January 17, 2015 The Galway Hooker

I have been thinking about this week and realize one of the reasons that I have been feeling kind of weird is that I have become use to writing every day and just cutting and pasting pages does not work for me. So, I am going to write more and see if that brings my mood up.

Just before we left Galway we took the bus out to An Spiddal and went to the Craft Village. The purpose of going was to purchase t-shirts with Irish “in Irish” saying on them.  We found what we wanted and then went on to look at the other shops. In one Denis found these lovely cards with drawings of the Galway Hookers on them. When we got home finding a frame became the next job.  The one in the center has actual stones on it so we have to make sure the glass would not shatter when we put the backing on the frame.  We found one that seems to work so now we have to hang it up somewhere. Tough in a house where every wall seems to have something hanging on it. So I thought I would show them to you.

While I was cleaning up around here I found my favorite picture of our oldest son Tim taken many years ago in Yugoslavia.  His friends mother took them with her on a pilgrimage to Medugoria. He was not overly impressed with the religious end of things but did enjoy himself on the trip. So I thought I would put that on here as well since I think it is a lovely picture.

In reading my diary about my gr grandfathers death and her grief I got to thinking about the day my dad died.  It was Sept 27, 1975 I think.  There was a gas shortage so Denis and I decided we would all go to church together to save on fuel. Seemed like a good thing to do. There was no nursery at Church so we took the three kids with us – the two younger ones were 9 mos and just 2. Tim was older and knew how to behave in church.  Well all went well for a bit and then they started acting up just before Father Vail got up to give his sermon. Sitting in the back we figured we could control things a bit – wrong – they both started hooting and hollering and finally FAther Vail stopped what he was doing and said he would wait until the Brennan’s took the children outside until they could calm down.  Well, I slinked out of the church but Denis refused to leave with me and stayed until I guess he was embarrassed enough to come out.

It was so humiliating. And what can you do about babies crying – cannot give them a nasty look or they just get worse. Finally at Communion time we decided we would go back in. I walked up to the front, baby in my arms, and as he gave me communion Fr. Vail leaned over and said to me “Okay, you get your nursery”  I think he thought I was doing it on purpose. Good Grief!!! That only made things worse.

So you wonder what does this have to do with my Dad.  Well, we came home and the phone rang, it was my mom telling us Dad had died during the night. Seems he had been in terrible pain out on his boat the day before and came in and crawled to his car, thinking he could drive himself home, and someone else found him and brought him home. He had come in a lay down on the kitchen floor in agony. He had self diagnosed himself as having a kidney stone. Mom called his doctor who came over and gave them some pain pills to take until “the stone” had passed. Mom had gotten him up to bed where he was in agony for hours and hours. Nothing passed but at about 4 am she realized he was finally asleep so she went downstairs to have something to eat since she feared it was going to be a very long day.

As dawn was coming she went back upstairs and he was very quite and when she touched him he was dead cold. I cannot imagine what she did then.  I do know thankfully our next door neighbors were wonderful and they came when she called and helped her make arrangements for the funeral home to come and get him.  And then she insisted on calling each of her five children herself to let them know what had happened.  Again I cannot imagine. I am too emotional to be able to do something like that.

Then we were faced with telling Tim who idolized his “Pop”.  We were not in great shape and were probably in shock as I don’t remember how we told him other than just that “Pop” had died. Poor little guy went ballistic. He threw things and yelled and cried and all we could do was hold him when he would let us and let him cry it out. I am sure it was hard for some of the other grandkids as well since so many of them only had this one grandfather and he liked to play with them up to a point. They could get away with things if he were in charge. And he took tons of pictures since that was his big hobby other than his sailboat.

Anyway, that is what came to mind for me when reading Frances diary. What a difference! Dad had just turned 65 so none of us were terribly “old”. And Mom lived on to be 92 when she died. She was such a quiet thing I have no idea about how she grieved his death.

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2 thoughts on “January 17, 2015 The Galway Hooker”

  1. Sounds like your dad really suffered, Margie. Was it actually a heart attack?
    Oh, and I just love those pictures of the Galway Hooker. The way you have them framed is lovely. And I have a feeling your dad would have liked those boats too.

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    1. In the end it was determined that he probably had an aortic aneurism. The pain had been in the same area. The doctor accepted dads self diagnosis and could have sent him to the hospital for tests. Dad was a pharmacist and was into self diagnosis big time. He would have loved to go sailing in a real Galway Hooker….

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