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Love Stories of Hawaii

Special Occasion

Wheel of Fortune
Dedicated to My grandparents

Submitted by Holly

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has wanted to go to Hawaii. As a little girl, I remember how often my grandmother would state this fact out loud. I think she even enlisted my precocious four-year-old self to help her beg my grandfather to take her to Hawaii. They loved to travel and they have been close- they have seen the Pacific Coast, but they had never made it across the Pacific Ocean. You see my grandfather was not crazy about flying. My grandmother, "Gran" was also a game show fanatic. Especially Wheel of Fortune. We watched the show every day when I stayed with her. The contestants frequently won trips to Hawaii as a prize and each time they did, Gran would say, "I wish I was going to Hawaii." We would also play the Wheel of Fortune board game, and when my grandmother guessed the phrase and won, I would tell her she had won a, "Fabulous ten day trip to Hawaii," in my best small child/game show host voice. She had numerous travel magazines around the house, often dog-eared to pages of Hawaiian vacations, she got travel agent quotes, and she and I bothered my grandfather about Hawaii, all to no avail. They never went.

I grew up and my grandparents got older. Their numerous vacations were made by car and as they got older, this limited the distance they could go. They weren't quite ready to be "elderly" travelers, meaning they haven't given in to group bus travel yet, but they didn't travel anywhere over a day's drive.

The time came when my mom and I started planning my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. A few days before the party I received a call from my grandfather. As I listened to his instructions, my eyes filled with tears. At the party, we blindfolded my grandmother and sat her on the couch. I carefully placed the Wheel of Fortune game board, dug out from the attic, on the table in front of her. We pulled off the blindfold and Gran said suspiciously, "What are y'all up to?" We made her play Wheel of Fortune, spinning the wheel and guessing letters as I, as Vanna, revealed them accordingly. All the while, my grandfather stood silently watching. After a few minutes, Gran's hand flew to her mouth and she said, "I'd like to solve the puzzle." Through tears of joy she managed to say, "Happy Anniversary, Frances, We are going to Hawaii, Love, Richard."

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