While I have lost my grandparents, my parents, most of my aunts and uncles and some of my beloved cats, I have not lost my friends. I found that, as the time for me to leave Hawaii came close, I really wanted to go home. I was homesick for the Crankee Yankee, our home and the cats and all my friends.
Being on my own for the first time in years, I realized how much my friends mean to me. The fact that I could text or email or call my friends made me feel better. They are the people who have become *ohana to me over the years. I would call the Crankee Yankee every morning (and sometimes at night), and I would call on my friends. Yep, even in beautiful Hawaii, which is also called Paradise, I was missing the Crankee Yankee, the cats and my friends.
In those last four days, I really felt the impact of being so far away from home. It has been years since I traveled (2001, to be exact), and it was an adventure. It was good for me, too—I found that I had become used to leaning on the Crankee Yankee for nearly everything. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s sort of a warning to stand alone now and then.
Before I even set up my travel arrangements, I found that I had already been unconsciously getting ready to travel. I hadn’t visited my old camp friend for a long time, and I visited her down in Webster, Mass. She gave me good directions, and I surprised myself by not getting lost. Months later I went to visit another old friend who had moved to Windham; again, I followed her directions and behold and lo—I did not get lost.
So when I would start panicking about flying, I would say this mantra to myself: “I got to Mass and Windham just fine; I can do this.” And what do you know; I had a smooth trip from Boston to San Francisco, then a two hour layover. Then I had an equally smooth trip to Honolulu. And there I was, in the place of my dreams and nothing bad happened!
The trip was kind of a leap of faith. But toward the end, the voices and emails from my friends kept me going. To all of you I called and emailed, thank you. Thank you for being my friends and for caring for me.
What really matters most is the people who put up with us, who love us and care for us and believe in us. That invisible link to those who are dear to us are so important, and oh—how they matter!
*Remember the movie “Lilo and Stitch?” It takes place in Hawaii, and their set phrase is this: “ohana means family; it means no one gets left behind.”