POSTED: 7:31 p.m. HST, Jan 16, 2012
HILO >> After the death of her husband and father of her three children, Linda de Souza worried she would have a hard time finding love again.
But 33 years ago, she met her "soul mate," and the couple became one of the first in Hawaii to enter into a civil union earlier this month. On New Year's Day, Hawaii became the seventh state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
"In the Kabbalah, it says that when God created everything, he split all the souls in half. We were just lucky to find our other half in this life," de Souza, 66, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. "Regardless of gender."
The Big Island couple was hesitant about being one of the first in the state to have a civil union. "We didn't know how people would react," de Souza said.
But Wilhemina Kamalamalama's battle with bladder cancer, which has spread to her muscles, has showed them the importance of having the same rights that come with marriage.