Saturday 31 December 2011

Ah Den it was all right boy

New Year’s Eve and Freddie is watching Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah while re-enacting the battles with the figures he got from Santa. Even though this is a movie from the 1970s dubbed from the original Japanese into bad Americanised English he loves it and knows the film backwards. Before I put the movie on he has to have all the figures, Godzilla, dinosaurs and of course the two King Ghidorahs ready on the blanket so that the battles can be followed from the start. The imagination and ingenuity of kids is often not fully appreciated but we’ve all been young ourselves and hopefully had fun too. The important thing us adults should do now is not only to leave the kids to their fun but also try figure how our education systems can encourage and develop the fun into possible careers. Surely that’s the key to developing the creative economy that is supposed to be our way out of the mess we’re in. No point banging on about our future if we don’t do something about it now.

Anyways looking at Freddie now doing his battles, concentrating on getting every move right, is making me laugh and even prouder of him after the year he’s put down. The ambulance trips, the long hospital stays, the MRI, being doped off his little head, waking up alone in the ICU, being poked and prodded by medical staff, fighting with his mother, he’s come through it all smiling. His mother has gone through the worst of this with him and the stoicism she’s shown is just wonderful. To pay homage to the care she’s shown to Freddie whilst also being a guiding mother to Ruby and amazing partner to me, neither of them easy tasks I can assure you, is beyond my capabilities to put into words. Suffice to say that I am married to the love of my life and for that I am truly grateful!

On the many New Year’s Eves of all those years ago, while enjoying a few pints, my good friend Denis Ellis would always at some stage ask “how was the year for you?” It always made me think and giving a straight good or bad response would be difficult. The fact as young bucks in 1980’s Cobh we knew that” down the back” of the Commodore Hotel on New Year’s Eve there was always a good chance of a snog probably helped give a positive review of the year. Even though Denis and I haven’t been able to share a pint on this night for years I always ask myself the question in his stead. No doubt 2011 has been tough for my family and me but it still had many, many good bits too. The way Aiden and Mark dropped everything to help me move shop over the one day in August was brilliant…Then Aiden did it all again to help me move house a month later. “Its only what friends do” he said as I thanked him again on  Christmas Eve…Having Brian Mac without a second thought do so much for Freddie still makes me cry…. Knowing that I have a list of ten or fifteen names in my phone I can call at anytime for help is such a comfort…. Those pep talks I got from the Flood brothers from time to time… Re-enacting the bad times to Kevin and Keith got things into a perspective that really helped me move on each time…. Every time someone stopped me on the street to lend support lifted the heart and made me smile…Spending the day in Dublin with Brendan…The day trips with Ed…all added to the good memories and there are plenty more in there. Countless moments throughout this year Freddie or Ruby have made me laugh, forgetting everything that has being going on around us. As a family we don’t want Fred’s epilepsy to define us and even though its there all day every day all year round fuck it we’re going to have some fun too.

So as 2011 goes and 2012 arrives, Den I have to say as I probably always did, it was all right boy. 

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