In June of 2007, my family and I took a trip to Hawaii to spread my uncle George’s ashes on the island of Oahu. In a losing battle with cancer, my uncle wanted to be one with the sea turtles in Hawaii. Ten years later, my family and I took a reunion trip to Hawaii in June of 2017 to “see” him again.
We were island hopping from Maui to Oahu in a trip that was two weeks long. In Maui, we did typical Hawaiian tourist activities: a Lua, drove the Hana Highway, and went sightseeing along the way. Maui was beautiful, but I was ready to go to Oahu experience the same thing as ten years before.
A short plane ride later we arrived on Hawaii’s largest island, Oahu. We took our rental cars to the house which we rented out for our trip party of 12 people. Being together with my family was the second to best experience of the whole vacation. Spending time with my family is most important to me, and being able to be with them away from home and seeing sides of them I never saw was terrific.
Finally, the day came when we entered the boat and drove into the waters of Kaneohe Bay where my uncle’s ashes were spread. On the ship, there were many different activities we could do: tubing, snorkeling, water volleyball, jet skiing, and so much more. I chose to snorkel. I was the only one in my family who decided to snorkel, and I was okay with that because I am most comfortable in the water.
When the person who worked on the boat took me to the snorkel section, the time was around 3:00 PM and overcast outside. I hopped into the water without a care in the world, and the smell of salt water, flowers, and the beach overwhelmed me. I did not think much of the beautiful aroma as I swam through the crystal blue waters. Eventually, I realized that I was far away from where the person told me I could go. Something inside of me told me to keep going a little further out.
So, in all reality, I should have turned around, but I followed my gut. I kept kicking, and I dove into the water so I could see the bottom better. As soon as I jumped in, the clouds went away and the sun shined directly on me, I felt as though I was in the spotlight. A big, beautiful, light green sea turtle swam close towards me and swam around me. The feeling that I experienced was unexplainable; I felt at home even though New Orleans was miles away. I knew that my uncle was near me and trying to tell me something, but I did not understand what he meant until a few weeks ago when we were told about the personal narrative assignment.
I have recently been stressed out about what I want to do after high school because everyone seems as though they have life planned out. After school on the day we were given the assignment, I clicked on a link on Facebook about travel nurses. As soon as I learned more about being a travel nurse, I felt as though I found my calling.
My first thought was that I would go to Hawaii first. I thought about the trip and tried to piece everything together; my family and I grew bonds on the journey that changed my life forever. Everything seemed as though life would fit. Then I sat down and thought about the paper that I am writing right now. I wanted to share my story because helping people who are sick is very close to my heart. I believe that my uncle was the reason that I felt so at home when I was in Hawaii with the sea turtle. Everything still feels unreal and utterly perfect. Because of that one moment in Hawaii, my life will be changed forever; the trip gave me bonds that will never be broken, but will be tested and the moment gave me the truth about my future and what my life holds.