Today my brother wrote me a letter. He did so because he had read a hate filled post online, related to the upcoming gay marriage referendum. For awhile he was upset and mad, before realising that was not the person he was. Instead he put pen to paper in a piece he titled ‘This is my life’. He is happy for me to post it here, and I am honoured to do so. For me it says it all.
This is my life.
My darling sister….since we were children together I have always felt you have known my inner soul.Our childhood games of playing exotic languages…dressing up….climbing hills, getting scratched and bruised…dirty and dishevelled in Donegal hills… forged a bond so strong that time,distance or living separate lives can never untangle.
You are me,and I am you.
When I walked you down the aisle, many years ago,trying hopelessly to fill Dads shoes,I was the proudest man in the world.
I beamed with pride,looking at the happy smiling faces looking at the pair of us…a real couple of swells…not a mucky pair of kids coming back from childhood adventures,rather two siblings, proudly marching down an aisle…declaring a mature,loving and well considered decision to send you off on a journey of a lifetime..a voyage so exciting and joyous that folks came from far and near to witness,with big hats,bigger hair, mandolins, guitars …and lashings of wishes of LOVE AND HAPPINESS for you and your wonderful husband,starting off on life’s road together.
Years passed and I saw you and your family grow, develop and thrive.I watched from afar my closest pal,my confidante develop and grow into all that our Mum and Dad could ever have wished for….such a beautiful girl as you..after some very trying and difficult years….you really were a Rose, blooming through the snow.
I watched, I smiled, but in my own heart I ached with loneliness.
Years passed and despite a few futile and very unfair dalliances on my part, with some truly wonderful and exceptionally beautiful women…I came to the crossroads…..MY CROSSROADS.
Following a period of ill health,I had a few missing years,when I misbehaved in spectacular fashion…pretending that This Life was not so bad after all…..I rocked and rolled…lurching from one weekend to the next…convincing myself that the folks I met along the way were entirely adequate to meet MY needs…
I had such a loving heart and happy soul…I fully expected to experience it in all the friends and lovers I met along the way
How wrong I was. Most everyone I encountered was filled with dread, fear, self loathing and hurt. I lost count of the amount of times I fell in love, all the while hiding behind the facade of a young eligible but deeply flawed and troubled soul.
AND THEN LOVE ARRIVED.
NEVER in my wildest dreams could I have imagined what it felt like!…This is what all the feckin songs were about! This is how our Mum looked at Dad….THIS……THIS…was something I had honestly never felt possible. This was, in my mind..a gift from GOD,the universe…or whatever you believe in. This was life.
You know me sister dear…..How I like to sing…..Jesus,how I wanted to sing….If I could…I would have gone on the LATE LATE SHOW and sang my heart out!
Perhaps for the best..that never happened .At the end of the day…it really was not such a seismic event…it happens every day…millions of times all around the world. BUT FOR ME …AND MY HEART IT WAS A FIRST.
We all know that in two weeks time I…along with about 400,000 other Irish people have to go to polling stations to ask YOU, my sister, my friend, my equal…IF …if I am so lucky…if WE are so lucky..if WE are so blessed, that if WE fall in love…and that IF WE are ALLOWED to marry ….OUR TRUE loves…maybe…maybe you just might say yes?
Your ever loving brother….Michael