On March 22, 1985, Trish and I were married. Yep, 30 years have spun by in the blink of an eye. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I have been so lucky.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog – and shame on you if you’re not – then you’ll know how much I love Trish. We’ve had some amazing times, some sad ones too, but there hasn’t been a day that I have questioned why I married her. You can’t say much more than that.
I thought our marriage was on the rocks the morning after our wedding when I left our air tickets behind in the hotel in Cork – this as we were about to arrive at Dublin airport to catch a flight to Tenerife. It wouldn’t be the last time I’d forget something, or let her down, but she always forgave me. She has been my rock in those 30 years.
If there’s a magic formula to a successful relationship I don’t know what it is. I’m a lazy sod at times but she knows what buttons to press to get me to do things. She believed in me when I thought no girl would. She is a fantastic mother, a beautiful wife, incredibly understanding and a great listener. I have never been bored in her company, and while we do have arguments every now and then, I can’t remember any that have been serious. She has always encouraged me to believe in myself, especially in those early years after we first met and I lacked confidence and self belief.
When our son Alan was born with spina bifida she coped incredibly well. She was the one who chased the consultant and medical staff for updates on his condition; she had to cope with a pregnancy during those harrowing 22 months and with Alan’s final few months while also looking after Daire. I don’t know how she did it.
You could list my skills on the back of a postage stamp, but Trish still puts up with me. I’m useless at painting, still can’t change a plug, and I’ve never changed the tyre after a puncture. My DIY talents are so well hidden that I’m still searching for them. Still, she loves me. If I knew what my secret charm is I could sell it for a fortune, but I must have something goi for me.
Now that I have left the Irish Examiner we see a lot more of each other and that’s perhaps the best thing about life now. No longer does she have to worry about me being off on a Bank Holiday Monday, or working nights. I’m here 24/7 now. Let’s hope we manage at least another 30 years together.
Tom Hickey is a former chief sub editor at the Irish Examiner. He was burned as a child and blogs about his life and facial disfigurement at hickeysworld.com Subjects he tackles include everything from travel to his family, and coping with facial disfigurement.