personal

To you, ZV

To the boat that is the answer to my dreams

To the woman she is named after

To my mother who not only gave me life but gave up hers for mine

To the person that lifted me up for 26 years

To the one that caught me when I fell

I’m bringing you with me one way or another because this is not my, but our story to tell


Some of you might be wondering what SVZV stands for. I only use her initials purposely, because to introduce her name without telling the story behind it wouldn’t feel right. SVZV stands for Sailing Vessel Zayna Vnnette. Zayna Vnnette is my mother’s name.

For those who have lost a loved one, you know that there is nothing I can say to adequately describe the pain. The all consuming darkness that eats you from the inside out and rears its ugly head every time there’s silence. The physical discomfort of every heart beat. The dreams where you can still feel their embrace. The pit in your throat blocking your breath every time you see something beautiful, hear something funny, or have a story to tell and the one person you want to share it with is gone. Forever.

Dying of cancer is a painful and ugly ordeal. My mother fought every day to stay on this Earth until she knew her family would be ok. She not only waited until I had officially moved in with my family, she waited until my two aunts and grandmother were on island to support us. More than that, I think my mom had a vision for my life that I wasn’t able to see. She knew by bringing me to Maui I would be supported and loved in a way I never imagined. She knew that the opportunities and adventures that waited for me here would give me the strength to not only survive, but thrive. She believed in the community she loved to love us when she no longer could.

I remember sitting in my moms hospital room after they shut off life support. Only my grandma and aunt stayed. She had been gone for about 10 minutes when my aunt asked me if I wanted to leave. Shakily, I was able to whisper, “ Not yet. This is the last time I’m going to see her.” I was right in the respect that I would never and will never see her physical form again. But I could not have been more wrong in the grand scheme of life. I see my mother more now than I ever did when she was alive. I see her in every sunset, every dolphin, every picture of me, my sister, or my step father I see. She is more a part of me now than I ever recognized when she was with me. I feel her warmth and love radiating from inside of me. Every smile, she is smiling with me. Every tear, she cries too. Because what am I but the DNA of the one who created me? I carry her with me. Always.

Had I not been at Longs Drugstore the day after I moved to Maui, picking up medicine for my mom.. I wouldn’t have met Austin. Had I not met Austin and fallen in love, we wouldn’t have this boat. Furthermore, had my mom not created me, I wouldn’t have this life.

I never made enough money to take my mom on her dream trip to Paris before she died, so it’s my honor to take her around the world with me now.

personal

Climbing

Climbing higher and higher,
the weight of the world feeling lighter and lighter

With each pull I am hoisted up With each inch my heart skips a beat
With each missed beat I feel relief because nothing is as bad as my mind makes it seem

Taking in the stunning view, I held my breath Conquering my fears one moment of discomfort at a time

With each pull I feel stronger and stronger, the sickening pit of nerves in my stomach staying calm for longer and longer

When I got to the top the world stood still but my shaking hands still had a task to fulfill
I was up there for a reason but I couldn’t remember what
Overcome with emotions swirling in my gut

In the end I remembered to make sure the rigging looked good
And even though it was a fight to get me up there only memories of the beauty withstood