Disabled and in love.
It was never a thing that I intended to do when I first went on line in 1995. There were not so many dedicated platforms for people to meet up and chat.
I recall finding one one night and entered my details. I wasn't retired then but I am now. I had free time most evenings and I promptly forgot about having joining the site.
It all went well and after a few weeks I had about 4 replies. All were nice people but one in particular stood out from all the rest. She too had a disability and sadly she lived on the opposite side of the world.
We used meet up in chat rooms nightly and it became so good that I really looked forward to getting home in the evening and sharing all our stories of our day. This went on for about 6 months and by this stage we had exchanged phone calls every few weeks. It came as no surprise to each of us that we had fallen in love without ever intending to.
I was not in a well paying job then - which was normal in our country when the employee had a disability. That made the prospect of a trip to Australia prohibitive to me. I lived in a rural part of Ireland and the lady in question lived in a remote part of Queensland in Australia. We both knew it was going to be difficult. However, we forgot that fate can sometimes lend a hand.
Following an article on a local paper about internet romance, I had a phone call from Irelands best listened to radio show. I went on air and the presenter done a live link up to Australia. At the end of the interview, the Irish agent for Qantas airways came on and offered me a free return flight to meet Debbie, we were both in shock but nonetheless delighted.
I went to Australia and we met up and it was as good in person as it was on the internet. The real problem was that we both had problems that needed our attention nearer to our own homes. This was going to set us aback a bit but we did meet up again the next year.
Things had changed slightly as other problems completely overwhelmed us and we realized that being together physically was going to be a challenge that we could never win. Australia is a hard place for someone with a disability, living in Ireland would be an option but our climate would not be good for Debbies health.
After all our happiness and good times together, we never could beat the system. I'm now at pensionable age but I have had my optimism kicked from one end of the room to the other, If I had to do it all again, I would. Only this time maybe someone from nearer home.
Expense should not matter in affairs of the heart. Please take the advice of someone who found on line love and could not take it further.
Immigration and red tape is an awful thing. I know we live in a different world now where terrorism dictates that security is strong but back in 1997 -98, it should have been simpler for us ...... but not in Australia.