Back in the 90s I needed a wedding present for a friend. I ended up at Liberty House and finally found this lovely pitcher/vase. I had recently gotten divorced and could not afford this piece as a gift and I found something more in my budget. The bride loved whatever I got her, I seriously don’t remember what I bought, and that was that.

Except it wasn’t. I went back to the Kailua store and kept waiting for a sale. I was so in love with this piece. As a single mom paying off a very expensive divorce and having a mortgage it was something I should not have kept considering.

One day I went to buy shoes for my boys at their last price shoe rack and after I found something I went back to the housewares and fancy gifts section and saw that this little beauty was the last one. And it was 25% off! I whipped out the red Liberty House credit card with the yellow hibiscus and bought this for myself.

In 1996 we moved to Florida because my new husband had a terminal brain disease and I thought there would have better healthcare and be more affordable. Big mistake. I sold most of our belongings but I kept this and a few other Hawaii memories.
In 2005 my husband died leaving me bankrupt from all the medical bills and raising two boys. I also lost my home in Kailua thanks to the disease. I moved back to Kailua in 2006 and along came the vase. I truly thought I’d never leave Hawaii again except for vacations. Sadly, my now husband and I were hit on Kahakili Highway at 5:00 pm. after the driver in a massive, uninsured SUV fell asleep at the wheel.

My traumatic brain injury and severe concussion got to be too much to do my job as a concierge and so, once again, we sold and gave away most of our belongings, shipped what we could not live without, and relocated to Wisconsin. My son and his family are here in Oshkosh and we are looking at plummeting temperatures and snow right around the corner.

We added another one-hundred-and-fifty tulips to our bulb bed this spring bringing the total to four hundred. This spring, after a long and brutal winter, they are all long and brutal to me, I’ll fill this vase with tulips, daffodils, and iris from my yard. In the summer I’ll walk out to cut flowers from my native garden to showcase in our home. The fall will see my precious vase filled with hydrangea.

Creating a new life has been hard in many ways. I still dislike gardening, but I love using this vase throughout the year and realizing that each season of the year brings something new and delightful.

I don’t know what gave me the courage to buy a vase I could not afford or to move all those times to and from Hawaii. But I am glad to have this reminder of the grace and beauty of Hawaii in my heart and soul.