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Love Stories of Hawaii

Second Chance Love

Aloha Nui Loa
Dedicated to Dana Gibson

Submitted by Mary

The year is 1985 and I find myself sitting at a rodeo in "Upcountry" Makawao, Maui. The paniolos (hawaiian cowboys)are everywhere and there is one in particular who is sitting atop a bull-fiercly concentrating as he is waiting to come out of the shoot. The call is made and he and the bull are off...it is a rough ride but this Hawaiin Paniolo is steady and sure. The bull bucks furiously and the paniolo is is fighting to maintain his seat on this mighty animal. The whistle blows and the back-up teams runs out and assists the rider off the the ground...where he had uncerimoniously launched himself to be clear of the bull. It is over ...he is the undisputed champion...and he was "my paniolo".

On the way home, Dana stops...gets out of his green ElCamino, hops a fence and grabs two cocktail pineapples and pressents them to me....he says..."this is for my 'Queen' of the Paniolos". It was the sweetest gesture that has ever been made to me, even throughout the years ...noone has ever topped it.

We were together for several years...Dana began having nightmares and flashbacks of his time in Vietnam. He became inconsolable. His mood swings and anger were more than I could bare. It was horrible. I eventually moved back to the mainland (where I am today)to the cold and polluted state of Wisconsin. Dana was later diagnosed with PTSD and began to get help and support to find a way to deal with his past.

Now 15 years later we have reunited and I have never known such peace, joy and love. We have both beem through alot and have had the opportunity to grow up and out. The difference in culture and minute personal differences now are things to be celebrated, not fought over. We have been making plans for my to move back to Maui, but in the meantime I am struggling to find the funds for periodic visits. I miss him...and I miss the fresh - healing water and winds of Maui.I would love to be able to see him for Thanksgiving and help him with the festivities. He is the primary care giver of his elderly mother and I know that he could use my help.

I always bring a particular memory to mind before I go to sleep each night that we are apart and that is a picture of Dana and I playing in the soothing blue waters of Maui...as we both look to shore we laugh as we watch one of his three dogs chase the sand crabs up and down the beach. This is true aloha.


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