Updated: Jun 11
This month, Louise has written the contribution for the “Member focus”. I think it will ring many bells with many of you regarding why you came to Ireland/ended up in Limerick! It also shows the steel in the character of women (especially those of us who move around and adjusted to life in many different cultures and areas!), gleaning the best from and contributing what we can to our new (and long-lasting!) friends! Enjoy her story:
Like a number of other members, a handsome Irish man brought me to Ireland!
A long, long time ago, I was a flight attendant with Air Canada and decided to holiday in Trinidad and Barbados with another “stew” for our annual leave.
Peter was then a pilot with Aer Lingus and was there also with a friend of his, on their annual leave. Two pilots meet two flight attendants. Fate plays a trick on me and my life changes forever! Within 48 hours, I announced to my girlfriend that “that is the man I am going to marry”. Peter didn’t have a chance!!!
Upon landing back in Montreal, I went straight up to the Air Canada Personnel Office and there and then resigned on the spot! That was the easy part; the hard part was telling my mother what I had just done! I was so determined to “get my man” that I packed my bags and flew to Copenhagen and stayed with a friend of mine with whom I had trained and spent a whole month there. Peter came to visit a couple of times. Then I decided it was
time to move closer to Dublin so I went to London and worked as a “temp” in different offices all over the city. I hated it, but London was not so far from Dublin and Peter came to visit every week on his days off. After 3 months of that, I felt that “he was coming around to the idea that I might be special…” OK, so it had not been the coup de foudre on his part like it had been for me, but…..
On one of his visits he suggested that I might want to come to Dublin to meet his friends and his family. I was thrilled and this girl was winning….. In 1968, Dublin was a very dirty looking city, dirty grey buildings and rubbish on the streets and, worst of all, this French Canadian city girl could not cope with the Irish accent and barely understood most of what people were saying! But I was “in love” and could still just see the blue of his eyes….(are you sick yet??!!).
Anyway, fast forward to June 1969 and Peter said “OUI” in a wedding service in Montreal. After honeymooning in
Bermuda, my new life as a young bride began in Malahide where Peter (with his mother!!) had bought our house. New estate, new neighbours, new friends. Most of the women had babies or were pregnant and when I was asked after a while did I not want children, I said I did but not yet — and was quite happy to continue taking the contraceptive pill for a while longer. I caused shock and consternation; I did not realise I was doing something
My adjustment to Dublin took a long time and my mother was always terrified I was going to get killed by the IRA!
Years later, in 1985, Peter was headhunted by an aircraft leasing company, GPA, and he accepted. On the other hand, I refused to leave Malahide and move, so Peter rented an apartment in Limerick. But in 1987, the “boss” (not Peter!) absolutely insisted that all his staff and their families live within 30 miles of Shannon airport. At that time, I had started as a mature student in Trinity doing Language Studies and there was no way I was going to leave.
In the end, Louise, son Michael and daughter Christine
joined Peter in Ballina on a windy, stormy Friday, 13
November 1987. For years, I was miserable and more
miserable. And then the GPA debacle! Yep, it was rough at times but designing, planning and planting my garden became an obsession and kept me sane; still is!
I began taking painting lessons and loved that. Those of you who have been here have witnessed my passion for colour and things different. It was a couple of years ago that Mary Rose approached me at the tennis club after a match and invited me to join the IWO. And my life, again, has changed. Meeting and spending time with some of you makes me smile when I get up in the mornings, and I am grateful to you all for the fun we have and the laughter and stories we share!
So, life is not perfect but one has to learn to adapt and accept change. It took me years, but come on world: throw it at me and I will catch and run with it. One thing I am now very interested in is “mindfulness”; anyone else feel the same?
Yours in friendship, and lots of crafting!