It was Christmas in Honolulu for our family in 1976. Mom, dad, Ron and I flew from Seattle to join Bob and Steve both coming from Air Force bases for our holiday together. Arriving in the beautiful tropics of Honolulu, into the winter weather was a special time for us as we had planned for months to be together at The Reef Hotel for Christmas that year. Honolulu wasn't the metropolitan city it is today, even groceries not close by, so mom and dad always brought with us a cooler of foods we would need during our stay. This time it would include lutefisk which no Swedish Christmas would be complete without. My dad brought pickled herring, potato sausage and the Pepperkaker he always made for our Christmas holiday. So many years later, it's a beautiful morning on the Waikiki beach walk as I approach the corner of the long-standing Reef Hotel, one of the first of the early high-rises. I can see that Christmas day in my mind, as I walk closer, my dad and I on the beautiful Waikiki beach. A beautiful day, a wonderful memory. Tears are slowly filling my eyes as the joy of having had my wonderful dad and sorrow of losing him much too early, collide. So many years ago a picture that can still tug on my heart as I reflect on the joy of that Christmas, and the sorrow we didn't know was soon to come. We never would return to Honolulu together with my dad and throughout the years a hole of my understanding of joy and sorrow living together at times can't be reconciled or sometimes even accepted. But today, walking this beautiful beach, I will choose joy for the memories of my loving mom and dad that will always live with the sorrow of their loss. Absent in the body, present with the Lord, forever loving you, mom and dad. With a grateful heart but missing you everyday.