Saturday, July 3, 2010

Remembering .... February 9, 2005.

The alarm went off at 6:50am. Jon had set it as usual. It was the same alarm clock he had been given as a present from his parents for graduating from high school. It had been with us every day of our marriage and frankly, it was not my friend! He simply asked, “Hun, can you get it?”. We had just moved, three days earlier into his brother’s house. Our home was going to be lifted and another story put underneath, so we were sleeping on a bunk bed. When we went to sleep the night before, he was with me. But, as I got up to turn off the alarm, he had been replaced with a child. Anela was in bed with me, and he was on the top bunk. Ironic when I think of it now. I turned the alarm off and went back to bed. I had never been a morning person. Jon was. He got up and was in an especially excited mood. Ecstatic almost. He put in a new DVD he had picked up somewhere. It was of some surfers at Teahupoo and one of the surfers had survived a really gnarly wipeout.This got Jon pumped up. He got the kids ready for school and I asked him to pick them up because I was going to go to swap meet. He agreed, yet for some reason I gave Makana the house key and told him just in case, to walk home. He had to use the key that day.

We had had a nice last evening together. We had been working so hard to get the house all packed up in preparation for the build. Jon had worked long hours the days before and we were finally resting in bed. He started kissing me and I smiled. I told him I had not talked to him for so long and I missed him. I asked him if we could talk. “How long do we have to talk?” I smiled again and kissed him back, “not long I said” before I understood his desire and kissed him back into the darkness of the night.

When I was driving home from swap meet, I got a phone call. Where’s Uncle Jon? It was one of the teenagers we had at our house frequently. He’s at the beach I told her. She said that there had been a photographer hurt at Pipeline and it might be him. I assured her that it was not and that he was fine. I kept driving home; I had about another 20 minutes to go. My mind was racing over this information. I had been trying to call Jon for the last couple hours but he was not picking up. I called his brother Allen who had been at the beach with him all day. He answered. His voice was shaky. He said he didn’t know if it was Jon or what was going on. I got off the phone. I needed more information. I dialed 411 for the number to Kahuku Hospital. My phone was dying. The idiots on the other end said there was no Kahuku Hospital. I was loosing reception. Finally I got the number and called the hospital. I thought that a simple phone call would clear this all up and I wouldn’t need to worry. I had no idea what would happen in the next few hours, days, weeks, months, and now years.

“Your husband is here”. Not what I was expecting to hear. “You need to get here as soon as you can but drive safely”. I was already driving. The bendy roads on the windward side went on and on forever. My body started to tingle. Like the circulation to it had stopped, literally like my heart had stopped pumping it through my body. I had been to Kahuku Hospital before not knowing what I would find when I got there. I was lucky that time. When I arrived, I saw that the shark had left all Jon’s body parts in tact and the 100 or so stitches were a welcome relief.It meant there was life there to save. But that time they had cleared him out of Kahuku hospital as quickly as they could. I thought about this as I was winding the roads to get to him. What does this mean? Either it is not serious at all, or it is too late. My body tingled some more. I thought of my husband on a hospital bed and I said to God, “It’s all or nothing”. I knew that Jon could not live a restricted life, void of the things he loved to do. Little did I know when I was bargaining with God, he had already closed the deal.

we will always miss you ...
until we are together again


wil.sarah.chalei said...

i know i've heard this story more than a few times, but the details make so much more impact in writing.
i personally do not feel like this is too much information for the book. it relays the reality of it all and your exact emotions as things unfolded.
i could completely see him getting excited as you said he got stoked over a sick wipeout ;-) it's how i remember him. some of my best memories of him are when he would drive ALL the way to kaimuki to pick us up for sleepovers and then blast his radio and rap/sing at the top of his lungs all the way back to mililani ;-)
miss him's hard to describe such a wonderful man.

kelly said...

that day will forever be etched in my calling.the drive out there with caleb.seeing jon. calling ki and telling her. and those days that followed, in that same bunk bed. hard to ever explain those days. seems like forever ago and yesterday. i just realize it when i think that anela was turning 3! wish jon was still here as i am sure you do every single day! it's good to have it all written down. it is part of your kids life.

darah. said...

Your writing is so beautiful Aunty Nikki. You should write a book and you should put this post in. There is so much raw emotion and everything felt like it happened yesterday. Jon was such a great and loving person. Words can't describe how he touched all our lives and what he meant to our family. I'm so grateful that we were able to get to know him before he left, and I'm so grateful that we will one day be able to see him again. I'll always remember the bird incident at the shop, and how he did his best to make me feel better after it.:-) I love you!

stef j. said...

hi friend.

this is beautiful. very unedited and touching.

i'm sorry. i know remembering can be hard. well, IS hard.

love ya... all of y'all mozos.

Holly said...

Your courage to share these fragile moments touch me so much. Sometimes the world seems so much sader to me without Jon in it. I wish I had more courage to live like he did.
I always remember how you both completed each other in every way, you were the power behind his dreams.
Keep writing, your story reminds all of us to live in the moment and to charish our loved ones.
Hugs and more hugs.

Carrie said...

Love you Nikki. I think your kids will cherish this information later - - even if it hurts a bit now to remember.

U'i and Kahana said...

wow. this was beautiful. thank you so much for sharing this short story. i never did know any of these details of how it all happened, but now i do. we love you and your family so much! if your ever @ windward mall, come and say hi!

Jerome and Lanea said...

I remember when Darah called me from her cellphone to tell me what happened. At first I hung up really confused, not really knowing which Jon she was talking about, until she came home and I just knew.

Some of the best memories I have in Mililani is going to your guy's house on Sunday.

You both are such awesome awesome role models and people, and this post really brought tears to my eyes especially it being 1:52 am. We love you guys!

Bear said...

Nikki, You are such a great writer.
I have never heard the story and tears are in my eyes as I read this.
You know its interesting, I never met Jon, but being with your family I feel like I know in part who he was. You have kept him alive in his work, in the stories, in the emotions and through your children.
I wish that I had gotten to meet Jon, but his legacy lives on. Love and miss you!