Remember my old friend?

Do you remember my old pal, the wonderful 83 year old kerryman who very reluctantly emigrated two years ago to England? It struck me today that I’ve never updated you all on how he’s doing.

Well the short answer is he is still alive and definitely kicking. He and I have kept contact by phone, speaking about once a month. Thisleaving home. morning I came home to see a missed call and recognised by the number of digits that he’d phoned. I hurriedly dialed through to my saved messages knowing he’d have left one.

Sure enough there he was. I love to get his messages. They always begin along the lines of ‘Hallo Tric’ in his strong kerry accent, followed by a long pause. What he says afterwards depends on his mood, it varies from, ‘God almighty are you ever at home at all? Here I am talking to myself again‘, to ‘Good to not talk to you’ followed by laughter as he thinks he’s hilarious. On one occasion he was very miffed as he’d missed me a couple of times and I’d not realised he been phoning for about two weeks. This was his mournful message, ‘Sure tis no wonder you’re not answering… I’d say you’ve forgotten all about me… I’ll phone you no more… Love from a foolish kerryman’. On that occasion I rang him back and said, ‘Ah what are you whinging about?’ and he laughed his heart out and said, ‘I knew that would annoy you’. 

Today’s message was brief and ended ‘from an old kerryman.’ I rang him back immediately and we’d a great chat. He loves to hear all killybegsthe local gossip and gets quite nostalgic for ‘home’. Often throughout the conversation I hear him say, ‘God I miss Ireland’, and it’s sad to hear, but the practicality is he is now eighty five and it is better that he lives next to his son.

Even though we are no longer able to meet up, I continue to greatly enjoy our chats. When I ring him he is obsessed with the cost of the call, shoeing me off the phone and I ignoring him, but when he rings me the chat is wonderful, especially if I trigger an old memory of his which moves on into a story.  In the early days it was pitiful chatting with him, as he was so unsettled and pining for his old life and friends. However my old pal is a very resilient man who has learned to get by and live reasonably contented, although if I read that back to him I’m sure he’d disagree, loudly.

I will always be grateful he came into my life, but regret it was for so short a time. His eyesight is very poor so we cannot write nor is it any use I sending him photos, but as we reminisce I tell him we will never forget that great last Summer we had, and the stories and craic we shared. Ageing is cruel but as he says regularly, with a sigh for dramatic effect, ‘Ah… that’s life.’

photo credit: debs-eye via photopin cc
photo credit: Killybegs. County Donegal, Ireland-LCCN2002717386 via photopin (license)

19 thoughts on “Remember my old friend?

    1. Yes I do miss him still as I pass his house often. I re read some of the posts earlier today which I wrote about him, it did me no good.
      He was some storyteller though. Could have taught me a thing or two if we’d had a bit longer.

  1. I was just commenting to a fellow blogger, a bit earlier on, that when we stop having time for our elders we’re way deep in the mire. I love to get chatting with ‘an elder’. They surely have some great stories and can sometimes shock the hell out of you. Yer man sounds like a real character, Tric.

  2. Oh Tric, I’m so glad you posted this, I’ve thought of him often and wondered how he is doing. It’s so lovely that he has a life line to his old world, to keep him in touch and make it feel not so far away x

    1. Yes and that works both ways. It does my heart good to hear his voice. Even though for a while after I’m lonely, thinking of him always makes me smile.

  3. I do remember him! And I’m glad he’s doing so well. But how his heart must ache for Ireland and the world as he knew it. Thank you Tric, for sharing him with us. 🙂 It’s good to hear good stuff.

  4. It’s lovely that you have kept in touch with him Tric!! Really wonderful… In this day and age where people forget blood relatives after two days of not talking because of a petty spat, you’ve been in touch with a stranger who touched your life so beautifully!!! How I wish I’d known someone as beautiful as you… But well, blogging has given us that connection and I’m glad 🙂

  5. I wondered about him and whether he was still around. It’s good to hear he is and that you and he share chats still.

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