Finding Dad?

You can imagine the anticipation, the excitement and the sheer emotional roller-coaster that the journey to the airport at three thirty in the morning was for me… you might then understand the heart-breakingly horrible experience of Pacific Blue not allowing me to fly with the rest of my family due to a stupid little passport problem… I was GUTTED to the max… I had to cancel that flight and re-book with Air NZ who I wanted to fly up with anyway… After a visit to the Samoan Consulate to get a letter allowing me to fly, and an extra night sleep in NZ, I FINALLY headed up to Samoa on an Air NZ 767… not upsettingly, I had a free upgrade with Air NZ and flew up to Samoa in Business Class!!! 🙂 Here’s me in Business Class…
Two glasses of Bubbly, 2 Hawke’s Bay Syrahs and a Glenfiddich later, and I was landing in Samoa… the place that has captivated my heart and my imagination throughout the course of my life. Home of a million stories that my Dad carried in his heart and land where I hoped to find my father (so to speak)…
For a few days after arriving, my family spent time together just hanging out together… We don’t often get to spend time together like this as my Sister lives in Palmerston North with her family… my Mum lives in the UK and Merv is in Nelson – so time to just hang our together was fantastically awesome…
The 30th of October is the anniversary of Dad’s passing away… it has always been a bit bitter-sweet for me as Emily’s birthday is the day after… I was grateful that Christine was able to keep her in a bit longer as she started arriving on a day that has always been a bit sad for me. Mum had arranged for a Mini-van to take us around the whole island of Upolu and we were going to take in the sights and sounds of Apia, of the South Coast which was so tragically hit by the Tsunami in 2009. We had an amazing day taking in the Papaseea Sliding Rocks, Apia Markets, Vailima, Piula Cave Pools, Sapoaga Falls and the South Coast. Once we had returned to Aggie Grey’s Lagoon resort… Mum had also arranged for us to plant a Coconut Tree in Dad’s memory on the resort’s waterfront. It is in an amazing location and when we return, we will be able to know that we have a part of our family story growing in Samoa, and hopefully forever providing sustenance for the Samoan people…
Did I find Dad in Samoa? No… he was already living on in my heart… I found a new appreciation for the place that he loved most, and the place that my Mum describes as where he was always happiest.
There is much more that I could write, but I think I will leave it there… this journey has been a wild one, and many people have been very supportive of me in this time – so thanks for that… 🙂

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