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Hawaii, the Home of our Hearts
Dedicated to Brandon Donnelson
Submitted by Angela
I grew up in Hawaii, on the Waianae coast. I went to the Seattle area for college. In my first year of college, I had a relationship I would have preferred to forget. On the flight home for the summer, I decided I wasn't going to date anyone for a long time.
My father is a pastor of a small church. On the way home from the airport, he needed to stop at the church office to check on some things. I waited in the car, because I was tired from the flight. I heard a very handsome sounding laugh come from a truck parked nearby. I thought, that guy sounds fun and cute, but I had sworn off dating, so I didn't go meet him. But the sound of his laugh lingered in my mind, and mingled with the humidly intoxicating and romantic hawaiian air. Soon I was considering the thought of dating again.
It turns out, the guy with the handsome laugh was a friend of our youth pastor. Both of us had been recruited to chaperone a youth group overnight lock-in at the church. I got to meet the man with the mysterious laugh at the birthday of a mutual friend. His name was Brandon, and he was from the Seattle area, and was working in Hawaii for a while. What a coincidence! I thought, "hmm, i could actually marry this guy." I wasn't dating, but wouldn't a summer romance in Hawaii be fun?
At the youth group lock in, we took all the youth to pizza hut, and the kids could see there was a certain attraction between Brandon and I. One of the girls told us we should go on a date. So we said, "why not!" The spell of Hawaii had been cast!
Our first date was a trip to Waikiki to have lunch at Denny's and see Jurassic Park 2 (which we didn't pay much attention to). On that day, we walked like newlyweds along the streets of Waikiki. A week later we were talking about marriage. One year later, we were married in Waianae in the 100 year old Waianae Protestant Church, which is made of Koa wood and smells like beautiful old memories. My dad performed the ceremony, and my grandpa walked me down the aisle. I guess swearing off dating sometimes brings your true love, especially if you are in romantic Hawaii!
Not long after, Brandon and I had our first child. She was born in Honolulu. Jobs became scarce, and we had to move to Washington. We have since added 2 more children, and are expecting our fourth. My parents still live in Hawaii, but we rarely get there because of the cost of airfare. A trip back to the land of our dreams would be a fairy tale come true!