3rd day

Friday 27 December 2019             Third day of Christmas                   7:06 a.m.

Up at sunrise, the first beams shining across the city, lighting up the hills, whispering down toward the little cannyons and valleys, warming the chill off last night. A cup of leftover coffee warmed in the nuclear microwave, sweetened with honey – not much, just a touch – the dark tang embraces my palate with hot touch, strong taste, yes, strong yet mild – it is Kona, a Christmas gift from the brother who adores Hawai’i. Even recycled – too much leftover from yesterday afternoon, I simply cannot pour it down the drain, no, but… reheat and savor once more. Ah, I remember the first time I understood the magic and power of that name, Kona.

We had gone to Hawaii for two weeks, my parents and my brother and I. We landed at Hilo on the big island, and then drove around. Crossed over to Maui and then Molokai and on to Kuaui, each for a few days, until we ended on Oahu. I was furious with my father. He got so drunk one night we missed our early morning special Pearl Harbor tour. C’est la vie, the loving critics say, and complain I should not write such cursed memories, but I believe the truth shall set me free.

My mom loved Lahaina best. Years later she went back with my brother and his partner. A photo of her smiling next to the wooden sea captain still hangs on the refrigerator, gracing the kitchen with remembrance of her precious life.