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Thursday Snippet: The We’ve Changed Islands Edition

Big day today. We checked out of our lovely Marriott Resort and Spa around 8:00 a.m. and piled into Ruby’s rental car–four of Son’s colleagues and moi. The kids (they’re all Sons age, so kids definitely applies) dropped me at Pearl Harbor and then they went on to one last meeting, this time in Pearl City.

I gotta tell you, Pearl Harbor was fascinating, sobering, touching, extraordinary–all the things you would imagine it to be. I started at the submarine exhibit and the anchor memorial that honors the men who perished on the Arizona–The boats out the to Arizona weren’t running this morning, so I opted to take the shuttle to the USS Missouri and the Aviation museum. Both were amazing experiences that it would take too long to share here. But I’ve got some pics for you… A couple of planes from the Aviation Museum and the plaque that is in the deck of the Missouri commemorating the Japanese surrendering to General McArthur on September 2, 1945. It was incredibly moving to stand in that spot.

On a more personal note, I had a… well, a rude awakening at one point. We had to climb rather steep stairs–almost ladders to get from deck to deck on the Missouri. I was okay on the main deck but climbing the second set of stairs to the Surrender deck left me breathless about halfway up and I had to stop for moment. A man behind me asked if I was okay and I could only nod. I finally got to the deck and managed to get my breath back, but when the guide told us that the best shot of Pearl Harbor could be taken from the bridge–more steps up, my heart dropped to my socks. I knew there was no way I was going to make it up there and oh, dear lord, mes amies…

It was as if the HFrEF really smacked me in the face. It was the first time I couldn’t just push through. I sat down on a bench on the deck and quietly wept. I have never let much stop me from doing whatever I want to do, but I knew that I wouldn’t be getting up to the bridge. I called Husband and he was wonderful and sympathetic and reminded me that I have to listen to my body and that he was sorry, but yes, I was going to miss the bridge and the all the stuff below deck, where you got to see what life was like for the men on the ship because I just flat wasn’t going to be able to do those ladders without a lot of stress to my heart.

I felt old and frail and foolish and just sad, frankly. But, it helped to talk to Husband (whom I miss like crazy!), and I wasn’t about to let this stupid, old heart of mine ruin this lovely vacation, so I squared my shoulders and got off the ship and took the shuttle bus to the Aviation Museum, where I walked and walked (12,500 steps today) and saw a great film about the attack, lots of airplanes, and a special Bob Hope exhibit, which was fun and sweet. I read some amazing stories about the bravery of the folks on December 7, 1941 and discovered some new stories I had never heard before. It was centering to focus on something other than me. When I got back to the visitor center, Ruby was there to pick me up and we had a lovely lunch together and then went to get the rest of the crew and head to the airport.

Son and I were headed to Kailua-Kona, where he found a VRBO for us–the flight was quick, our rental car got upgraded to a Mustang convertible–don’t we rock? The condo is wonderful and looks out over the ocean. It was dark by the time we got settled in, so we haven’t really gotten to see what things look like outside, the inside is just perfect. We have a gorgeous lanai–I can’t wait to write out there in the morning! We went across the street to a beach bar, had fish and salad and a couple of longboat lagers and enjoyed our table by the water and some great music. Now he’s gone to bed and I’m on my way.

But I wanted to share all this day with y’all, the good and the bad, and let you know that I realized that even when life throws some scary shit in your way, you gotta suck it up and deal with whatever new reality comes along and be grateful for all the blessings in your life. Not getting to see Pearl Harbor from the bridge of the Missouri is small stuff. Having a spectacular vacation with Son, being in this wonderful tropical paradise is the big stuff, the truly good stuff. I’m planning on savoring every moment we have left here. Here’s a cute pic of a statue that is outside the Missouri…don’t you love it?

Tomorrow we’re going to tour a coffee plantation and find a green sand beach he read about, eat some more fish, and spend time on our lanai, just relaxing. Life is good.

Stay safe, and thank you for coming along on this journey with me and for listening. I promised a couple of months ago, I’d try not to dwell or whine about the HFrEF and how it’s affecting my life. I hope you’ll forgive my moment of poor me above. I won’t promise it’s the last one you’ll ever hear, but I will promise that if I do, I’ll snap out of it quick. Honest!


  • Kimberly Field

    I know I am a few days late reading this, I had a wonderful mom and daughter weekend with my mom. But I wanted to let you know that I totally understand how you were feeling about having to stop and listen to your body and know that you could not climb the steps like you used to. My new normal with my legs has taken a toll and getting used to it is not easy some days and I too will cry. I wanted you to know you are not alone. Big hugs.

  • sinclair Sawhney

    Nan, your honesty is truly inspirational. That first moment when we can’t do something that we want to do–and that something seems rather basic and something that we should be able to do–is a painful and humbling shock. You handled it with grace and I hope that I too can be as kind to myself and others and rally to keep enjoying what else the day has in store. Mahalo.

    • Nan

      Aloha, dear Sinclair. Thanks for coming along with me on this trip! It was painful and humbling and a shock. But…I have to deal with what is and I can’t let it stop me. Thank you for all th encouragement–it means more than I can say!

  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    Everyone is allowed a “poor me” moment once in a while. It’s your story, and that part of your story is sucky. The rest of the story, however, sounds grand. It’s great to have loved ones in our lives, like Husband, to feel our pain and then help us back to the good stuff.

  • Maureen

    Hello lady,
    Gosh you are having quite the adventure!
    I remember the Arizona Memorial, such a moving experience. Tears come to my eyes easily at those places. I have since b even to the Oklahoma Federal Building and NY Twin Towers. How can they not have a saddening affect on you.
    I don’t remember the Missouri Memorial when I was there in the mid 70’s. Look at you, you made a attempt to go as far as you could, and you knew when to stop.
    You have a wonderful memories and have had a great opportunity with this trip. Continue have a great trip. See you when you get home.

    • Nan

      Hey Moe–sure miss you! Son and I are having a great time together and that makes the hard parts easier… Pearl Harbor brought tears for reasons other than my own. Everything is such a poignant reminder of how we have fought for what we have in the US. Hugs, baby!

  • Janine

    I have been enjoying reading about your adventures. I am sorry you didn’t get to the bridge of the boat to see the view, but you did the right thing not pushing yourself. I know you will enjoy the next part of your trip.

  • Liz Flaherty

    A wonderful post, although I’m sorry about the “moment of truth.” They sometimes do truly suck. What a fun day, though!