It is Friday morning 1st May 2009 and I have just received a text from my father to say that he will be live on radio LMFM at approximately 10:45am to promote his new website www.carlingfordpeople.com. I'm not quite sure where to locate this particular station as I am a regular listener to Pat Kenny who broadcasts between 10am and 12 noon.
Excitedly, I dash into the office, with Jason, my 16th month old hot on my heels and do a quick search on the internet. I return to the kitchen and tune in my radio accordingly. It is only 09:45am so I busy myself with various things to do conscious not to venture too far from the vicinity of the radio lest I miss his moment!
Dad has been retired now for just over 4 years and spent the first year engaging in one of his most favourite past times - the garden! He has always been a forward thinker and so threw himself into creating a garden at the back of our house which would be both his and Mums whenever they should decide to sell "Shalom". Some years prior to his retirement, he had a back operation from which he never quite fully recovered but despite this he was not prepared to sacrifice his passion for gardening. The pains however threatened to get worse and some months later he found himself back in the Mater Hospital undergoing a fourth back procedure.
Having slowly recovered from his operation Mum insisted he take things easy and perhaps in hindsight slightly regrets the notion as she was soon to find her husband taking up permanent residence in the kitchen, perched comfortably on his newly acquired leather swivel chair, eyes fixed on the screen in front! With the prospect of a new and exciting idea on the horizon, the garden had to take a back seat, however is consistently and carefully rescued from neglect by Mum who gives it the attention it needs and deserves.
As I wait for the DJ to announce my father, I am drawn to the website and decide to record a memory. I am stiffened at the realisation that none come to mind and am left feeling a little distraught that perhaps I have none to share. I abandon the PC as I hear Dads voice over the airwaves.
He begins quietly with hesitation in his voice, stumbling a little over his words. I know that although he is a more than competent orator the anticipation of such an interview would have tied many knots in his stomach. As the interview progressed, my sense of his nervousness dissipated as he found his stride. He spoke of days of old and people that has passed but had not been forgotten. He talked about community and the importance of it and family. I felt a sense of pride as the interview came to a close.
As that day progressed, my mind was filled with on ocean of memories from my first kiss in the Queens Garden of King Johns Castle to the Oyster Festivals of old, from Pope John Paul’s visit to Drogheda to my first and only year in St. Michaels College Omeath (now The Tain Village) with Father Kenny as principal .
I will at some future date enjoy recounting in detail some of these memories but for today this memory of my father is the one I would like to share.
Monday, May 18 2009 - 11:08 PM