The decision was made to leave Hawaii. Now what? We called Betty’s mother in Florida, and asked if she thought we could live together. She told me she had been thinking this same thing because her house-partner had moved out, and she was alone in her mobile home in Dunedin, Florida.
“I can’t believe it! ”I don’t believe it! “Whaaaaaat?!….”Why?”…these are a few of the comments we received when we told our friends that the Hicks’. after “honeymooning” in Hawaii” for twenty-four years, were leaving for the mainland. “What? Back to the mainland?” NO, no…FORWARD to the mainland. Florida, on the West coast near Tampa, to be more accurate.
We left for the simple honest fact, that with my impending retirement from the University, we could not afford to live in Hawaii. It was a hard, tear-provoking decision but home is where the heart is, and our hearts were weary from the struggle of the past few years, so logic prevailed. It was not logical to live in paradise if we could not enjoy it… and the Lord seemed to be telling us that our hearts were needed elsewhere.
To put a positive spin on the move to Florida, I said our Divine Guide had called us to a second honeymoon.
Then it occurred to me, if we are going on a second honeymoon, we should get married again! I proposed, this time on my knee, and Betty said “Yes” again. When we shared the idea with our friends Aileen, Dottie and Nadja, they formed a committee, and the thing snowballed!
We had the wedding ceremony and reception at Kalihi Union Church. Our assistant pastor led us through re-commitment vows. Randy and Gay Hongo and Mark and Diane Yasuhara (The Hawaiians) sang. Betty’s mother sent her wedding dress, which fit perfectly after 24 years! My bride was as beautiful as before. Then we moved to the gym for an Aloha Potluck with program.
Our MC was Clayton Naluai, an Amway friend, Waikiki entertainer, and former MC for the Don Ho Show. He sang a couple numbers. Special friend Barbara Pratt spoke words of affirmation and inspiration. Randy helped me realize a dream, to play my horn with him. I did two numbers, I’ll Remember You”, for Hawaii and our friends, and “Amazing Grace”, for the Lord and me. Randy and Gay sang, and presented us with a beautiful plaque from Christian Vision. The Hawaiians, Mark and Diane, climaxed the program with a tremendous inspirational song.
We had a fantastic cake which we cut ceremoniously with the same knife we used twenty-four years ago!
Betty shared our agony of deciding to leave, and our hope for the future. I skimmed through memories of moments in Hawaii over twenty-four years, when the Lord touched us, and led us, and loved us. I felt so loved this night with so many of our friends, and our Spirit.
When this exciting beautiful, exhausting evening climaxed, then gradually collapsed into clean-up and memories, we went down to Waikiki, to the lounge at the Halekulani with Aileen Leong (Chinen), and friends, to listen to Randy sing and play for us. We needed to unwind and recall and celebrate life and love — as in Randy’s songs. Thanks Aileen, for making such a memorable time for us!