January 18, 2011

This Time He Was Right

We had our routine.

Less of a schedule and more like a show. A well-rehearsed routine of banter. And of wit.

We would all sit around the Christmas tree and I would play Santa. Mostly so I could get my hands on the presents faster. In that eight year old scheming sort of way.

I was excited for dolls and for care bears and for that teen bop electric guitar that was all the rage. And I was excited….for possibility. Because wrapped beneath the ribbons and bows, it seemed that anything was possible.

We had our routine.

Because about the only thing that could distract my eight year old self from what might be under the tree for me was what I knew was under the tree for him. For my dad. Because I had gone out and gotten it myself. With my own quarters and dimes and pretty pennies all in a row. And I couldn’t wait to see his face when he opened it. Whatever “it” might be that year.

And because we had our routine, no matter how big or small the box might be, he always looked at me and said the same thing….

So what is it….a trip to Hawaii??

Noooooo dad, just open it already.

We had our routine.

So much so that it became a running joke with us year after year. One Christmas I got him Hawaiian Barbie. another year a big box of monopoly money so he could buy his own way. There were plastic jet planes and fake flower leis. And I’m pretty sure one year a grass skirt was involved.

Less of a schedule and more like a show. A well-rehearsed routine of banter. And of wit.

We had our routine.

For every year for as long as I can remember, my dad has asked me on Christmas morning if what I got him was a trip to Hawaii. It is the only thing he has ever wanted. And probably never thought would come true. And it has been my life-long dream to one year be able to look him square in the eye….

And say yes. That this time he was right.

This year that dream came true.

I don’t really want to go into too much just yet, but my Dad hasn’t been doing too well. And it may turn out that he’s just fine. But it may not. And we just didn’t want to let another year go by, taking the chance that the dream of a lifetime might never come true. To have to live our whole lives knowing that we never even tried. Because life is way too short for that.

So if there’s a dream like that for you, just.. don’t put it off. Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Live life fearlessly and with no regrets.

This year my dad asked me if my gift to him was a trip to Hawaii. And I looked him square in the eye and finally got to say yes.

That this time he was right. And somewhere beneath the ribbons and bows..I started to believe again that anything is possible.

In about three hours, we will be boarding a plane to Hawaii with my dad on the trip of a lifetime. A trip that has been my entire life in the making. Trust me friends when I say…there is no dream too big for dreaming.

Check back in in just a little bit, when Julia will be announcing the Shoot Out Winners

  1. maggieb

    …crying tears for love and life…

  2. Julia

    Oh Mary, this was a tearjerker!! Love you guys!! Have the BESTEST time EVER!!

  3. Kristin

    Ah! Made me tear up. How awesome for all of you. Bon voyage!

  4. Alison

    What an amazing gift- to both of you- to be able to give someone you love thier dream. You have an amazing heart. I hope all of you have the time of your life!!!

  5. Elizabeth

    So amazing! Have the time of your lives… and never forget the magic of a dream! ;) Love it!

  6. Leeann Marie

    This made me cry! Because I am doing the exact same thing this year. I’ve travelled the world thanks to my parents, and I am so, so, so happy to say that this April I finally get to go with my mom to Italy – a trip that SHE has always wanted. It’s such a wonderful feeling to just give up the "ifs" and "buts" and do something with people who are so important in our lives!

  7. kat hanafin

    oh mary, you made me cry. have the best time ever. you deserve it so much, as does your dad xo

  8. Shelby Tavern

    Oh my gosh this was soooo touching! I’m sure your dad is beyond excited and probably cried like I just did! Have a blast in Hawaii!!!!

  9. Jil

    have the best time ever!!! how you live your lives is an inspiration!

  10. Sarah

    Well goodnight….thank you for making cry…and reminding me to never stop dreaming!

  11. Elizabeth DeSilva

    Have an amazing trip!!!!

  12. Chelsea McGowan

    WEEPING with joy for you. Oh man, what a blessing and a gift. And hey… if you’ve never been, you’re going to ADORE Hawaii. We have a wedding there in August, and I’m so excited for Mack to experience it.
    I expect many wonderful blog posts about this, Miss Mary!

  13. Julia R

    I am SO happy for you! What an amazing gift for your dad and yourself. I hope (and know) you will enjoy every last second!

  14. Deborah Zoe

    My family has have a similar story:) My parents were supposed to go to Hawaii on their 25th anniversary and it never happened. One year my aunt sent them a Hawaii card for Christmas, another year when they went to visit her instead of Hawaii she greeted us with leis and music (they live in Chicago:)) They waited patiently for another 11 years before they went this year:)! Now when we sit in their kitchen and look at that Hawaii card, we find it hard to believe that it DID happen! Enjoy the trip of a lifetime guys:)!

  15. Sarah Heinle

    I loved that. What a great story and gift. Have a wonderful time!! (I know you will.)

  16. stef

    That is wonderful! I hope you guys have an amazing time & its everything your dad ever dreamed it to be! Much love to you all :)

  17. Chris Aram

    congrats! that’s fantastic … I hope you enjoy!

  18. Heidi Leigh

    There you go making me cry again….you are soo good at that! :) Have an AMAZING time. And stay away from those cell phones and computers just enjoy the moment. ;)

  19. Anne

    This is so sweet. I hope you have a wonderful time. Full of memories.

  20. Spring

    Have so much fun!!!! Your story brought tears to my eyes- I’d love to be able to bring my dad on that kind of a trip someday- I think I’m going to add it to my list of BHAG’s :-D

  21. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    How sweet is that??? Enjoy …

  22. Michelle

    Wow! That is so amazing, and what a wonderful story! You are so amazing for being able to turn his dream into reality, and to share that experience together. Happy travels to you both and to your dad – here’s to the trip of a lifetime :)

  23. Kathryn

    Thank you, Mary, once again for reminding me to dream big! Aloha and bon voyage!

  24. Ellen

    Wow! Brought tears to my eyes. Amazing gift for your dad and for you to be able to grant someone the dream of a lifetime!

  25. Karen Stott

    Oh my word Mary….that is seriously beautiful. Enjoy every breath and every laugh of this dream unfolding before you. Blessings to you for making it happen.

  26. Stephanie Stewart

    This post brought me to tears! I love that you are able to do this for your dad! Enjoy the trip…and thank you for the inspiration!

  27. Meghan

    That is the sweetest thing ever. You are a great daughter. I had tears in my eyes reading this….it is a wonderful gift that you gave him – a dream. Life is WAY too short and dreams can come true. Have a wonderful time with your family. :)

  28. Alice

    Oh Mary, Mary, Mary… Thanks so much for sharing this sweet, fun, and inspiring story! You’re awesome! xoxo

  29. Cathy

    GAH!! Tears running down my cheeks and all over my Starbucks! Have an amazing time and delight in these memories that none of you will ever, ever forget. Nobody deserves it more.

  30. Becky

    Amazing! I love dreams – especially when they become reality! Prayers for safe travels, and for your dad.

  31. Caitlin

    oh my goodness, chills and then tears, your words are so moving. Have an amazing trip, what a gift you have given your Dad, what a gift I’m sure you are to your Dad. Enjoy every minute.

  32. Alisa Greig

    LOVE this–so great, what a blessing!! I am excited for your dad and his dream come true :) Have a super time in my aloha state!!

  33. Sophia Harcourt

    I swear I have to brace myself when I see one of your personal blogs coming because I know you are going to get me crying. My 18 yr old self used to scoff at people who cried at the drop of a pin….and hear I am (ping!)…tears. I hope your dad has the best trip ever!

  34. Brigid

    Holy Tear Jerker!! I can only image your dad’s face when you told him…and how you must have felt being able to share the news ;) HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME!!

  35. Kare

    wow. wow. wow.

  36. liz

    The aloha spirit is truly magical. I know… my whole family is from the islands and I’ve been many times! Wishing you and your ohana a wonderful trip of a lifetime.

  37. Jen

    I am so happy for you to be spending this trip of a lifetime with your dad. Hawaii definitely has some magical power. I’ll bet it’s just what the Dr ordered.

  38. ami

    This made me cry because all I want to do in my life is what you have done for your father. To be able to give my family their dreams. Hopefully one day I can do it too. Sending good vibes for your dad. You can tell how much you love him.

  39. Shannon Rosan

    Wow. This post was so heartfelt and emotional. Thank you for sharing something so personal. What an amazing gift you have given your dad. Hope all is well for you and your family.

  40. Gwendolyn Tundermann

    Such an incredible post that I can’t think of what to say, only cry! So so so so very touching!

  41. Sindy

    This is the sweetest thing ever Mary! I hope you have an absolutely amazing time!

  42. Nicole Haley

    Chills of happiness for you! Hope you all have a beautiful time.

  43. Amanda

    Just like everyone else, I am in tears. So happy you’re able to do this for your dad. Enjoy your trip to the fullest.

  44. Samantha Harkins

    I love this! We did a road trip with my parents last summer for the same reason. My dad had been to every state but Montana and we went out west. So worth it, and I don’t know how many vacations I’ll get like that with my dad. I love this!

  45. Lydia

    I hope you are having a wonderful time together!

  46. Jeff

    So awesome! You guys are going to have an absolute blast. What a meaningful trip :)

  47. Amy Clifton

    SO sweet of you. Beautiful post. I hope you’re all having the time of your lives!!!!

  48. Bob

    I remember you telling us about this trip during dinner, but reading about it is far more powerful. Just awesome.

  49. Heather Corporan

    Ahhh, I’m being reminded DAILY of this very same thing. Live out your dreams today, because tomorrow is not promised. Thank you for being my thursday reminder :) I hope your trip is truly amazing!

  50. paul

    So special!

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