I wish that you could be here with me. I wish you could see me get drowned by a wave and still emerge from the dark blue sea happily, getting back on my board. I wish we could laugh by the beach together, clinking tropical drinks and watching the kids build sand castles. I wish I didn’t feel so alone.
I feel like eleven months after the accident I should still be mourning you, but I know you wouldn’t want that of me. I wish this trip wasn’t to ease the stress of everything for the kids. I wish this fun trip could be for a fun reason.
But I think you’d love to be with us, too. I played with the kids on the beach today, the palm trees swaying above us and Mount Pu’u Kukui looming over the resort. We had a blast- I remember when we had our honeymoon on this very island, at this very hotel, where we surfed and crash-landed on the very same jagged rock I crash-landed on today.
I bet you’re proud when you see the kids, because I sure am. I remember the day they were born, how the two twins cried the melodic tune that was replaying and rewinding through my brain for so long. I never wanted it to go away- but it did, after the accident. Now they’re both eight years old. I took them on a hike today down the warm Maui coastline, we went snorkeling, they played on the beach and now they’re fast asleep.
I remember how you raised them way better than I did. I’m lost in the wide world of parenting without you to guide me through it. They’re good kids, but it’s still pretty hard.
Today was really fun. We took a ferry to our own little private island that we’d rented, and we had a lot of fun exploring it and playing on the beach. It was probably our best day yet. But I still feel incomplete. Like part of me has vanished all of a sudden. It’s like you’re following a compass, but then the needle just starts spinning around with no rhyme or reason, and you don’t know which way to go.
But I’m trying to focus on the positives. For example, the kids and I tried to beat the world record for the world’s biggest sand castle, and I daresay we came pretty close. When we got back from our private island we hiked up Mount Pu’u Kukui. We had a good time relaxing by the beach. It’s like the world is stretched around this island. And in a way, it is.
But not the person who means the world to me.
It was a few months after the accident when I actually started thinking of myself as a widow, and thinking of you as dead. At first I thought you couldn’t truly be gone- you just couldn’t be. But when you made no sudden appearance, I began to lose hope.
Today we’re going to the big island, where we’ll stay for the rest of the trip. There’s so much more for us to explore, and I’m excited about that. We’re gonna check out Kohala and go surfing there, and then we’ll explore the National Park.
I spent all night wondering about you. Are you someplace out there, watching over our lives? Are you getting my letters? Do you enjoy them? Or do they make you sad?
Are you sad, being separated from everyone? Do you wish you could return? Are your parents with you? Is your life hard?
Please send me a sign to show me you’re not struggling. Show me that I shouldn’t be crying. Show me that everything will be all right.
Make it your last gift to me.
I’m bursting into tears as a write this. I have to tough up, show the kids that I’m not breaking down inside. But it’s so hard.
Will life ever go back to normal?
We’re leaving tonight and we’ll be back home tomorrow morning. We’re going to spend most of the day by the beach, enjoying ourselves. The kids will have fun and play by the warm waves. I’ll relax in the sand, and make sure not to do it close to the water today. Last time the tide changed and I woke up to see the Pacific Ocean covering my blanket. It was surprising, embarrassing and inconvenient that all of my stuff was wet, but it was still funny. The kids and I laughed about it so hard.
And this letter can be like that. I won’t switch to the sad stuff a third of the way into it. I’ll be cheerful. I’ll look into the bright future, not the dark past. I know that’s what you want me to do.
We’re going to start packing up about three hours before our flight leaves and head to the airport in Hilo, where we’ll fly back home.
But yesterday I was on the beach and I saw a man. He had long, black hair and dark brown eyes that made my heart flutter around. But his smile was the best part, so casual and yet confident, and when I walked over he asked me for my name. He was so polite, and his voice drifted through my ears. He said his name was Dominick, and that he lived in Manhattan, and when I said I was from Brooklyn, his eyes lit up. He asked me for my number, and I’ll call him when I’m home. The conversation reminded me of when I met you in Central Park.
We talked and talked and watched the sun set over the horizon. We got to know each other and the kids both came to meet him. And that was when I realized that things still could change. I could still move on without you, but you can still be in my heart. I’ll never forget you, Asher, and I’m not leaving you behind. I’m moving on and letting go to enjoy my life.
But when I look up at the stars, a smile crawls across my face, when I imagine you and me being back together someday.