I think I've mentioned before that I have a strange, inexplicable affection for island music even though it always makes me cry, and I'm not even kidding. You'd think I was a sloppy Irish drunk listening to Oh, Danny Boy. Which also makes me cry. (Johnny Cash did a lovely version of the song on his awesome AMERICAN IV album.)
Not long ago when I was listening to The Descendants soundtrack, I was overwhelmed by a desire to take one last trip to Hawaii with my parents. We have a little bit of history there because of the Football Years. In fact, the only stadium where I thought the opposing team's fans might set my hair on fire was at Aloha Stadium. Man, those guys HATED BYU, and whenever you sat in the stands you felt like you were caught up in a rolling riot. In Tehran. Sports Illustrated once listed my dad as Hawaii's Public Enemy Number One. And yet off the field, he and my mother were treated with incredible warmth wherever they went.
So I was thinking it would be nice to walk along the beach again with them and play the "remember when" game. Remember when we drove all over Oahu in that borrowed Trans Am listening to an 8-track CCR tape? Remember when Sculley was still alive and he and Lou had us to dinner at their place? Remember the geckos that skittered across the ceilings where we stayed? Remember when Jim and I took surfing lessons, and I almost got hit by an outrigger canoe when I broke the water's surface? Remember when Joe took us to the airport in his squad car and turned on his siren so we didn't have to stop at any red lights?
But how would it be to return to a place you loved together, knowing that would be the last time? How could you bear it?