Chelle Summer

The Hawaiian Wedding Song

pamela zombeck

Several months after my dad died in 2006, my mom and I went to the Crate & Barrel store by her house– the house that I grew up in– to buy a new family room rug. As we walked through the store, she suddenly stopped and I looked back to find her standing there with tears in her eyes.

“It’s the song we had our first dance to at our wedding,” she said, of the music playing in the store.

And it was a song I’d never heard of or heard before: “The Hawaiian Wedding Song.” I couldn’t remember any other time in my life where my parents had told me the song they had first danced to at their wedding.

Then I started to cry and as we stood there in the store, both crying, I realized it was my dad telling her it was okay to move forward, to buy a new rug, that he was okay.

She settled on a really nice green rug and her dog Ginger enjoyed it immensely. I believe we had to throw it out before she moved though because it had been peed on too many times by her other (later) dog, Daisy, though.

Mother’s Day was a much-needed quiet day at my house after several weeks of non-stop work. I took occasional peeks at Facebook, glad to see the old photos people posted of their moms, but feeling sad that I didn’t have a mom to celebrate it with (although I have many second moms). Still, it wasn’t a bad day and the sadness didn’t ruin my day. Life is always good.

Greg and I settled in front of the television for several “Mad Men” episodes after dinner. Greg likes to keep the captions on and suddenly “The Hawaiian Wedding Song” flashed across the screen. And began to play.

I know it was my parents, but mostly Mom on this day, telling me it was okay to go on. I know well moving forward doesn’t mean I ever let go of the memories I have. Instead, it means I continue to live life remembering she and my other loved ones are with me, especially on days like Mother’s Day.

But sometimes the signs are nice reminder that I’m not without my mom.