A Galway Man Born and Bred
By Róisín Glynn-Steed
He was gone now, and there was a void in her life that nothing could fill. A fragment of solace was derived from attending his grave and talking to him. “I wish you had been there when……”
“You’d have loved……..”
“You wouldn’t believe……………”
Her memories of him were so vivid, so raw. She often saw him standing in front of her, so distinguished, so immaculate. His silver white hair shining like the goodness that radiated from him. One of life’s gentlemen was how everyone described him and he surely was that to the tips of his fingers. A Doctor by profession, she always remembered the smell of Ether when he’d return from the hospital after a long day and when they’d walk the prom together he’d always say, “You must tip the wall!” “We don’t have to” she’d laugh kidding him.
A man of simple pleasures – he could have been a classical singer. Often when he thought he was alone she’d hear him singing along with Pavarotti at the top of his voice and what a voice he had.
On Christmas Day every year he would take them to visit the Nuns in Calvary Hospital (now the “Bon Secour”) where they would be treated to cake and lemonade and if they were really lucky, presents from under the tree.
Whenever she came home on holidays from London she couldn’t wait to see him and they would chat and laugh together, but going back, her heart would break when he stood on the steps waving his white handkerchief with tears in his eyes, until the car disappeared down the avenue. Then she’d bawl the whole way to Shannon Airport.
Now as she stood by his grave planting shrubs and flowers with the rain pouring down, mucky wellies several sizes too large she could just imagine what he would say, “Are you pure cracked?” he’d ask in his gentle voice, “do you want to catch your death?”
Oh how much she missed him ——- her Dad.