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
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!