I wrote last week saying I’d love to share some of your stories about how you met the love of your life. What I have always found amazing is that, for many, the meeting of their partner was a moment of chance or courage. To set the ball rolling here’s my story.
I met ‘yer man’ when I was almost a child! I was a student nurse at the time, about to go into my second year. A gang of friends had booked a two week trip to Cyprus and were talking of it endlessly. On a whim, days before they were due to go I agreed to join them, four paying full whack and two of us flights only, which divided between us cut down on the cost. Not a thought was given to our dishonesty, or the fact the apartment was a squash at four people, not to mention six!
Our flight was to be from Dublin, but a week before leaving it was changed to Belfast. As the airport transfer bus left the quays, we were in high spirits. Moments later it stopped. We couldn’t see who had stopped it, but as the doors opened we laughed to each other as we listened to a fine country accent, saying God knows what. The bus driver disembarked and we watched the country speaking blondie, lug two enormous suitcases, which in modern day aviation would cost about €60 to transport, towards the hold on the bus. He then boarded, followed by another tall fella on crutches.
I paid very little attention to either, save to comment, ‘Feckin eejits’ as they had very nearly missed the bus, and their holiday. Little did I know that Mr Crutches and I would go on to share a life and four children together. (We were subsequently to discover that they’d been watching the All Ireland Football Final with no idea where to get the bus. In a panic they were stopping every bus that passed and asking were they the bus to Belfast!)
We didn’t hit it off immediately but over a few days we eyed one another. Eventually he made his way to my apartment and asked me out. I was quite happy to go. It wasn’t exactly a romantic date as Mr Blondie, his brother, came too. I subsequently discovered they had tossed a coin to see who would ask me out!
I suppose you could say the rest is history. We returned to Ireland, he to Cork and I to Dublin. 200 km separated us for a further three years. It was the prehistoric era, a time before phones, snapchat, facebook or skype. His phone calls, from a payphone down the road from where he was staying, were much anticipated.
All should have been wonderful, but…
There may have been another gentleman also on the scene! Don’t judge me, there was nothing too serious between us, but he was, lets just say, ‘interested. I’ll forgive you for thinking that was the problem but it wasn’t. The real difficulty was the fact they had almost identical names. Yes imagine two gentlemen calling the nurses home where I lived, and an elderly lady answering the phone?
“Tric, a gentleman called for you while you were out.”
‘Oh, what was his name?’ I’d ask casually, my heart beating wildly at the thought of Mr Cork ringing.
‘Did he give his surname?’
‘Ok. Are you sure it was O Sullivan, not Sullivan?’
‘Oh dear, you have me there. I’m not so sure.’
“Do you think he might have come from the North or the South?”
That usually sorted out the issue, but for a while I always pretended I’d not got the message he’d phoned, just in case I got the wrong fella!
Despite the years we spent apart in those early days, we managed to hang in there, before leaving to live together in Australia for a while. It’s amazing to think how many moments, hours, days and years are behind us. Who could have known all those years ago, that my sudden, spur of the moment decision to join my friends on holiday would have led to me meeting ‘himself’ and a lifetime of laughter, four children and friendship.
So what is your story? Will you share your first love who you’ve never forgotten, or the story of you and your current partner? Maybe yours is a story of lost or hidden love, or a love that got away or fell apart? If you’d like to participate just use the ‘contact me’ link. I’ll link your blog and social media but if you wish to be anonymous that is not a problem. I’ve received a few already and hope to post them once a week. (I also had hoped to post mine sooner today, but the recovery from a great day, and night, at a wedding took longer than anticipated!)