And with all the highs came some of the lows. One of my very first stories to cover was a murder/ suicide of a father and his two young children in New Jersey. I had to go to the home where the murder took place and interview the neighbors.
And that wasn’t the worst part. A few days later I had to go to the funeral of the children and report from the scene.
Although my article was front page of the Irish Voiceand even made the front of the Irish Independent in Ireland, it was one of the toughest pieces I’ll ever have to write.
It was also emotionally draining to see the promise of immigration reform that could have legalized thousands of undocumented Irish falling to smithereens.
After a year working with the Irish Voice I was also given the job as editor of the former Home and Away,and today I still remain (and will do so as I return to Ireland) as the editor of our newest paper Irish Central Community News.
It’s with the fondest memories I remember the first time my now husband kissed me in the Rambling House on Christmas Eve and the birth of our two children. It makes me extremely sad to know neither Colum nor Sadie will remember their time in New York because of their age. Colum’s first day at day care was also a big one.
Now what other country in the world can make a wife, mother, journalist and editor out of me in such a small space of time?
But now it’s time to say goodbye and thank you. Thank you to those of you who gave me a job when I needed one, and especially to Niall O’Dowd and Debbie McGoldrick of the Irish Voice for not only seeing potential in me but also treating me as a member of your extended family.
Thank you to my good friend Pete Coyle for all your words of wisdom through the years – if it wasn’t for your encouragement I may have never pursued my dreams.
To Marion for your years of unconditional friendship and laughs and the love you have shown Colum and Sadie – you I will miss like a sister.
Thank you to Tara and Aidan for feeding us, being wonderful friends and flying to Ireland for our wedding – your children are like our niece and nephew.
Thank you to Geraldine Gleeson for becoming an “aunt” to our kids over the past year. I’ll miss the gossip sessions.
Thanks so Charlotte, Val, Sandra, Angela, Molly and Barbara, Amy (my little sister), Mary Bop, Orla, Cahir, Molly, Kate, Shelly, Gen, Naela, Kerman, Nuala and Bernice for being wonderful friends who I could count on for anything over the years.
Thank you to Donnchadh for giving John a job a long time ago and encouraging him to do so well.
Thank you Becky and Damien for putting up with John and I on 234th Street for all those years. The memories are etched in my brain forever.
And a big thank you to New York for taking me in, treating me like one of your own and now sending me home skilled, educated and fulfilled. Words can’t describe how much I will miss you, but we will meet again someday!
In the meantime, I’ll be continuing this column from Ireland, letting you all know how we settle in to our new lives, so stay tuned!