We’d vacillated on whether or not to go to Hawaii over Christmas and into the New Year. Anj thought it might be a good idea but I wasn’t so sure. She was hopeful that I’d come around and be patient. That patience is the reason why I’m typing this from a hotel room in Honolulu with my Canadian wife sleeping softly beside me rather than from the upper floor duplex that we rent in Blaine, Washington, watching the latest wave of snow pile it on thick.
I finally said yes to three weeks on Oahu because of the great urge to get away. Life had never hit me as hard as it did in 2016. There were some amazing moments to the year: marriage, honeymoon, and pregnancy. And then: miscarriage and US immigration purgatory for Anj and kidney stones for me. Those stones are with me still. One is so small it might never be an issue. The other one is not small and lets me know it. I spent a month or so in incomparable pain, with fevers and the odd hallucination.
You know what? I managed to work through most of that, thanks to great friends and colleagues and family who had our backs. I had to. By law, until Anj’s immigration status is adjusted, I’m the only one of us allowed to make a living. Moreover, I wanted to. It was bad enough that it felt like I was being stabbed internally and at random. To compound that by taking away my work would’ve been too much to bear.
So now we’re in Honolulu still trying to find the right work/adventure balance. I did a bit of proofreading this morning before we walked to an Australian breakfast joint and kept on trucking to the see the aquarium. On the way back, we stopped for the best-flavored shaved ice in the known universe and, finally, simmered in the hotel hot tub. I signed on for my regular nightly short editing shift while she went for dinner with the in-laws. We all met up for a few minutes after and then back to the hotel room for these newlyweds. She fell asleep watching TV. More word processing beckoned.
We’ll have to go back eventually. Next year on the mainland will bring new professional challenges, new insurance headaches, perhaps even surgery to remove this thorn from my side. But it’ll be easier to take with a tan and the thought that just maybe, if things bank right, we can do this again next December.