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Love Stories of Hawaii

Second Chance Love

Call Me "Frankie"
Dedicated to Moana Surfrider Hotel staff

Submitted by Catherine

I cherish a photograph of Francis Paterson holding a miniature me in his arms. A few decades before this photo was taken, my great-grandfather was widowed. At the age of 72, he married his 68 year-old first-time bride in Honolulu. Who would have known that two little children who met at a picnic would marry so many years later! Following their wedding, the two honeymooned in Waikiki and made several subsequent trips there by ship from Canada. Kate learned to dance hula during the time she spent in Hawaii. When Francis was 96 years of age, he became ill while on vacation in Hawaii. He eventually died after spending two months in a Honolulu hospital with Kate at his bedside.

How I wish I had known these two: Francis and Kate. I have no memory of my great-grandfather because he died when I was only two years old. I have a faded photograph of him that was taken in Hawaii and in it he is standing in a three-piece suit on a vast stretch of sand near the solitary Moana Hotel. I used to closely examine the photo and wonder what exactly it was that called my great-grandfather back to Hawaii over and over.

I no longer stare at my great-grandfather's face in the photograph and ponder his fascination with Hawaii. I feel certain now that it wasn't anything profound, after all. I'm sure it was simply (and magnificently) all about the humid air, the soft breeze on the skin, the deep blue sky that takes its colour from the ocean . . . waves that go on forever . . .the lush green palm trees.

Aloha. Call me Frankie. Hawaii has become my "home away from home", too.


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