New York is, always has been, and always will be my home. I love where I’m from and you can ask anybody who knows me, I’m certainly very proud of being from New York. That is where my family and friends for many years are and being away from them is literally the hardest part about living abroad.
However, coming to Ireland gave me a new sense of what “home” means. Last December, when Task Force Awesome (my brother, Big Mikey, and Mark) came to Ireland to visit, we all went out to Oldcastle, County Meath to visit Big Mikey’s cousins. He met them a few times and had only been to Ireland to visit them one time before. That night, when we showed up at his cousins pub, all of his cousins were saying to him “Welcome home!” I remember Mike saying how much it meant to him.
-Big Mikey and his cousin, Paul, who owned the pub
I later experienced this great welcoming a few weeks later when I returned to Ireland after going back to the States for Christmas. I remember Gillian Coughlan giving me a big hug and saying “Welcome home!” That really meant a lot to me and is a true testament to the friendly, welcoming nature of the people of Ireland.
Moreover, when I found out that I would be returning to Ireland before moving to France, I started receiving messages from people in Ireland about coming “home.”
And then when I got back to Ireland.
Gotta love the use of the word “schmuck” from some real friends as well.
So I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Ireland before moving to Toulouse. My week in Ireland was awesome as I had the chance to coach a bunch of the kids and see a lot of friends, teammates, and parents. I was able to catch up with so many people over the course of the week – which pretty much meant going out a lot. It was funny, however, to hear people continuously say that their reason for going out was because “Tim was home.” I went to Chris’ house for dinner on Sunday and all his parents were saying was how Chris was going out every night “because Tim was home.” Even Derek, one of my teammates, who had permission from his wife to come out a few nights would say that he had to go out because “Tim was home” to which his wife finally exclaimed “would Tim just leave already!”
Anyways, it makes me feel great when I am told “welcome home” in Ireland. The fact that so many people there have opened their homes and their families to me and consider Ireland my home is something that I genuinely appreciate and never forget. I’ll forever be grateful for the friends and family I have in Ireland.