Dedicated to David Hansard
Submitted by Jill
My husband David and I met nearly twenty-five years ago. Some things have never changed: how hard we work at whatever we take on, how relentlessly we over-commit our time, and how much we love Hawaii. Hawaii was our pressure valve, our gift to ourselves for fighting the good fight with our sense of humor in tact and for not whining.
We would always stay in Waikiki, sometimes on the beach, once near the International Market and another time on the Ali Wai Canal. We never rented a car to get around in Waikiki or sightsee on Oahu. Instead, we’d sign up for tours or take The Bus. We’d use our car rental savings to fly to another island for a day trip, Maui to see the whales or to Hawaii’s big island for the lava tubes. What we looked forward to the most was our walks on the beach. Every day we’d read, listen to music or “people watch” on the beach. Then we’d gather our mats and gear and walk to the ice cream shop, walk to the “dime store” or walk to the zoo. We spent perfect days being warmed by the sun from above, by the warm earth under our feet and by our love and our pleasure in being together in a place so special to us.
In 1992, I was having difficulty walking, holding on to things in my hands or writing legibly. After rounds of tests for everything from an under-active thyroid to a brain tumor, I was diagnosed with chronic, progressive multiple sclerosis. And things in our unchanging life began to change.
Now it’s Valentine’s Day in the year 2000. David and I moved to a small sea-side town on the Washington coast where the pace would be less stressful. He’s been the manager of the Ocean Shores Community Club for the last six years and I draw Social Security Disability. I’m still partially mobile at this time, so I get around with a cane or the occasional wheelchair. David is my hairdresser, manicurist, butler, chauffeur, nurse and provider. He has to wear a lot of hats now. But still, he finds time to be my companion, my best friend and lover. He is the closest thing to a cure and recovery for me.
We’re still fighting the good fight with at sense of humor and not whining. I would love to return to Hawaii, our pressure valve of long ago. I want to thank David for his changeless love in spite of the change in our lives.