Friday, December 19, 2008

WHITE SHOES, FOUR FEET OF SNOW, CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS and A TRIP TO MAUI!


It is December 19th and we have more snow on our deck than my Spokane memory can ever recall. Winter is here in full force, God has created a winter wonderland, and there WILL be a white Christmas in Spokane this year! All cause for celebration! With several "snow days" in a row, and school cancelled, vacation has started for so much of my family.

I LOVE Christmas... I love everything about it. But we won't be in Spokane for Christmas this year, and I have mixed feelings about that since I will miss traditions created over years and years. I'm not complaining, however, since Bert and I are headed to Maui, Hawaii!

Why now? Why go? Why miss out on four feet of snow?

As much as a part of my heart wants to be here, we planned this trip a year ago for a number of important reasons. Here are just a few:

* Bert and I are coming up on our 25th wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe, but 25 years!
Those years have been amazing, and I am grateful for every one of them! We have shared raising two daughters, our careers, our spiritual lives, our friends and a HUGE emphasis on family. On occasion, Bert and I have taken "couples only" trips together (several fabulous and relationship-growing cruises years ago) and those renewed and regenerated our marriage. Truth be told however, for much of those 25 years Bert has taken a back seat to what I think the kids need, what the grandkids need, and what I need. He has done so with a willing heart and because he knows how much I love my girls, my grandchildren, my jobs and my friends. But what I know for sure is that it is HIS turn to have my undivided attention. If we are in Spokane, that won't happen at Christmas. So we are going to the land of sun and FUN for some well-earned and precious couple's time!

* My parents bought a condo in Maui and lived there about 7 months of the year during their retirement. Some of my fondest family memories at Christmas time are going with Jessi and Amy to visit Nana and Grandpa Mark in Maui. Whenever we would arrive at the condo, number 414 at the Royal Mauian Resort, my Dad's white shoes would be by the door. My parents worked very hard all of their lives, but they were frugal at heart having lived through the depresion. My dad took impeccable care of those shoes. He put white show polish on them about every week. They symbolized, to me, who my Dad was and many of his values. Seeing those sparkling, white shoes outside the door of #414 was my official welcome to Maui!

Those shoes are now on a shoe shelf in my upstairs closet, and I see them every day.

My Dad died in Maui in 1991, and while I came back to Maui, one of my all-time favorite spots in the world, to have time with my Mom...I never had closure with my Dad's death over there. So...I am going back to Maui to give my heart peace and to have put Hawaiian leis in the ocean for both my Mom and Dad. I miss them every day.

* Some time back, Amy and Ryan started to talk about going to Hawaii and asked if we might like to go along. They planned to go after Christmas. Their kind invitation got us thinking that we could have time alone if we went early and then time with part of our beloved family. Their desire to include us was an invitation we couldn't resist! So that invitation was really the starting point for planning this trip.

As we leave tomorrow we will miss our Christmas morning time with Rog, Jessi, and Emma. We always cherish having Christmas breakfast with them each year and bringing Nana's special breakfast treat to the celebration. We will miss family time with Amy and family on Christmas day. We will miss seeing our friends and extended family at Christmas events and celebrations. And we will miss being at our very special church to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

But the white shoes call me to Maui...and we'll be thinking and loving all of you...and sending a..Melei Kalliki Maka..or Merry Christmas (Hawaiian style) your way.

Thank you for all of your love and support. You mean the world to us!

May God Bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. And may you know in your deepest heart-of-hearts how much He loves you!

I do too! Merry Christmas!
Linda

3 comments:

jessithompson said...

I am so happy for you that you and Boppa will get to have some special one-on-one time together in Maui, as well as a week with Amy, Ryan, Jacob, and Jenna. Maui is a very special place so I know that you guys will be having a wonderful time there. It will be a much deserved vacation and time of R and R.

I have lots of incredible memories of Nana and Grandpa in Hawaii. Leis and the airport, Rumikub by the pool, luaus, shuffleboard, snorkeling, BBQing ribs on the roof, laying by the pool, playing/walks on the beach, and most of all... wonderful time together with our family. I remember snuggling with Grandpa after the day's activities on the couch eating ice cream bars and using his belly as a pillow.

I am wishing you peace and love as you throw your leis into the ocean for Nana and Grandpa. I know how much I love you and Dad and how involved you both are in my life... so I can begin to imagine the ache of missing them so badly.

I hope your trip fufills all of your expectations. Selfishly, we'll miss you tons (and Christmas won't be quite the same) but can't wait to see you bronzed beauties upon your return.

Love you! XOXO

Tiffany said...

I LOVE your story about your dad's white shoes and that you still have them! How special. I'll be thinking of you as you place the leis in the ocean. I hope it brings you the closure you never had before.

You and Bert certainly deserve some uninterrupted quality time together. Congrats on 25 years! That is amazing!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Kim said...

Oh wow Momma Linda. What a fun trip filled with memories as well. Quality time with Bert sounds...perfect! I do know however, how hard it will be to be away from your family too. I will be sending up a special prayer just for you.
Enjoy your time and Happy Anniversary!

Love,
Kim

A Reminder of What Matters...

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