Last Friday I discovered my life was not as it seemed. There was a web of lies surrounding me and I was completely in the dark. Now the one thing I’m known for is that I’m usually pretty sharp, I can spot trouble or deceit from a long way away. The slightest slip of the tongue and I begin to wonder, another clue and I have you. Put that alongside a husband who is the worlds worst liar and generally speaking I get to the bottom of what’s going on very quickly.
Until now. I’m not sure which is worse the thought that I might be losing my touch or the fact my husband might have learned how to deceive? Whatever the reality my antennae was down.
Returning from the pool last Friday night, I opened the door to my kitchen to be met by a huge roar, ‘Surprise!’. As I stared around in shock I saw many friends gathered as they began a rousing chorus of happy birthday. (Note to all, my birthday is St Patricks Day and I’d planned a party next Wednesday with these very people). For a moment I, who am rarely stuck for words, was gobsmacked. Then as I caught sight of my brothers partner and realised my brother had traveled from Dublin, I became overwhelmed and much to the rowdy crowds horror I left the room.
However not one to miss a party I quickly came good and returned to the fun. I have seen video footage of my entry. It’s best described as shock, quickly overtaken by the demonstration of my wide vocabulary of words to describe my friends, ‘You feckers’, ‘You shower of feckers’, ‘I can’t believe you feckers’ and finally for variety, ‘You are some bitches’.
It was a most wonderful night. On occasions I wandered out and sat for a moment alone trying to get my head around it all. Five weeks ago my husband had planned this party. Imagine that, five weeks of subterfuge! When I had left for the pool, four friends, my daughters and husband had quickly revamped the kitchen, utility, bathroom and hall. They had brought vases for flowers, tea light holders, candles and balloons, a fold away table for the curry my husband had organised and lots of deserts, and of course ice, drinks and more drinks. Every detail had been worked out, including cover for my early swim session the following day. Even my fellow coaches were in on the lies.
The night passed in a blur. Lots of laughter, singing and dancing. As I tried to gather my thoughts to the roars of ‘speech’ I once again struggled to say what I felt. How could I possibly express the love I felt for my children and husband that night? Was it actually possible to describe the joy I felt that my brother and his partner had come from Dublin? What words could I use which would do justice to the amazing friends I had gathered around me? Family and friends who have shared my life here in Cork for over twenty years through many wonderful highs and crushing lows. I’m not sure what I said, but I stuttered my way through somehow.
Now as I’ve time to think about it and recover from the shock I still have no words. Over the years, at times when life was challenging, I often told myself, ‘No one has everything’, but as I look at my husband, children, family and amazing friends I think I’ve come really close.
Even if they are a shower of lying feckers!