An evening out with friends to listen to my new guy’s band on the water’s edge here in Kona.
Drinks, laughing, dancing. I catch myself: what am I doing here? I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I gaze out to the stars hanging over the ocean waves and mentally reach out to Mike, as I so often do. Are you out there, honey? Can you see me? I think how he would have gotten such a kick out of the lively and eccentric group of folks I find myself in the midst of. How he would be relieved I have found my smile again. How he would have loved swinging me around the dance floor. And how much he loved this place.
Yes. To me, our island will always be imprinted with his spirit. He will always be everywhere I turn - but I have to admit: it is a pretty amazing place. As crazy as it sounded to move here all those years ago now, I admit again: he did know what he was doing. If I ever doubted it along the way, wondering about spending my life way out here in this remote place, I sure know that now.
I saunter down to the restroom.
A handful of ladies about my age giggling together like kids. Waiting for a stall, one of them asks me, are you married?
I pause a beat. Decide simply to say: no.
Sometimes these days I just don’t want to go there.
But then, after another pause, something about her moves me to add…I’m widowed.
She looks at me and says: You are? I’m widowed too.
Three months. Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry, I say.
She says: and I have twelve children.
She starts to cry. Her friends gather around and we all hug. They ask me about my loss; I tell them. I ask about hers: cancer.
They are in Hawaii together to take their friend away for a break.
Later, I see them again, on the dance floor, laughing and spinning and swaying to the music.
I gaze out once more over the ocean.
A favorite song begins to play and a friend pulls me onto the dance floor.
I have no other answers.