MEMORIES WITH MOM
When I was young, my mom talked about wanting to visit Hawaii all the time. However, we only went on a couple major family vacations because my parents weren’t big travelers. Finances were also an issue, so any trip had to be accessible by car. That made the islands of Hawaii definitely “off-limits.” This year, my mom turns 80. Eighty years old is quite a milestone, and David and I felt this birthday was cause for a special celebration. (This year also marks the second year since my father’s passing, and my parents would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this month.) We decided to surprise my mom with a trip to Hawaii so
she could finally have her dream vacation, celebrate her birthday, and give her something to take her mind off the recent changes in her life. When we first told her, she was very reluctant, asking us if we were sure we wanted to do that. But once she knew we were set on taking her, she cried tears of joy. She then proceeded to tell everyone in Oostburg, Wisconsin, she was headed to Hawaii! One of my mom’s favorite parts of the trip was taking a drive together around the West Maui coast. The scenery was everything she had always imagined, and it was so fun to watch her take in all that beauty for the first time. We even stopped at a local farm and bought a pineapple. But what my mom treasured even more was spending time with our family. I see my mom about once a year, and it is usually for a long weekend. As the youngest of the five children in our family — and the only girl — my mom and I have always shared a special bond. This trip gave us an opportunity to see the sights, but more importantly, it also gave us a chance to talk, laugh, and enjoy much-needed one-on-one time together. It has been a long time since we have been able to do that. Our kids, Spencer and Sophia, also had a blast. If you ask them, they’ll tell you their favorite parts were watching whales and rappelling down waterfalls off the Road to Hana, a well-known road along the East Maui coast. But, I know Spencer and Sophia also realized this vacation was a special one because my mom was there. As teens, they may not always admit it, but I think they enjoyed the family time, too. “In my family, I am the youngest of five children and the only girl. My mom and I have always shared a special bond.”
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