The Goddess Speaks
Distance has a way of flavoring love
It was almost Henry's birthday, and I wanted to celebrate his special day in the finest way possible. He was an ocean away in San Antonio, so careful planning was required, especially since I would not be there.
I prepared for at least 10 days, conscientiously selecting gifts that I felt would complement his life and that he would enjoy. My father always had the knack of picking out just the right gifts, and I felt sure I had that same capability.
I shopped at Ala Moana Center and found a book on alternative ways to heal. I figured all kinds of new things could be discovered in medicine and because Henry was a doctor, maybe he'd enjoy the book.
After that, I went to a friend's home and picked out a photograph from his collection of breathtaking prints. It was of Diamond Head, looking up at the peak through the palm trees in Kapiolani Park, where Henry and I had hiked just three weeks before.
The last piece I added was a poem written by my father, "Yes, I Love You," along with a handwritten note on a store-bought card. I carefully wrapped each gift, placing a gigantic red bow with gold-wired edges on the package. Then I stuffed it in a box to mail the following morning.
Henry's birthday arrived, and all of a sudden it didn't matter about the perfect gifts; it was the poem that bothered me. Why? Well, there was one small detail I left out. I'd met Henry a mere four weeks ago, and I was smitten -- I had "fallen in love." Please don't ask me what "in love" means. At the age of 44 it could mean a zillion different things. All I knew was that I felt great, and now I was afraid that he might not feel the same.
It was a good thing we were apart on Henry's birthday, after all. It gave me time to make up all kinds of things about what he might be feeling about me after reading the poem. In all my delusion, I still wanted to commemorate his special day, so I hopped a flight over to Maui to celebrate.
Immediately after landing, I rented a car and drove 0.6 miles directly to Krispy Kreme Donuts. As I stepped into the shop, the raised glazed doughnuts were slipping off a rack onto the lower conveyor belt. My mouth began to water as they passed under a cascade of sugary coating.
The clerk reached over the counter to hand me a warm doughnut in a wax-paper wrapper. Ever so slowly I bit into it, letting its scrumptiousness dissolve in my mouth. Then in celebration, I ordered a cup of coffee and three more glazed donuts for a total of four, in honor of Henry's birthday, April 4.
If you are romantic at heart and curious to know "our" outcome: The good news is that a love note arrived, signed "Always, Me." I realized it was listening to my own heart and feelings that really mattered. Letting go of the outcome was the real gift.
June Dillinger is a freelance writer.
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