Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Longest Day of My Life- Day 1

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 was the longest day Audra and I have ever had. It was not because were in a plane 12 hours but that Tuesday was actually 30 hours long for us. We arrived in Kona, HI by exiting the plane right on the runway, down a set of stairs that they wheeled out to the plane.  Flip flops are the only shoes I brought.  I think I am going to like it here:-)

It was a beautiful, sunny, 82 degree day with a very unique terrain that included huge deposits of lava rock and a gradual ascending landscape that began at water edge and ended with a volcano hidden by the clouds. We picked up our rental and made our way to Living Waters church.  I loved the church slogan which said "Exalting Jesus, Enjoying grace".
This is the place where Mark was married to Sarah. A small stone with:

                 Mark Rife
              Aug 25 2011

marked the spot where Mark took his life.  I did not know Sarah but from what I've heard she was a kind, gentle soul and someone recently remarked that many called her their best friend due to her intense love for others and the way she made people feel special. That love came from a passion for Jesus that I believe Mark and her shared. I positioned myself to see what his last view of earth was, and it was a beautiful azure blue ocean beating against the volcano rock.  I hate the fact I am entering his Hawaii life after his death.  The words to this song came to mind.

Life is full of light and shadow
O the joy and O the sorrow
O the sorrow

And yet will He bring
Dark to light
And yet will He bring
Day from night

When shadows fall on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When darkness falls on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When all seems lost
When we're thrown and we're tossed
We'll remember the cost
We're resting in the
Shadow of the cross

Audra and I left Living Waters and grabbed a much needed caffeine fix from Starbucks and headed out of the dry side of the island and began a 2 1/2 hour journey over to the rainy side which was Marks hometown of Hilo. He hasn't visited here much over the last three years because good memories can sometimes bring pain. The terrain was again strange, it felt at times we were in Colorado, Tennessee and Australia. We arrived in Hilo at night and it is always hard to gauge and get my senses while visiting a place for the first time at night. We went immediately to the airport and picked Dale, Jonalyn and Finn up and headed to Pakalana Inn. 

 I had messaged Amy Kaneko  (one of Marks friends, and someone I connected with on FB after Marks death) a few days ago about Marks favorite restaurants and one place she mentioned was Ocean Sushi deli.

Having not experienced sushi before, I selected a safe dish- Bento B which was fantastic. Dale said it was then best and cheapest sushi he ever had. We headed back to the Inn and chatted for awhile and then retired for the evening. We went to bed a little after 10pm which is 4am ET. With windows open, the ocean air filled the room as we slept, anxiously waiting to see what tomorrow holds.

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