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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rash, romantic little brother might have the right idea

By Treena Shapiro

My younger brother Jared has made several impulsive decisions over the years that have left me shaking my head, and his latest one might be the best yet.

I've also made more than my fair share of rash decisions, some good and many bad, but I don't know that I'm going to be able to trump this one, not that I'm complaining and I'm certainly not criticizing. In fact, this big sister is wondering if she can learn something from her little brother, who isn't contemplating the future as much as he's just running headlong into it.

Flying, rather. He's logged some 30 hours in the air and is now in Florida living his dream. Meanwhile I'm still in Hawai'i and happy to discover that I'm still such a sucker for a good love story that I'm basking in Jared's happiness almost two weeks after I dropped him off at the airport. My brother, who hasn't had the easiest life, has somehow grown up to be not only a romantic, but an optimist to boot.

Who can blame him? He's getting one of those rare chances in life for a do-over.

When Jared was a teenager, he fell in love with a girl and he lost a girl. More than a decade went by before they reconnected on Facebook and as far as I can tell, it was just weeks before my brother realized that his first love might be the love of his life. Last month, he flew to Florida to visit her for a few days. He arrived back in Hawai'i on a Wednesday and on Thursday told his family he'd be seeing her again on the Mainland later this month.

I don't doubt he meant it at the time, but he must have changed his mind quickly, because a day later he put his affairs in order and announced that he wasn't going to wait a month. He might have left right then if he hadn't had to pack, but he didn't take long. On the fifth day, he was gone.

It might not seem practical and it certainly seems abrupt, but I can't quite bring myself to think it might be a mistake. It was the perfect time in his life to make a bold move because he didn't have anything to lose by following his heart, and he had a lifetime of love to gain.

If it was a leap of faith, my brother is a true believer. As we headed to the airport, I asked him if he was nervous. He didn't pause a beat before he said no and added, "She's the one I was always supposed to be with."

When she's not working as a journalist, Treena Shapiro is busy with her real job, raising a son and daughter. Check out her blog at www.HonoluluAdvertiser.com/Blogs.