I am writing this a little early this week because come Tuesday my world will shift yet again. Anyone keeping track might note I have been in Virginia since mid-December due to family medical issues, but now I must make my way back to Kona to deal with things there. Before that though I will be in Florida for a week because my stepdaughter and son-in-law are taking the kids to Disney World to escape Mardi Gras in New Orleans and I am happy to have the opportunity to tag along for that fun adventure. The newest grandchild just turned one which I can hardly believe. They all grow up so fast and I want to see them as often as I can.
It also so happens that Orlando is the city where my biological family lives. Yes, this has been another huge thing that has happened in the last few months. I was adopted as an infant, my birth parents having been unwed teenagers in the 60s. And my adoption was never kept a secret from me. I grew up in a loving, stable family and am so grateful for that – I truly have had a wonderful life in that regard. But you always kind of wonder where you came from. So, after 48 years, my biological mother found me – and she is lovely too. You can only imagine how many concerns and hopes she had for me all these years, and it has been an incredible experience to find out about my origins. When this posts, I will have met her face to face, and will also meet most if not all of my five half siblings, three from her, the other two from my biological father who is also looking forward to our face-to-face. Mike and I occasionally wondered about where I came from, and I know he would be tickled pink that I am finally able to answer these questions. I wish he were here to talk about it.
I have had to learn how to deal with quite a lot of life changes this past year, for me personally, and for my family. And it’s not over yet. Back in Kona, I will have three months, according to the paperwork anyway, to get myself moved out of the house that I shared with Mike for 12 years, and then, over three years with my boyfriend, who has technically also been my tenant during this time. Understandably he is worried about this change, both for himself, and for what it will mean for us. I can’t answer that question yet.
I can only do one thing at a time right now. I am just paying attention to what life is throwing at me, and doing my best to find the right path as a result. Because the foreclosure is happening at the same time as my dad’s decline and a new career path, I can choose to see it one of two ways. First, I could have a total meltdown. Or, I could view it as an opportunity to make a positive change for myself. I’m going to try to do the latter, even though there will indubitably be some stress involved.
I reserve the right to return to Hawaii one day, if it pulls me back, which it might. But moving back east to be closer to my family – and starting a new career in a bigger city – feels like the right thing for now. We talked for a long time about us all relocating to Charleston, SC, and we even visited there in December to look at real estate and scope out the area. It is a truly lovely city, and the weather is beautiful. Coming from Hawaii I liked the thought of being near an ocean again. But, shifts happen. As time has gone on here we realize that moving dad to another facility would be really hard on him. And moving to a new city wouldn’t be that easy for my mom either, after so many decades in the DC area where she has so many friends and things to do. Plus, having been here this long now, I also realize that having the contacts and friendships from school is a big consideration. I’ve been out socializing quite a bit, even met new friends, and have enjoyed the amenities of a bigger city, despite the often cold weather. I had to buy boots and sweaters and stuff, but I have survived.
So, at least for the foreseeable future, come summer, assuming things go as planned, I will be back in the DC area. There are still a lot of questions to be answered – not just moving my stuff and where I will actually live, but cars, dogs…and relationships.
There is a big part of me that feels totally forlorn and abandoned that I have to do these things without Mike. Not that he would ever have agreed to leave Hawaii anyway – and knowing that, leaving Kona will be even harder. Not just leaving my friends, my elder stepdaughter and her family, and the warm, friendly energy of that place, but the home I shared with my beloved husband for so many years. It feels a bit like I am abandoning him and our life together too, even though I wasn’t the one to die. I feel his spirit will bring me back there time and again, and my friends and relationships will do the same…Hawaii will always feel like home to me, no matter what, and I will leave it with a heavy heart.
On the other hand I do feel excited about the move. I am allowing myself to find good points about it, to see it as a newly expanding universe of potential. Since I can’t have my husband back, I’m going to put my big girl pants on and continue moving on with the life I have left. Maybe, starting a new life back in the old haunts is just what the doctor ordered.