Hi, I'm Irene. I am a Bachelor of Science graduate of the University of Hawaii who majored in Fashion Design and Merchandising. My true love was fashion design but the practical side of me said I needed a steady flow of income. I have worked from the age of 15 and have over 35 years of retail experience. I first opened my own fashion boutique. There was a small bridal shop three stores down from me. After six months of being opened, the bridal shop closed. The brides kept coming to my boutique saying that I should get into the bridal business and so ... here we are and I still love it.
My husband, Roy, joined me in the bridal business in 1996 when he could no longer hold a "normal" job. He has had rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years. He is unable to walk very far so he has his chair in the shop where he can see all the brides and his scooter is parked close by. Roy has a really "good eye" for fashion. There are many brides over the years that will tell you that "Roy picked the gown for me". He is an avid PS3 player and loves "Call of Duty". We are now both avid fans of Cityville.
"Bento is a Lhasa Apso from Tibet and a member of our family. The Lhasas are known as the "Lion Dog" of Tibet and they guarded the temple where the High Lama resided. "Bento" is 8 years old. "Bento" goes to the groomers every three weeks. He goes for at least a mile run every day. After his run, he stands in front of the fan to "cool off" and then goes under the dresses to sleep. He likes people but not little ones as they have pulled his fur too often. He loves steak and his chicken jerky. "Bento" is always with us wherever we go. His best trick is doing "bashful".
"First Blessing: Our 5th Wedding Anniversary"
Roy and I were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary with a romantic dinner at John Dominis Restaurant. At this point in time, we were not aware that Roy was allergic to alcohol. I ordered a glass of wine and Roy, who normally does not drink, indulged himself with a margarita. We were enjoying our dinner and chatting away. Roy had taken about 4 sips of his margarita and all of a sudden his eyes rolled back. He went limp and I was shaking him and calling out his name and trying to get him to wake up and come out of it.
The whole incident took approximately 60-90 seconds. After the shaking, Roy woke up and was very calm and said that he was fine. His coloring was good and it was like nothing happened. In that 60-90 seconds when Roy was out, he said he saw this very bright light at the end of this tunnel and was being drawn to it. He said it was a feeling that he never had before…warm, safe, wonderful, no fears…and he thought… so this is what heaven is like. Then suddenly, he heard this voice say, “You Must Go Back to Irene”, and awoke. His first words to me was “Hon, I had the most wonderful experience” and shared this story with me. Ever since this experience, Roy would always talk to me about it and say, “Don’t ever be afraid of dying because it is a beautiful and wonderful place that you will be going to.”
" Recent Blessing: Roy Lives! "
On April 4 thru April 22, 2011, Roy was in the hospital with a really bad case of pneumonia. He was really weak, and the doctor told us that he had two prior minor strokes that we were not aware of. His blood level was low, his heart was very weak and he was having difficulty breathing. Roy has always told me that he does not want to be hooked up to a recessitator. He made sure that he told the doctor this info. After two days and no improvement, they could not stabilize his breathing or heart beat so they could do some tests on him. They explained this to Roy and he agreed to get on the recessitator for a few days.
A few days went to five days and he was not getting better. He told the doctor that he wanted to have the recessitator removed. I was informed that with his weak heart and weak lungs, Roy may not pull through when the tubes are removed. Roy and I both thought that this was the end, She told us to call our family members and friends to come and say their farewell.
On Monday April 16, 2011 at about 1:15pm, they pulled out the tubes and Roy had his eyes closed. About 10 minutes after, he opened his eyes, looked at each of us standing around him and smiled and said, “I’m still alive”.
While Roy was in the hospital, he says that he saw a silver object that resembled the PacMan face on the hospital floor next to his bed. He asked God if he picked this object, would he live. The voice said “Yes you will”. Roy said then I want to have it.
Roy was released on Friday, April 22, 2011 under the Hospice program which is for terminally ill patients (six months or less to live). We set him up at home but Roy kept calling me at work saying that he would rather spend five “happy” days at Princess Brides (he loves to help the brides with their dress selection) than stay at home and die lonely. I needed to keep the Bridal shop open since this is our only means of income so the next best thing was to arrange for Roy to come to the shop. What could I say but that I would figure out a way to get him to the shop…and we did.
The nurse from Hospice comes to visit once a week and Roy has been getting better and stronger each week. Two weeks ago, the nurse said to me that she thinks that Roy will never be able to be off of the oxygen tank…after the nurse left, Roy said, “I am going to be off of it.” Even his recovery time is miraculous…59 days from his entering the hospital on till Tuesday, 5/31.
On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, Roy went to visit our doctor and was so excited because he got the “All Clear” for his lungs and his heart sounds strong. Doctor said that he should be taken off the Hospice program. It’s a miracle.
Today Roy is riding around on his scooter taking Bento for his walks. He’s so happy to be alive that he tells everyone about his “Miracle”. A True Blessing from God!
To all Brides who decide to visit Princess Brides: please do not be offended if you see Roy sitting in his wheel chair or resting in one of the fitting rooms as we need to be together right now in our lives for it to work. We love our Brides and we will continue to take care of you and your bridal needs. Thank you in advance for your support and understanding.