Gerard and Beatrice – A Love Story
My brother Gerard has had an incredibly interesting life. His story isn’t mine to tell but what I can say for sure is that his love for his wife Beatrice, and hers for him, transformed his world, and their love story has captivated anyone who has heard it. Gerard – always a cheeky boy – busked at Dandelion Market many years ago, and on a break, saw this glorious blonde woman in St Stephen’s Green (this is from memory so correct me if I’m wrong!). He approached, spoke to her, learned she was on holiday from Germany with a partner, but somehow got her address or phone number (this is a long time ago). I can’t fill in much except I know he bought a motorbike, took his guitar and busked from Dun Laoghaire to Cologne where Beatrice lived. They’ve been married well over 30 years. Being the youngest, all my siblings were older, the two boys in the middle. Speaking to Gerard yesterday brought back so many memories: he was always kind to me and tolerant of my horridness, until one day I left the door open one time too many, and he caught me by the scruff of the neck and shook me. He’d never shown impatience with me before! He is a very funny man; talented musically and in so many other ways, and he and I share a lot of personality traits. He’s a big flirt and very charming when he wants to be, but intractable at times, doesn’t tolerate fools gladly (these things we do share!). However, as you can see from the photo below, I was a convenient ‘photo model’ (note quilted dressing-gown – uugh!) when he wanted to experiment with double exposure…
When he lived in Cologne he worked for Saturn Music, which meant he did a variety of wonderful things: escorting Tina Turner around (mad about her!), singing with Whitesnake during a sound-check, and becoming famous as ‘the man who knows everything’ (a German magazine did an interview with him about this). Gerard and Beatrice love their dogs and have rescued so many over the years, their gentle personalities providing balm for these wounded creatures’ hearts.
In the early days of Bob’s injury, Gerard phoned me almost every morning: so supportive and inspirational. He nicknamed me ‘Taz’ (think about it) and told me I was brilliant and that he loved me. When I got soppy he’d pep-talk me – ‘when one soldier is down, the other has to look out for them’ – and I’d feel stronger and more positive afterwards. Our conversation yesterday lasted at least 80 minutes, and we laughed a lot. I’m fortunate to have