Writer: Chalene Braun
Published: December 2, 2017
Yesterday was bittersweet. After spending the night before at Disney's Aulani Resort, a place Kassie was begging us to visit in 2018, we prepared to begin an altogether different day in Hawaii.
Eric was anticipating exploring The Great Wall of China and beyond with the love of his life. Dave was set to greet the MV World Odyssey that was our Kassie's amazing home for a semester at sea in the port of Kobe, Japan, appreciate her beauty and sea-worthiness and spend five days exploring the countryside together. Instead, we welcomed the ship and Kassie's belongings into the the port of Honolulu.
As the MV World Odyssey came around the bend where she would berth at Pier's 10 and 11, it was impossible not to reflect on not only the loss of our beautiful daughter, but also on her loss of so many missed opportunities to serve in country and explore the countryside of Viet Nam, China, and Japan. It still doesn't seem real that something so beyond eagerly anticipated by us all ended abruptly, with her dad, boyfriend and I left to collect her voyage belongings in SAS's last port of call.
As we waited for the ship to clear customs and immigration, we enjoyed a view of the beautiful ship across the plaza while having breakfast and a special coffee that was rippled with a photo of Kassie. Finally, the ship was ready for us to board.
We had a full day exploring the ship, going though Stateroom 5066 full of Kassie's belongings, and meeting many of her friends. We wish to thank Kassie's lovely roommate, Halie Lawrence, who packed up her luggage, and everyone who took the time to share their stories of Kassie with us; it made our day bearable.
We leave Hawaii today knowing The Semester at Sea Fall 2017: A Voyage Around The World will soon come to an end on December 23rd in San Diego, USA. We also know Kassie will forever be a part of the SAS family and an alumna of #SASfa17. Together with Kassie, we wish her fellow shipmates a special Bon Voyage back home to their families and a very Merry Christmas. ♥️