Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ten Years

Ten years ago today something happened that tipped my world upside down.

Something that was to open my eyes, my experiences, my heart, my love.

I came to America for the first time, arriving to join other family members for my cousin's wedding. I got to experience the closest thing to tropical paradise I'd ever seen when we stayed in the islands of Sanibel and Captiva in the Gulf of Mexico, where the wedding took place.

I sat on white shell beaches, watching sandpipers dot in and out of the foamy surf. I marveled at pelicans diving for their lunch a little way offshore. I swam in warm green waters and felt tiny fish brush against my ankles. I felt like I was on a travel show and 'Wildlife on One', all rolled into one.

Among white egrets, and lush hibiscus, the Bride and Groom finished all those last minute preparations. We gathered in the small white church and watched them celebrate their love, and join their lives. Little did I know sitting there in that church, that two days later I was to meet my own future husband, the day before I flew back to Ireland.

Who would have believed that this Irish guy whom my cousins counted among their very good friends, who wasn't at the wedding due to previous boozing with his buddies Gaelic Football commitments in San Fransisco, would come into my life and change it, completely?

My practical, rational side dictated that the odds of ever seeing this man again, having met him the night before my vacation ended were negligible. My heart and my gut however told me something different. As I looked out of the airplane window into the dark, watching the grid-like pattern of the street lit city of Miami grow smaller as the plane climbed, I knew something was different and I wondered had I just met someone important. Pipe dreams? Delusions? Maybe - but I am living proof that some dreams can come true.

Through our unconventional, separated by 4000 miles and the Atlantic Ocean, courtship, we had many phone calls when we chatted about all the usual getting-to-know-you stuff. We engaged in frivolous chatter, and serious discussions where we'd be the ones to set the world to rights. I had many more trips to Florida to visit him, and he came home to Ireland several times, too. Many times I'd ask myself 'where is this going?' and once we did try to end it, both agreeing that living a half a world apart wasn't exactly conducive to a thriving relationship. I did at one point try make my peace with the fact that we were not 'meant to be' and however much that hurt I stopped calling him. He continued to keep in touch with me however, and so we hovered for a while in a limbo of not moving forward and not breaking off completely either. Then he blessedly survived a very serious accident, and his attitude to 'us' took on a more serious and determined slant. Knowing that he could have died in that accident also made me realise that deep down where I didn't even want to admit it to myself, I really, really loved this guy. He's the first and only man I've ever loved, and will be the only man I will ever love.

Five years after meeting him, I moved to Florida to be with him - five months after our engagement. We got engaged while I was on vacation here, and I flew back to Ireland alone, two days later - I like to keep running themes in my life like that.

We are so different in lots of ways. I am college educated, my husband is more of a graduate of the school of life kind of guy. He is an extrovert, and I am more reserved. He is a risk taker, I am not! (He's a good housekeeper, I am not, but he's taught me a lot and I'm getting better ha ha!). We are the same in many ways. Our values and family upbringings are very similar. Our morals, dedication to our families and attitudes to our own little family and parenting are virtually the same.

Here we are 10 years, a transatlantic courtship, a wedding and two babies later. I still miss home, but I can truthfully say that I am very happy. I am up to my ears in Fisher Price, afraid of the outcome of my son's medical tests, and today dealing with our first kiddie puking experience if you can believe it since Miss E was born nearly 3 years ago, but I am happy.

Here's to meeting you 10 years ago D, I love you and am so glad you happened to me!

19 comments:

my minivan is faster than yours said...

This is such a beautiful post. Does he read your blog?

BTW I've only been overseas once, and it was to Ireland. Talk about beautiful!

Kimberly said...

You write so beautifully!

pinks & blues girls said...

Wow, if that's not a story of "meant to be" I don't know what is! What a special day for you two!

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

~JJ! said...

Happy 10 years Annie..

That is a wonderful tribute to your hubs.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I've always wondered how you came to live in the US. What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

I definitely believe that some things are meant to be.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Annie, we are from different countries and cultures and generations, but we are twins. I used to live in Fort Myers. I know the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva (the best in the world) very well. I met my husband when he was on the last day of a business trip to NYC before he flew back to England. I got engaged in England (we were a bit older and hurried things along a lot more), then flew back alone to NYC. Happy 10 years to you both and may you have many, many more.

Flamenco Mom said...

What a beautiful post, Annie! Congratulations on ten years, and may you and your hubby be blessed with a lifetime of wonderful memories.

Jessica said...

Congratulations on 10 years and may you be blessed with many more. I'm sorry about the first-puking incident...but at least you made it 3 yeara without one! Good luck with the test results for your son--I will keep you in my thoughts.

laurie said...

what a terrific love story.

Bananas said...

CONGRATULATIONS on making it 10 years! That's no small feat in this day & age! Love reading your story... very romantic!

andi said...

What a sweet story. I'm so glad you found each other.

Iota said...

I enjoyed this story. I assumed it was all fact, and then I got to the bit where you said it was your first kiddie puking incident, and then I decided - definitely fiction. A three year and a how many month old? And no puking yet?

Candace said...

beautiful

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Wonderful post!
Happy 10 years!!

lady macleod said...

*sigh* I do so love happy endings. Congratulations my Irish beauty!

Many, many, more years of happiness for you as the road rises up to meet you, the wind is always at your back, the sun warm upon your face, the rains soft upon your fields until you and I meet may God hold you and your family in the palm of His hand.

Pinks & Blues said...

That is absolutely beautiful. What a great love story. Here we are blogging to each other and we don't even know the beauty of how we all come to be mothers, through that fat meeting of our husbands. Thanks for sharing, it was so nice to read. I loved it!!
- Audrey

Oh, The Joys said...

What a great story! Happy belated anniversary!!

Brillig said...

I can't believe I missed this! What an amazing post. Beautiful!!

shauna said...

What a beautiful post. And congratulations to both of you!