Today I drove a rental car from a creepy port in Honolulu to a secret entrance of the Hyatt rental car center in Waikiki. Void all words in that sentence except Honolulu and Waikiki and visualize covering my mouth and telling me to get over it.
Driving here in Hawaii was making me crazy nervous because I waited 72 hours to try it. Or in reality, 18 years to try it from my first visit here, but it’s not so bad. It’s not so bad because people here are actually SO KIND and I’m starting to get the “Aloha Spirit” thing that I’ve heard mentioned. Where else in the U.S.A. can you cross 3 lanes of stand-still traffic to make a left turn from a far right lane? It’s glorious.
That being said, things here are different; glorious, but different.
I’m a little panicked trying to figure out where to live but at the same time spoiled and comforted because even if the government quits providing us with money to pay for a hotel we will be ok. After this Summer I think we can stay in a hotel for several weeks just using reward points. This leaves me grateful and at my wits end because it means we’ve been living in a hotel for over two months at this point.
What does this have to do with 1947? Well, I believe that was the year a brave woman brought her only child and her sweet, swelling belly here to Hawaii to live at a time when things were not so comfortable and “easy.” My Grammy sailed from the East Coast of the United States to an island, thousands of miles away, when there were no cell phones, internet or easily placed long distance calls. She arrived and upon placing her feet on dry land exclaimed, “I have come here to die.” Or at least that is what she told me when she explained her move to Hawaii many decades after it was completed.
I flew here on Hawaiian Airlines with free red wine, a delicious pasta lunch and my kids plugged in to unlimited movies for $5.99. I am living in a hotel room while a friend cares for my dog and a housekeeper changes my sheets daily. Are things challenging? Sure. But is this a harrowing experience? By no freaking means.
So today, as I vocally cheered myself on as I drove from Honolulu to a weird, one way street in Waikiki, I realized how ridiculous I would appear to the woman who came 69 years before me. But she’d love me anyway. And today she made me so brave in the face of simple, First World entitled challenges. And maybe I was a little embarrassed of myself for feeling so challenged but gosh was I so grateful that she came before me and gave me the courage and the strength to be brave. She never judged. And I miss her.