“What will survive of us is love “
(From memorial service)
I lost a dear friend last week who had struggled with cancer for six years. I met her over twenty five years ago in Dublin through a mutual friend. Originally from a farm outside Portlaoise, Louise formed part of our precious circle of friends who loved going to gigs and parties. When I first met her I was taken aback by her good looks. She was like some Irish beauty long celebrated by the poets of our land: jet black hair, rosy cheeks and pale silky skin. I remember how she’d hold her cigarette in a unique way between her ring and middle finger. Her laughter was full of music and she resembled an operatic singer from Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Unique in every way, even the customized denim jacket she made herself by adding bits of material in her twenties. We lost touch for many years only to be reunited in recent times through our respective illness’. Living in St. Lukes in Cork, she would visit me and we’d laugh and chat about our “lot”.
Her life was celebrated at a memorial service last week. Hundreds of people young and elderly were present. Musicians played and poetry was recited in her honour.
May she rest in peace.
Before the sun goes and the yummy holiday feeling fades, I must tell you about mine.
We spent one glorious week in a rented house at our very local Dock beach, Kinsale. Apart from the very uncomfortable bed, our days were made up of beach visits and sitting outside in glorious sunshine. Here are some of the highlights:
- Watching the kids catching mackerel with a fishing rod (thanks Julian!) on the beach at night and eating them for lunch the next day.
- Sitting on the green together with sea in view and playing monopoly there (thanks Annmarie!)
- Seeing Lucy arrive in her lovely red jacket.
- Getting my feet drenched by turquoise waves at Garrertstown beach while Lucy helped me to eat Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Ice Cream and Mum watched on her crutches (her pelvis is healing well, she’s flying it!)
- Being able to relax a bit with Jonnie and enjoy the “holiday feeling”
Now kids are back at school, Rowan in third class and Kitty, senior infants.
Maria, our aupair, announces that she’s leaving in two weeks just when we were settling back in to routine. This hits hard as it takes so long to find a replacement but she seems unmoved by this. What can you do, we’re certainly meeting a broad selection of people in this game! Some really giving, some not at all.
I worry about Jonnie. He has so much to do. He reminds me of myself when I was well: trying to do everything for the kids and the family. Making school lunches at night, getting uniforms ready, constantly filling the washing machine and then, on top of that, he has to turn me at night. Even when I was waking at night with Kitty, I still knew I could get a break at some stage the following day, but he seems “on” all of the time. We actually need more help because without him, our family couldn’t survive.
I was reminiscencing with Rowan the other night. I was asking if he remembered when he was in playschool and he was so delighted to see me when I used to pick him up. He replied “but Mum, I’m happy to see you now!”
Nothing like a blast back into the present as only a child can do! What a sweetheart.
Nearly forgot to mention the Padre Pio blessing. The headmistress of the kids school contacted me after reading my last blog. She mentioned about how a close family member was on deaths door last autumn. How a lady came to bless her with Padre Pio’s glove and how this person improved immediately and continues on. The glove is the property of the same man, Donal Enright who I mentioned in my last post. My brother-in-law told me about him. So between the jigs and the reels, the headmistress kindly arranged for this woman to come and give me a blessing too with the same holy glove. I felt very emotional and did bucket loads of crying. She had kind eyes and a warm smile. She reassured me that crying was healing. (I thought to myself, if crying is healing, I should be well healed by now so!)
My friends son, who has difficulty walking, came too and Mum of course. He is doing good now his Mum has told me. Some small improvements since the blessing: walking stairs well and cycling.
I’ve been feeling strong in spirit but haven’t noticed any physical improvements.
Mum is walking stairs now and leaving Haven Bay Care Centre today.
Thanks to everybody for leaving comments here. I really enjoy reading them.
I’m posting a ten minute movie that might make you smile. Laura told me about how a Chinese boy learns Irish on his way here as he thinks it’s the official spoken language. He certainly doesn’t have an easy time of it!
Another Lisa Hannigan that’s beautiful! And Sheena’s Kate filmed it.