This day last week was special, and I missed it. I was on holidays, offline. It was the only time in ten days I felt compelled to write, so I wrote this on July 23rd using pen and paper. I know I’m posting it a week late, but Mum and Dad this one’s for you.
Today as I go to the pool, relax and joke with my family and enjoy the exhilarating experience of being dragged along behind a motor boat, a part of me is missing. For although I am hundreds of miles from Ireland a part of me checked out early this morning, packing no luggage, and made it’s way ‘home’. Not home to Cork where I currently live but to my real ‘home’, the home of my childhood days.
This part of me is the part I never gave away when I said ‘I do’. It is the part of me which didn’t take my husbands name, or grow up to be a mother. This part of me is the child I once was, the daughter of Agnes and John. The final piece in a jigsaw I never shared, the part that is me.
Today that ‘me’ was absent. Instead of awakening surrounded by family in sunny Portugal, I woke up in the bedroom of my childhood. Walking downstairs I entered the kitchen, where I knew you would be, radio on, sitting enjoying an early morning cup of tea. This morning we didn’t greet with our usual chirpy ‘Good morning’, but with a wordless hug. As we stood there, just for a moment, we faltered. Today July 23rd is your sixtieth wedding anniversary, your twenty eigth anniversary alone.
Sixty years ago a young twenty two year old Co Donegal man wed a beautiful twenty three year old Donegal woman. There was so much ahead, life so full of promise. The wedding photos speak volumes, the smile on your face, the glint in my dads eye. He clearly knew he had got the cream.
Over the years they stood strong as a pair, never rich in money but millionaires in all that matters. A motley crew of children joined them and despite the havoc they caused, the bonds of love and marriage remained tight.
Until life ended it all too soon when Dad got motor neurone disease and slipped away at the age of 54, with you by his side.
Today as I phoned instead of hugged you I wept for those lost twenty eight years. Life can be so cruel, but I was stopped in my tears when you said,
‘Tric I’d not change it if I could’.
You are right mum. I wouldn’t either.
Even though Dad cannot speak with us today I know he is near you. I have no doubt he is reminiscing alongside you and enjoying the many happy memories you both shared. I can hear him tittering at some of what you say, and I know he’s so proud of what you achieved over the past twenty eight years.
So it is only right to take time out today to toast the happy couple from all those years ago. Congratulations to you both on your diamond wedding anniversary. You certainly prove that ‘diamonds are forever’.
Just for you mum, I’ll repost the song you first danced to as man and wife. Listen to the lyrics I’ve no doubt they are true.
‘If things go wrong dear and fate is unkind ,
look over your shoulder I’m walking behind’.