Saturday, March 25, 2017

Maura Donovan and her First Year

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By Maura Donovan, from Sheila Connolly's County Cork Mysteries
It’s been a year since I came to Ireland, and I can’t believe how much my life has changed. When I got here, it was right after my grandmother had died. She was the only family I ever knew, and she was a really good person. She always helped anyone who asked, and that included a lot of people who had just come from Ireland to Boston and were kind of lost. She worked hard all her life, and she raised me right. I wish I’d had more time with her, but at least I knew she loved me.

She wanted me to come to Ireland and say her goodbyes—she’d never come back, after her husband died and left her with a son to support. So I did it to please her, when she was gone. It was only after I got here that I found out she’d made all sorts of plans for me, and told people to look out for me.

In the beginning I planned to talk to a few people who had known her and then go back to Boston. That was before I found out that I owned a pub. Wow, was I not ready to run anything! Suddenly I had a business to manage, and employees, and taxes to pay, and I was clueless about all of it. But people helped me, and here I am, a year later. (And the pub hasn’t gone broke yet!)

The village of Leap in West Cork

I must have been a real pain in the butt when I showed up. I grew up in a kind of rough part of Boston, and I didn’t trust anybody, and definitely not people who offered me help. I couldn’t figure out their angle. It took me a while to learn that was how things worked in Ireland. People look out for each other, even if they aren’t related. Believe me, that takes getting used to.



But I think it’s made me a better person. Now I feel like I can reach out and help people too—kind of paying back, or maybe I mean paying forward. I have friends, and people I can ask when I need help. What I started out thinking was silly and old-fashioned I see now as a lot stronger and more important than what I left behind in Boston.

If you can’t tell, I’m staying right here. It’s home now.

Have you ever made a big move that you didn’t expect? How did that work out?

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4 comments:

  1. Sheila, I think this might be my favorite series. As for the move, I lost my teaching job in Kentucky in 1980 due to decrease in students. I was devastated! My self-esteem took a nose dive. We moved to Michigan where we had a "camp" in the north woods, I subbed until I got a full time job, and taught up here for 30 years. Best thing that ever happened to me. (Self-esteem is just fine now!)

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    1. Good for you! I'm taking the old saying a step farther: when life hands you lemons, open a lemonade stand, go corporate, and create a new and healthy product that will be sold nationally. Why not dream big? And never give up.

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  2. This sounds like a wonderful series, I had better find this book.
    I was forced to start my life over at the age of 50. I moved to a city I had never seen, I had to learn to drive and get a license, find a job after not working for 25 years and generally build a life. I did get a license, I bought my first car with a credit card, I had lots of jobs, and then I started finding jobs I liked. Eventually, I got the best job in the world and enjoyed that until my health failed me.
    For me all this was a huge learning experience. I have learned that I am capable. I have learned that I could learn just about anything. And I have learned that just because your life is not what you planned and expected it to be, it is still your life and you darn well better start living it.

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  3. Congratulations for toughing it out and learning to trust and believe in yourself. It takes a strong person. That's one reason I wanted to write about Maura--she's still learning how much she can do.

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