Ron has always told me that he wanted his ashes to be spread somewhere warm. Warm it will be! During Ron’s last couple of days I promised I would take him sailing again. This put a smile on his face and he nodded approval. Hawaii, I asked. Another smile, another nod of approval.
Ron and I always talked about how we are not the type of people to hang on to ashes. They need to be freed to end the journey on this earth as we know it. Soon after setting the date for Ron’s Celebration I started thinking about taking his ashes to Hawaii. Why Hawaii, you might ask. On our first visit to Hawaii together, Ron and I renewed our wedding vows. That, my friends, is another story for another time. Hawaii is also warm especially compared to Victoria in February, March. I had settled on the fact that I would be prepared to go alone. It is not that I wanted to go alone, it is just that I didn’t have the energy to organize a trip for other people. When I announced to Bill and Leanne I was going to Hawaii, and very soon, they announced they were coming along. It would be me, Leanne, Bill and Gracie. After I announced to the kids I was going to Hawaii with Ron’s ashes, it was not long before Meghan announced that she had time off work and money – she too was coming along. OK, I said. Bill and Leanne took charge of accommodation. I was flying airmiles and it was not difficult to get Meghan on the same flight. I took charge of chartering a sailboat. Meghan took charge of entertaining me while in Hawaii. Accommodation booked – check, flights booked – check, passports in order – check, rules about Pixie Dust – check. All good to go. All this was about to happen just four days after Ron’s Celebration.
We all flew out of Seattle on the same flight. It was exciting to be going to Hawaii but the reason was sombre. I had to get through customs and security with Ron in ‘the box’. Customs was no problem as we drove to Seattle the day before the flight. Security on the morning of the flight decided they wanted to box opened to see what was inside. I drew a deep breath not sure how I was going to handle it. The Security fella was very good about it. We repacked the box into my luggage and carried on.
While I was prepared to go to Hawaii myself, I didn’t know how happy I would be to be with Meghan and the Stegalls’. I would have been happy to be with most people. It just so happened that it worked for Meg, Leanne, Bill and Gracie to be with me.
Smooth flight to and touchdown in Hawaii. It was so deliciously warm that immediately none of us wanted to go home. We hopped in the rental car and made our way to Ko Olina. Good job on the accommodation Bill. Being on the fifteenth floor offered its comfort during the tsunami warning.
We arrived on Friday. I had chartered a 42’ Beneteau sailboat complete with skipper for Monday afternoon. It was decided that we would wear something Hawaiian. It was only appropriate as Ron was dressed in his Hawaiian shirt and Dickie shorts in which he renewed his vows to me. I donned my dress that matched his shirt. I purchased leis for everyone including Ron and the skipper. We packed snacks, Corona and a bottle of Clancy’s wine for Ron. Again it was and exciting yet sombre experience.
We pushed off at 1530. The winds were building. I am not used to such strong winds that pack a lot of warmth. It felt medicinal, therapeutic. We had an exhilarating sail complete with whales. If we stayed on course we would have been in Fiji. Sounded good to me! As it was getting near sunset, we headed closer to short, just off Diamond Head. There was less wind. This is a consideration when releasing pixie dust into the ocean.
The mood switched from amazing to solemn. The moment had come to release Ron. I moved Ron and his box to the stern of the boat. I sat there numb and paralyzed. It was tough to swallow. While planning this farewell it all seemed ideal; just like his celebration. Now I was not sure if I could let go. I took a deep breath then, in the gentle breeze, freed Ron to the ocean. I sprinkled his pixie dust into the warm and blue waves. Flower petals followed. Symbolically I removed my lei and tossed it and all my love to Ron. It was a goodbye I will never forget.
Our skipper circled Ron and the flowers three times. We were still and silent, bidding Ron our own personal farewell. Then to follow was the Clancy’s fine wine. I took a drink from the bottle and poured the rest for Ron and wishing for fair winds and smooth sailing.
Our personal ceremony and tribute to Ron was stunning; warm breezes, blue seas and a setting sun. It was breathtaking, appropriate and amazing.
When you are near the ocean remember these gentle words of our good friend Lawrence, “Ron will forever more be a part of every wave, every ripple and every warm surge of water.” He will also whisper in the breeze and watch us from the sky.
Na hoku nona kiu oka lani – The stars are the eyes of heaven.
Ronald, my love, save a spot for me. When it is my time we will be together again.
A hui hou – Until we meet again.