Finding the right person sometimes comes at a chance meeting. I was a young musician who was rehearsing for a show that was contracted to perform for a 5-star hotel in South Korea. It was two weeks before departure and we needed three more female dancers. One of my hula sisters was arriving from a six-month gig in Japan, and her name is Piilani. She was to arrive 10 am in the morning at the Honolulu International Airport. My Hula teacher wanted me to help because I had a truck and Piilani had a lot of luggage. She finally arrived and when I started to load her luggage on my truck I asked if she would be interested in going to Korea. Without hesitation, she said “YES.”
The next day, I introduced Piilani to the show director. She auditioned her and then immediately put her into the line-up for rehearsals. It only took three days for Piilani to learn the show. During rehearsals, I started to see Piilani in a different light. She was cheerful, happy-go-lucky, helpful, friendly, and willing to perform with gusto. We both came from the same hula school, so I didn’t want to tell her how I really felt. We are sister and brothers who share the same spirit for hula and not personal relationships. Two weeks have passed, and it was the day before the cast had to leave for Korea. Kamoiwa Productions invited the entire cast for a going away party at The Hula Hut. We were the first cast to represent Kamoiwa and Hawaii in South Korea.
The cast had a wonderful time drinking and eating at the Hula Hut. After the party, some of us decided to go nightclubbing in Waikiki. Piilani wanted to go out, so I felt responsible for her well-being and went with her. It was fun walking to all the nightclubs, and we were all feeling drunk. The Atlantis Night Club was to be the last stop because it was late, and we needed to get some rest for the long flight to Korea. It was the last song of the night, and Piilani drags me to the dance floor. It was a nice mellow song, and we were hugging each other in the middle of the dance floor. She then looked at me and said, “Do you really see me as your sister?”I answered by kissing her on the lips and we stayed like that until the song finished. This was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
It has been 36 years since that first kiss, and today we are happily married. We have six kids and six grandkids and although my babies are a handful, I am blessed to have such a loving family. I wish that everyone could be as lucky as me to have met the woman of my dreams. Chance meetings can sometimes be scary, but if you give yourself an opportunity to try who knows the happiness of a lifetime could be right in front of you.