any age.

  3. Lisa, you moved my heart tonite. I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner, but with my PC crashed for a few days and my CRAZY Political Job right now, well days just seep by me like never before. Thank you for your kind words and undying love. And some day, some how, I hope to make it to the West Coast and your neck of the woods! XOXO LOVE YOU FOREVER.

  4. Thanks, Constance, and you're so right about the difficulty in putting our parents into perspective. I guess it's just so hard to see them in any role other than "mom" and "dad," or whatever combination a person may have.