Sunday, 31 January 2010

Quiet reflections

It is a time for quiet reflections. Not the calm and serene ones because the smooth waters are interrupted by drops making ripples.

One of the most gentle of gentlemen died unexpectedly. For many years his unassuming, affable influence permeated from behind his raised newspaper like the wreaths of smoke that drifted above his invisible head.

I'd sit and watch his slippered foot bounce to the rhythm of a lilting Irish melody, and wait. He knew I was there. He would wait, until I began to fidget. Slowly he would lower one corner of the broadsheet newspaper, his defence against the pack who had invaded the quiet world he and my aunt inhabited, and grin. His round face was one great smile.

He, to me, was the other way to be - composed and tranquil - I didn't know what it was he had when I was small - fifth of eight, with six brothers (three younger and three older) all still living at home - but I knew he had something I didn't see anywhere else, envied him, I loved him.

Uncle Sean, I hope all the traditional Irish greetings were true for you.

You are missed.


  1. What a lovely post. My thoughts and sympathies are with you. Thanks for a lovely glimpse into a charming man.

  2. Very beautiful. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sure he is dancing an Irish gig in a peaceful and lovely place.

  3. Thank you both for your kind thoughts. Sudden, unexpected passings have the power to stun. Unreal. Even today at the gathering, before tomorrow's final parting, I kept looking out for him. My aunt was so collected. My daughter cried: it was the first time she realised the truth about death.

  4. I'm sorry to hear of your uncle's passing. I had six Irish uncles as a kid, each more different than the other. It's hard to imagine they all slept in one big bed. Equally hard to realize that they are not there on the end of the phone, or across the table. But thankfully, you and your daughter had time to be loved.