If you could, who would you choose to spend five minutes with?

I saw this picture first on Aoibheanns Pink Tie facebook page . A fabulous charity helping families of children with cancer.  I originally saw it a few weeks ago, but the question it asks has stayed with me.
Who would I like to sit with?

Would I chose a famous figure from the past? Someone I really admired such as Nelson Mandela or Helen Keller? Or what about Jesus? That would surely answer a few questions of mine. If He turned up I’d know I’d better go visit a church!

To be given such an opportunity would be an honour, but amazing as it would be to spend time with these people, I would trade an hour with them for just five minutes with my Dad.Aoibheanns pink tie photo

In that five minutes I would want to sit with him and look out over the mountains of Allihies. As we would sit together, I would hold his hand and rest my head on his shoulder. Such a simple gesture, but how I would wish to experience it one more time.

As we would sit there I could speak to him of his four grandchildren whom he never got to meet, and of the man who he had been introduced to briefly, many years ago. I would assure him, my choice had been a good one, and  life had brought me, all he could have wished for.

As the moments would tick by bringing our goodbye ever closer, I would wish that we would sit in silence, no words to interrupt our time. Snuggling close, I would breathe my Dad in and try to fill every sinew of my body with all that he is. Looking into his eyes I would once more see his love for me, and I’d remember his face, wrinkled with smiles. Holding his hands in mine I would  feel the rough skin of a man who loved to build. The hands of  a gifted carpenter.

With just moments of time left together, we would stand up. Turning to each other, my Dad would hold out his arms for me, just as he did when I was only a child.  Walking into his arms we would hold each other close, very close. Squeezing tight until it was hard to breathe.

As our time runs out my Dad would gently place one last kiss on my forehead. Wiping my tears, I would whisper a final “Goodbye”.

Something I didn’t get to do twenty seven years ago.

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48 thoughts on “If you could, who would you choose to spend five minutes with?

    1. Yes in the past few weeks I couldn’t get this post out of my head. You should write a blog on her, or…. write her a letter in my series of letters (shameless plug!). I think it is amazing the impact some have on our lives. My Dad died in his early fifties of Motor Neurone Disease. I miss him still.

      1. LOL! You’re already going to use one of my letters – are you sure you’d like another? 😉 My grandmother died after years of suffering silently (and then not so silently) from a disease that very few people have, let alone understand. She died eight years ago, but I miss her more, not less, each day.

  1. Tric, this was beautiful. You had me in tears. What a blessing it would be to have one more moment. One moment to breathe someone in, to feel their embrace and to finally say goodbye.

    1. Thank you. I thought it was interesting as I wrote, to realise, I did not want him back to tell him about all he had missed. I wanted him back so I could just hold him, hug him and be with him. And eventually to say a proper goodbye as we never got to do that.

    1. Seven a great age of childhood, still so very innocent but growing up.
      Imagine all these years later and you feel like that even though you were so young when you lost her.

    1. It’s nice to imagine this could happen, especially as you were so young. I enjoyed writing this as it made me really think what it would be like to see my Dad again.

  2. Reblogged this on Here Be Dragons and commented:
    I’m sure we’ve all seen this one; the lovely scene with the bench and a question asking who you’d most want to spend an hour with, right here, on this bench.

    For me, it was quick and so easy – my parents.
    For my mom, we lost her so suddenly. I never had a chance to say good bye. And I’d like to know how we did after she left – how well did my siblings and I do, trying to fill a bit of her role as,caregiver to our dad. I’d want her to know I’m stressed and too busy and worry about my kids but think I’m doing okay.

    With dad, we did have a chance to talk. We knew his time was limited and we did our best to talk things through. But, in the end, I had to sign that paper in the hospital that said yes, stop life saving measures and begin hospice care. I signed for the surgery that made him worse, not better and I signed to let him die. Did I do that right? I’d really love to hear from hi that it was all ok. And he is with mom and he’ll be there for me.

    What about you?

    1. I am so sorry I missed your comment.I can’t understand how.
      I think your mom would be so proud of you all, but I would love you to have a moment with your Dad to answer all your questions.
      My Dad died a long and miserable death from motor neurone disease. We could do little to ease his suffering.
      I’m sure you Dad knew you did all you could with his very best interests at heart. That is all any of us can do.
      Once again, I’m so very sorry to have missed your comment and reblog. Thank you so very much.

      1. Thank you! And you’re right – we do our best. I guess it’s a case of wanting approval or a good job, kid, from the very folks who have provided it my whole life.

  3. Tric, stop making me cry in my coffee, doll. Without hesitation, my grandparents. All four of them. Grandma will bring a basket with barmcakes and Vimto, I’d show my GrandPop that we still treasure his collection of Irish stamps, Granddad would teach me fireman carries, and Aunty Laura (my grandmother who always refused to be called “grand” anything) would laugh and smoke at the end of the bench. Happy days, happy memories.

  4. Oh Tric, you have me crying into my coffee too. Your daddy sounds so lovely. I’d love to have met my grandmother – my mum’s mother. She died when mum was only a few weeks old and then my mum was adopted. I know very little about her. She left behind 4 siblings, my aunts and uncles. I know them but wish we could have been closer.

    1. Oh my goodness that’s tough. Did she know she was dying? How hard if she did. What a gang to leave behind. Isn’t it amazing how many of us have pasts no one could imagine.

      1. She died from peritonitis when my mum was 2 weeks old, a complication from pregnancy. My mum got peritonitis after a hysterectomy when I was a teenager – that was a bit scary. Feel sorry for my mum. She doesn’t like Christmas as that’s when her mum died. At least she has always known her siblings. Her father sent her birthday cards every year when she was a child. My aunt stopped going to school (she was 10) at the time to raise her younger brother who was only 4 and to do all the housework etc. They got not help or assistance, nobody batted an eyelid. They were tough times.

  5. Oh I have thought this out ..
    First I was sure it would be my grandmother, I loved her so much and we were so very close. But no I was with her day and night for her last week, which was such a special time in our lives and she was happy to die.
    Next would have to be my grandfather ( her husband ) he was such a quite man. You could sit with him and listen to his stories or in silence and be content. But no we had our time.
    My mother in law was another possibility, we had a great relationship! ( some will laugh at the thought! ) but there was a respect we had for one another that was what was special and made us the friends we became.

    No the one I would ask for is my God child who went away far too soon…
    We didn’t have enought time …
    In those five minutes our date would be set..
    I would arrive with a picnic basket of his favourite food…
    He would arrive all excited to tell me all his news… How he had found his grandparents and they were all great and delighted to have him there.
    He would be so excited about all the sports he could play and had developed some new ones like Sking! He had lots of new friends some he had meet in Hospital.
    He would explain that where he was now was special…And God had a plan for him, which was why he had to go. … (This I do not know the answer too)
    He would tell me how he missed being at home, but was always near and watching over us…
    That He enjoyed listening to the stories we tell of his time with us.
    He would say “Every day I send love and kisses to all who loved me! ”

    Then he would ask …” Peggy what’s in the picnic basket? I’m starving!

    Our time would come to part and this time it might be a little easier… I would hug him
    Knowing That he was a happy soul …and not too far from us, but still deep in our hearts…
    He would whisper in my hear ” I love you” my reply ” I love you too”
    And then once more he would be gone and we would miss him even more! X

    1. Peggy, I can write no words here, as the tears flow. That was so beautiful.
      I did hope you would see this and have the chance to spend some time with Dan once more.
      What a lovely time you’d have, and you’d better pack a big picnic!
      It doesn’t get any easier for you all. Hugs and XXXxxx

      1. It would only be Daniel I would want to see right now ,,
        Tric your dad is always with you…. And you know that you just need to see him and hold him xxxxx close your eyes and feel him , he’s there right now !

  6. beautiful and thought provoking post, tric. i feel lucky to have been with my dad, when he left this world, but what i wouldn’t give to have him back, just for 5 minutes…

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