Hello from Ireland.
Daddy spent years researching his genealogy. He found the descendants of his great grandfather in Ireland. Daddy traveled there 4 times. They were some of his favorite times. He loved to tell people the stories of our adventures there. Whether they wanted to hear them or not. Or if it was the 5th time they heard them. He just loved to talk about Ireland.
When he found out he had lung cancer, we all knew time was short. Daddy asked me so many times if I thought he could make it back to Ireland just one more time. I never knew what to say. His heart hung on my every word. The treatments gave us 4 years of time with him, which was an amazing gift, but he became so sick and weak, there no possibility of that kind of travel. I would just say, Daddy, lets just take one day at a time. As soon as you are stronger I will take you. I promise. How about we look thru some of our pictures for now? We would spend hours talking about Ireland’s history and his family history, but mostly he wanted to talk about our trips there. How about the time we got lost and ended up in Athenry. The fields of Athenry was one of Daddys favorite songs and here we were, getting lost and finding Athenry. Or the singer at the family Mass that sang Lady Of Knock. He thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever heard. He was always reminding me to play it at his funeral. We did.
So after Daddy passed, we started to think about going back to Ireland to give him that last wish, but through us. I contacted the family there and they gave me the warm welcome like they always do. I asked about having a Mass for Daddy at the old church near Pettigo in Donegal. Our cousin James assured me it could be done. We thought of his only grandson, Anthony graduating from Drexel and maybe we could take him too. Daddy would have loved showing Ireland to him, but Daddy’s time here was shorter than we knew and it never came to be. That’s OK, we’ll do it for him. In a way, it makes me feel like I am still taking care of him, but this time he’s not with me. I hope he can see it anyway. I hope he is coming along too.
It turned out that my cousin Paula was thinking of an Ireland trip too. Her oldest son was graduating from Penn State. It made sense to go together. So we did.
So here we are in Ireland. If you’ve never been, please add it to your bucket list. I have no words for the beauty of this place, so I won’t even try. God was not messing around when he created Ireland. And at least for me (and I think Daddy too) this great beauty can give a deep sense of peace.
We have our old driver and friend Pat. We haven’t seen him in 7 years but we were hugging and laughing and crying the moment we saw him. He was so sad to hear that both Daddy and John Wachter had passed. We all agreed that life is just too short.
Note to self: Travel when you can. Experience the amazing world we live in. Reach out to people wherever you go. Life gives us an endless supply of new friends and love if your heart is open to it.
I am hoping to blog our adventures as we go and I would love for you to come along.
And Daddy, I hope you are here too. You would love every minute of this. I so wish I could see that happiness in your eyes that Ireland gave you, just one more time.