Today is always a strange day.

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There aren't many days that you can remember exactly where you were 8 years previously.  Today is one of those days. Most of the day is an unremembered blur.  But about 9pm in the evening there was a knock on the door. It was Noreen, one of my mum’s best friends who lived close to us in Rathfarnham. With a message to ring my mum urgently. Mum had desperately been trying to get through to me on the landline, but I was online – laptop modem hooked into the internet and the phone was ringing engaged.

 

I rang home. Dad had been rushed to hospital. Dad who’d hardly been sick a day in his life.  It was a few minutes later amidst a flurry of phone calls that my uncle Michael broke the news that I feared and that my Mum was probably getting her head around. “He’s gone, boy”.  I can still see the spot where I was on the stairs when I heard the news. I can still see myself sitting on the sofa, extension cable for the modem wrapped at my feet when Noreen arrived.  The memories are clear like shards of glass with gaps or blurs in between. Packing our six-week-old son in the car and driving through the night to Clonmel.  I remember little of the drive.  I remember walking into the hospital. Holding onto my wife.  Seeing dad.

 

So much has changed in the 8 years since. Yet today remains a strange day. 

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