My mother talked about Hawaii the way you talk about ice cream in the summer or a bandaid on a papercut. It would fix everything...with its clear oceans and beautiful fauna.
She'd talk and talk until we could smell the wild jungle in the mountains of Maui. She'd pull up pictures of houses on the internet and what school we would go to as soon as we got the money for a plane ride. She'd talk about how easy it would be for my father to find work, how easy we'd fit in at school, how easygoing the people would be. Our everything would be easy.
Our parents had eloped to and honeymooned in Hawaii. It was the last place they were entirely and dreamily happy together.
Eight months later I was born.
My mother thought moving to Hawaii was sure to erase the problems, whatever those were, that had caused this dysfunctional family. When things went down, Hawaii was her haven. We never realized it was only that, a happy place in her mind, a memory that we had no access to.
Even now, it's still hard to not believe her, not believe in Hawaii.