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Love Stories of Hawaii

Long Distance Love

Juliet's Honolulu Sojourn
Dedicated to JGB 11-29-18 to 06-06-02 R.I.P.

Submitted by Anonymous

The year was 1917. In April that year the United States entered World War I. The couple was John and Juliet, recently wed in New York City. John was an entomologist who specialized in wasps and had just received a research grant to study in far-away India. Juliet, one of four spinster sisters whose family ran a private school for girls in New York, was approaching 43 and had not expected to marry. How they happened to meet is lost in family history though Juliet, in love, had to withstand family opposition to John as a suitor, to the marriage itself and, most of all, to the plan to travel from family, home and city to the ends of the earth. What is known is that the couple set sail for India soon after they married, stopping in Hawaii enroute as the romantic highlight of their wedding trip.

Juliet found herself with child after they had been in India for a short while. There were letters back and forth between New York and India, with her sisters determined this baby should come into the world someplace where "modern" medical care could be assured. So when the time approached, in deference to their fears, Juliet sailed for Hawaii, leaving behind her concerned but distracted husband, who was intent on meeting his research obligations. She arrived back in Honolulu in early October 1918 without her beloved John, who missed not just his bride but the birth of his only child. Two weeks after Armistice Day marked the formal end of WWI, on November 29, after a long arduous labor, a daughter was born. She was named Juliet for her mother and her grandmother. In time, the Juliets, mother and child, left Hawaii for New York as the family was far beyond adamant that the young child must not be taken to India to live in such a wild, foreign and exotic place.

That baby Juliet was my mother. The sisters had a visit of several months with their married sister and her new baby. Little Juliet, the only child of the new generation, became dear to her aunts very quickly. When the baby had grown some and was healthy, robust and happy with her aunts, her mother, desperately missing her husband, sailed back to India. Baby Juliet stayed on in New York where she spent her toddler years as an adored much-younger child at the family's school. Two years later, research complete, John (who was as the result of this expedition to have a newly-found wasp named for him) and Juliet sailed back to the United States. On the return voyage, they stopped again in Hawaii, this time for second honeymoon, then continued on home, where they lived in New York and Washington while their daughter, my mother, grew up. Mother always bore the imprint of the exotic and her birth in Honolulu was the stuff of our romantic family legends.


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