There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen.
That quote, attributed to Lenin, seems more than a little apposite from my standpoint right now. A week ago today, my father died and the seven days since have passed in a dizzying blur. Everything has changed but it all still seems in large part like a dream.
This is, I suppose, explained by the fact that Dad was such a presence in our lives for as long as he was. He would have been 91 on New Year’s Day so we’re all painfully aware of how privileged we’ve been to have had him in our lives for as long as we did.
As Louis and I alluded to the other day, it was through Dad that we got our love for Gaelic football. I can still recall the enormity of the first Connacht Championship fixture I got to attend at MacHale Park in the late Sixties and the air of anticipation I could sense among the huge crowd about the contest that was about to take place.
I was instantly hooked, I still am. It was Dad who lit that flame.
While my father, like the rest of us, didn’t get to see a Mayo All-Ireland triumph over the past decade, he was there in 1951 to see the county, captained by his great hero Seán Flanagan, capture back-to-back Sam Maguire successes.
Dad was an avid reader of the blog and he even contributed a guest piece about his memories of being at the 1951 final. He did so using the nom de plume Akamore Man and you can read that piece here.
Our family has been greatly sustained by the way in which so many have shared our loss in recent days. Huge numbers turned up for the funeral and all the Mass cards, phone calls, text messages, and online condolences, including the many posted by the community here on the blog, have buoyed us all greatly during this difficult time.
On behalf of myself and all the family, I’d like to express our deep gratitude for all the support we’ve received since Dad’s passing. This will undoubtedly help to fortify us in the weeks and months ahead as we adjust to our loss.