During the 12 years that Willy and I were married, we had a couple tsunami scares, but nothing ever that serious. I never worried during those times. Willy was born and raised on Maui, and always knew what to do. What many people don’t realize is that when you lose a spouse, it’s more than just losing your spouse. You have lost your best friend, the father of your children, the man that takes out the garbage, the man that fixes the car when it’s broken. The man that cleans the yard, the man that kills the cane spiders, and the man that prepares for tsunamis and hurricanes. The grief hits you every time you realize another loss. It’s fresh again, and the pain is as intense as it was in the beginning.
A couple weeks ago, we had not one, but two hurricanes heading our way. When I first learned of the pending danger, my friend called to see if I had heard and asked what we needed to do to prepare my house. I began to do what I needed to do to prepare. We went to the store and stocked up on water, canned goods, and snacks. As the next couple days passed, it was a waiting game as the storm weakened then got stronger, then weakened again. I reassured my kids that we were ready and I had everything under control. The truth is, I was panicked inside. I was alone. I knew I could call on friends if I needed, and I have men at my church that would help me if I needed. But, I was alone. I have three kids depending on me to keep them safe. In times like this, I miss Willy even more. The grief of losing him comes to the surface hourly.
The day came, and the storm was to hit that evening. It had been downgraded to a tropical storm, so we were prepared for a lot of rain and wind. School had been cancelled so I was home with the kids. Then the mail arrived. I mindlessly flip through the mail, when one piece catches my eye. It’s addressed to “William Casco”. I realize I’m holding my breath. This often happens to me when I think of Willy. I remind myself to breath. I open the mail. It is from the State of Hawaii Jury Pool Office. I begin to tear up. I was prepared! I was prepared for the hurricane, not for another reminder of Willy being gone. Maybe if it had been a normal week, it wouldn’t have hit me so hard, I don’t know. I wanted to scream. I thought about all the things I want to tell the State of Hawaii. Don’t they have a record of his death? He worked for the County of Maui, don’t they talk to the State? Can’t they run a little report, and see who is on their list who has passed away? Don’t they understand what receiving a letter like this can do to a grieving widow?
I read through the page of instructions. I had to send the form back with a copy of the death certificate. I hate that certificate. I used to carry one in my purse to have to show the bank, the DMV, etc. It’s a paper that says so much, and I hate it!
The storm passed through the night, and we got some rain. The second storm moved north and never hit our island. I am thankful that it was not worse than it was. I know that I am capable of taking care of my children in these situations. I know that God has His hand on me. Yet, it doesn’t make weeks like this easier without Willy.