When I was a little girl I wanted more than anything to be a mermaid. I loved the water, swimming for hours pretending I had a beautiful silver-green tail with long golden hair gliding gracefully through the water. The magic of Hawaii brought back those memories as I spent as much time in the ocean as I possibly could, floating on the waves, snorkeling, scuba diving and boogie boarding.
Our trip to Maui was just about perfect. The weather, the warm water, the peace, the calm, the lack of any stress, the books I read, the time spent with Don just being. We hadn't been back to Maui since our honeymoon 27 years and 7 months ago. This time away was just what my mind and body needed, but as our departure day drew near, I felt the familiar anxiousness starting to creep back in. Our last dinner there was spent in tears as I thought about all of the cares I seem to carry. Again I grieved over the losses we've experienced in the last five years. I remembered with longing the family trip we took to Hawaii just 7 months before Josh was diagnosed with cancer. I wondered if Josh would ever be able to swim in the Hawaiin ocean ever again. I went to bed that night asking God for His strength and His peace knowing I would soon be re-entering real life.
On our last morning, we awoke early and walked down to the ocean. I desired one last long morning swim. Don wanted to go for a run. As we approached the beach I saw an older woman with silver hair bobbing around in the mellow waves. I recognized her from the night before. She had been celebrating the sunset with a group of local residents. Their gathering was complete with wine, sushi, chicken wings and much fellowship. I had noticed she was new to the group as she was introducing herself to everyone except the gregarious lady who seemed to be the hostess. Then the hostess wrapped her arms around the new woman and said, "Let's go swim my mermaid friend." And they walked arm in arm towards the waves. I thought they were beautiful with their short silver hair and brown bodies. I longed for a mermaid friend too.
I grew excited when I saw her in the ocean and I suddenly knew God had something special in store for me. I walked into the waves diving under one and swam towards her. I seemed to be drawn to her. She was glowing and I approached her with a smile commenting on how lovely the ocean was. We began to talk. Before I knew it she shared with me in her Mississippi accent her miracle of healing from a brain tumor through a vivid vision, her love of God and His mysteries, her children and their lives, her childhood traumas. And I began to share about my life. God's love flowed through her and tears ran down her face as I talked about Joshua. She infused me with God's love, with encouragment and she hugged me deeply floating on the waves. She had already been swimming earlier that morning and had gotten out when she felt compelled to go back in the water. She said God had set up our meeting. We shared for an hour and I really can't put into words all that was said and felt. It seemed divine. Then Don swam over having finished his run. I introduced them. As she said it was time for her to leave she pulled me into her loving arms and began sweetly whispering angel prayers into my ear. She was praying in tongues for me. I began to quietly cry. She kissed me gently on my cheek and swam away.
I can't really explain what my angel mermaid did for me other than my anxiousness and fear are gone. I feel divinely renewed. Don and I marveled over this experience together with grateful hearts. As I shared this story and our time in Hawaii with a friend, he commented how he tries to live "Aloha" everyday. He lived on the islands attending Bible School a few years back. For me my angel mermaid reminded me "Living Aloha" means trusting in God and His ebb and flow of life. Birth, death, tragedy and miracles all blending into our journey of life. My angel mermaid was emphatic Josh would live a long life. She said we would all be back in Hawaii one day celebrating Josh's trach removal as we watched him swim through the blue-green waters. May it be so.