“Are you sure we should go?” I asked my husband. “But I’d feel so guilty. I can’t leave in five days! I need time to plan a vacation!”
“Come on, let’s do it,” Alex said. “We’ve got someone to watch our dog, someone to oversee our business, a friend’s place to stay, and cheap airfare. Why not?”
So last week, we were on a plane to Maui.
Talk about anxiety. I’m not usually a last-minute person. Of course I was excited, no doubt about that. But thoughts zoomed through my head. We can’t just leave! Mackenzie and Talee will be so jealous, they always come with us. I need to get caught up on all my bills and paperwork. I’m supposed to host book club. And on and on. I told myself not to worry. This should be fun, not stressful. I took a deep breath, and thought of every possible obstacle. I realized there actually weren’t many. Everything fell into place, and of course I could go. Aloha!
On the drive to the airport, I still had reservations. But our carry-ons were packed and we were on our way. I was a bit concerned, as Alex told me he didn’t feel well that morning, with stomach issues. But he felt okay to travel.
Traffic to the airport was horrendous. I knew we should’ve left earlier. Are we going to get there in time? It takes so long to get through security. I didn’t want to admit how nervous I was. There was nothing we could do about it. So I sat there, a jumbled mess of nerves. I tried to breathe in deep and tell myself it’d be okay. But I felt my blood pressure rise. There was no way I could relax. I reminded myself to be mindful. But then sort of laughed, because why would I want to be mindful in this moment? I’ll be mindful on the beach.
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time. Well, not plenty, but we were fine. Alex didn’t feel great on the long flight. Finally, we landed on the beautiful island.
The tropical air enveloped me, comforting me like an old friend. As the days went on, I relaxed from the sound of the palm trees rustling in the wind. The sand on the beach massaged my feet and looked like flecks of gold. I forgot about the responsibilities at home, and let my soul soak up the Hawaiian spirit.
But Alex was fighting some kind of flu. He didn’t have an appetite and was tired. He felt bad that he didn’t have much energy. I kept telling him not to worry, that I didn’t want to be doing activities, I just wanted to chill. I was content sitting on our lanai, reading my book and munching on chocolate covered macadamia nuts.
A few days later, he started to feel better. We drove to one of our favorite towns and headed to a fish restaurant we love. I wasn’t hungry. When my food came, I couldn’t eat. We left, and yep, I was up all night with the stomach flu. It was my turn to feel bad. We’d made plans for our last couple of days in paradise, and now couldn’t do them.
I thought of our wedding vows, which we recited almost 27 years ago… For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. So true. We took care of each other and made the best of it. We still treasured that time together and the memories we made. Not your typical dreamy, romantic vacation. But wonderful, nonetheless.
I can’t wait to go back.