Thursday, November 25, 2010

Not Getting To Say Thanks

In my life, there have been three people I have loved unconditionally. Wait. Let me clarify that. There have been three women that I have loved unconditionally. If we include men in the list, I guest my dad and MacGyver would have to be added to the number.

From the moment I was born, my mom loved me unconditionally. I was the first, so I got it all. For three whole years before my brother arrived I had uncontested motherly love, and even after Philip arrived, mom just found a new supply of love for him, and I still got all the attention and affection I could ever want.

Eleven years ago, I met Claire, and I knew she was something extraordinary. When we started dating a year after that, I knew my life had changed. My love for her has never stalled or diminished in the intervening ten years. Instead it continues to grow and grow and I can't imagine a world without her.

But between mom and Claire, there was another.

When I was still just developing my personality, I spent the first early years of formal education in the town nearest my home. I don't remember much about those years. I hazily recall playing A-Team on the slide with my cousin and some friends. I remember colours and shapes. But most of all I remember feelings. I remember a warmth and a love. I remember being safe, and happy. I felt that I was special, even among all these other kids. I wasn't the fastest, or the strongest. I couldn't paint as well as the others boys, or build as high a block tower. But she still told me I was important. She hugged me if I fell, wiped my tears if I cried and celebrated with me in my victories. She gave me the freedom and the confidence to be myself.

That one teacher helped set me on the path to become who I am today. I cannot even physically describe her in any way right now, even though her smile is burnt into my minds eye. She had an amazing smile. She was my first crush. I loved her her. And she loved me.

I grew up wanting to be a teacher from a very young age. I wanted to give back a little of what I was given. I wanted to make people unsure of themselves feel better about who they are. I wanted to make a positive mark on someones life.

Every day I go to work I think of how much I remember how I felt when I was in preschool and the early years of my schooling. I think of my responsibility to the children I interact with and the influence I am having on their young minds. I try to make every moment a positive one that they can tell their parents when they go home. In decades to came I want them to remember their time in school as a favourable chapter in their lives.

The teacher that influenced who I am today, and the career I have chosen, passed away a few years ago. I remember my mom telling me over the phone. I remember crying. But most of all, I remember an enormous pain in my chest, as if someone was squeezing my heart, because I knew I could never tell her what she meant to me.

I could never say "Thanks".

Things To Be Thankful For

On this cold winter night in East Cork, there is really only one thing I need be thankful for.
Friends 2006

Friends. Without them, nothing else really matters.

I kind of wanted to leave that post there. End it with that one line. But I can't.

In two short months, Claire and I fly out to the unknown land of Canada.The undiscovered country of the future is one populated with no small amount of apprehension and fear, but also a lot of anticipation and excitement. Before us lies unlimited potential. But behind us lies all the friends we have in Ireland.

My friends have always been important to me. As a Gemini, I'm supposed to be my own best friend, capable of entertaining myself when alone. And my hyperactive imagination and ability to MacGyver toys out of any old rubbish means that generally I can. But I don't like to. I prefer to be around other people. I love being in the company of my friends. As much as I enjoy my job, my favourite day of the week is Sunday, when I get to hang out with everyone for a few hours.

Leaving them all behind is going to hurt. A lot. I know I'm going to miss my mom. I know I'll be homesick as soon as we touchdown in Vancouver, if not as soon as we lift off from Dublin! I know the thought of being so far away will be both thrilling and terrifying. But I know more than that that I will be sick with grief over leaving my friends. No Sunday breakfast, no Rock Band 3 parties, no boardgame afternoons.

And so, I cease waffling on and give thanks to you, the people who put up with me. You've made my 12 years in Cork a wonderful chapter of my life that I will never forget. You've been part of my life for almost half of my time on this earth.


Friday, November 05, 2010

I Know Of No Reason

Continuing my tradition in celebration of a man who tried to blow up the British Parliment.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below

To prove old England's overthrow;

By God's providence he was catch'd

With a dark lantern and burning match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!