Six weeks from today the four of us will board a plane, relax in first class and fly to Honolulu. There we will spend a week in Waikiki and another week in Kona. We will chill on the beach, unwind by the pool, drink delicious concoctions out of coconut shells with cute little umbrellas and try not to giggle as we order a pupu platter. We will explore a real volcano, hike up Diamond Head and experience Pearl Harbor. We will play in the ocean, look for marine life and search for the cast of LOST. Todd and I will take walks in the sand, enjoy gorgeous sunsets and romantic dinners and hopefully dance under palm trees and stars.
These two weeks in Hawaii is more than just a family vacation. This is our reward. Recompense, if you will, for the last three years.
We’ve had some pretty fabulous vacations, in my opinion. We’ve been to the beach in Florida, the mountains of Durango and Northern New Mexico, the awesomeness of Yellowstone and Southern Montana, East Tennessee, North Carolina and, of course, California. All our vacationing came to a screeching halt in 2005, however.
This might sound a bit whiney (when has that ever stopped me before?), but vacations are kind of a big deal to me and going without for three years has been pretty lame. The older the kids get the bigger deal vacations become. I figure we only have another summer or two of vacations left with Taylor before he’s busy with work and college and his own thing. Maybe I’m wrong, but what if I’m not? If I’m not then I want to take advantage of the time we still have.
We were supposed to take this dream vacation last summer, but further medical issues prevented it. As sad as I was about postponing our plans last year, now I’m kind of glad because I still have it to look forward to. And last year “cancer” was still such a fresh word in my vocabulary. This year I’m two-and-a-half years out of treatment and Mom is a little over a year out of treatment. I’m pretty much done with reconstruction and I feel like I’ve really moved on in the last six months or so.
Except I’m very overweight. I find it funny that I would be happy if I weighed what I weighed 8 years ago when I hated the scales. At least then my face wasn’t quite so round and I actually looked like me. Ever one to look for the silver lining, last year I joked that delaying the trip would give me 52 more weeks to put off my diet. Unfortunately, truer words were never said.
But I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m going to see how much weight I can lose in the next six weeks – hopefully enough to take the puff out of my cheeks – and go enjoy Paradise. That and be on the picture-taking side of the camera.
I’m not going there to impress anyone but Todd anyway (and he makes it really easy). I’m going to see a part of the world I’ve never seen, to relax and read, to enjoy my family without the responsibilities and pressures of every day life. I’m going to thumb my nose at cancer and gloat because I kicked its butt and will be wearing the t-shirt to prove it.
Two weeks in Hawaii and first class round trip is not something we would normally shell out that kind of money to do. But, as I said before, this is our reward. Or maybe a better word would be “reimbursement” for having to be separated (physically, not legally) from Todd for over a year. His company put him up in a Homewood Suites during that year and we got to bank the Hilton points. His company also flew him home every other weekend and we got to bank the sky miles.
One year’s worth of Hilton points = one week each at two different Hilton resorts.
One year’s worth of sky miles = four first class round trip tickets.
I felt a bit guilty at first for using all the points and miles for such a luxurious vacation. That guilt didn’t last very long, though. We went through a type of hell and it’s only fitting we enjoy a type of heaven. And while I hate to use the word “deserve”, I do see this as just one more blessing God is pleased to give us. One more in a myriad of undeserved blessings we’ve been inundated with.
So despite my largess (I know, I know. Inappropriate use of the word, but it sounds right to me. “Largess – generosity of largeness”. If that’s not me, I don’t know what is.) I’m looking forward to our looooong awaited vacation. I’m looking forward to seeing the beauty of Hawaii; to meeting my friend, Cigi; to reading a lot; to doing a lot of relaxing; and to just hanging with the family. What a great gift.