Well when I started this blog the intention was to have it tell the story of some of my life in Ireland, how I came to the USA, the continuing story of Leanne and I, the cultural differences I have encountered and really anything else that just popped into my head. As the blog evolves some things will change and as with my life that’s a good thing. Today though I am going to talk about my family, not only my own direct family but the family here who have been so kind since my arrival.

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My Family, including my sister and her husband and 2 children, my brother, my Mam, Leanne and I. Left to Right :John (Brother), Billy, Leanne, Mam, Sister (Anna) Paul (Sister's Husband) Sean and Hannah (Sister's Children in Front)

Above is a picture of my family taken when Leanne was over to visit Ireland in July 2015. We managed to get nearly everyone together so we definitely had to get a photo. Missing from the photo is my son Robert, my Dad and my brothers wife, Jane. We are a relatively close family but we are all also quite stubborn and independent. Like all families we disagree but we know we only have to pick up the phone and call if we need help, even if we are to stubborn to call at times. I do miss my family and it probably was one of the hardest things to do was say goodbye to my Mam and Dad.

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My Mam and Robert just before I left a Ireland

My Dad is in a care home since late 2014 with Alzhemiers and it’s very hard on my Mam. For 6 weeks before I left I lived with my Mam and it was nice to be able to share that time with her. She is doing great but she does miss her husband and partner and it can be difficult at times. They have both supported me through the difficult times I encountered during the 2000’s and my Mam supported my choice to move to the States. This support was very important because we are both fully aware that one of these days I will be saying goodbye to fly back to the USA and it could be the last time we see each other. That is hard but my Mam told me to go and be happy and love the girl I was to marry always. She seen how happy Leanne made me so she was right behind our decision to marry and be together.

Moving stateside and getting married meant I would have new in laws. I had spoken to Bob and Terri (Leanne’s parents) on the phone and we kept in touch via email, and we still do as they live up in Michigan. My very first conversation with my future parents in law was a little over a year ago and it was to ask their permission to marry Leanne. It obviously went well as 9 months later we got married. That being the first call kind of set a trend, as my first time to meet Bob and Terri was on the Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving in Atlanta airport when I had to collect them on my own as Leanne had to work. I then had to drive from the airport back to our house in Friday traffic which in Atlanta is crazy and I was only driving 2 weeks in the USA. Again it must have went well as the wedding wasn’t called off and I am still here.

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Bob and Terri with us at our rehearsal for the wedding

Leanne’s parents, just like my own, have been fantastic all the way through this process. From that first phone call a year ago to today they have taken me to their hearts and I am eternally grateful for everything they have done for me and us. Of course getting married extends your family as I now have a sister in law. I met Melissa just before the wedding last December and even though we had exchanged an email or 2 you never know how it’s going to go when you meet the sister of your bride to be. I need not have worried as Melissa also has been fantastic, and in my speech at the wedding I mentioned I had a new sister, and I echo that today. The in law bit can be removed as not only have Bob and Terri become family, so has Melissa.

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My newly extended family, Bob and Terri, Billy and Leanne, and Melissa with her fiancée Mickey

I haven’t mentioned my son a lot in this post because he deserves a post all of his own and I hope to write that in the coming days. Family means a lot to me, and I probably don’t tell them often enough, but they are my family and I love every one of them. I look forward to seeing my Irish family when we return there in December and to seeing my new American family when we visit Michigan in July with Robert.

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