A quick trip to Ireland

Tomorrow I’m making my very first trip to Co. Tipperary in southern Ireland, and though I wish I could say I’m going for pleasure the reality is unfortunately very different. I’m accompanying my son’s dad on what will most likely be his last journey over there – he has terminal cancer in his throat which can’t be treated, and though he’s done well on the medication he’s been taking it’s now got to the stage where it’s really affecting him and it’s becoming obvious that he doesn’t have much longer to live. He’s always said that he wants to be buried ‘back home’ so he’s going back to live with his brother and sister-in-law while he’s still capable of making the journey. His annual holidays over there have always been via coach and ferry, which is quite a long and tedious journey and one which he now feels he can’t make, so he said he wanted to fly there this time and asked me to go with him as he’s not confident enough to go alone – my son has taken time off work so he can come too as it may well be the last time he sees his dad alive.
I booked the flights on the internet a couple of weeks ago, then on Sunday I checked us all in online, printed out the boarding passes and arranged for a friend to take us to Manchester airport – our flight to Dublin leaves at noon but it will be late afternoon when we get to our final destination as it’s a 76-mile coach journey from the airport. Unfortunately I can only stay overnight as I have work commitments so my son and I are coming back on Thursday. The flight back leaves Dublin just before 2pm, it only takes an hour so with a bit of luck I should be back home in time to go to work at 5pm. To be honest, although I love flying I’m really not looking forward to any of this and I know my son isn’t either – leaving his dad behind in Ireland will be difficult for both of us but we’ll get through it somehow. I just wish my first trip over there could have been made in happier circumstances.
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8 thoughts on “A quick trip to Ireland

  1. Oh Eunice, I am so sorry to read this. I really feel for you and your son. Being back home will no doubt be a comfort for your son’s dad. When the time comes I hope he has a peaceful passing. My thoughts are with you.

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  2. Thank you Eileen.

    He was diagnosed in February after several weeks of having a sore throat and hoarse voice which wouldn’t clear up – scans at Christie’s in Manchester showed that the cancer was too far advanced to operate so it was palliative care only. With the help of medication the soreness was controlled and he regained his voice, and at one point no-one would have known there was anything wrong with him.

    He went over to Ireland for five days in May – my son went with him – then he went again on his own for two weeks in July and he was fine. The soreness in his throat came back in August, making it difficult to eat properly, and he started losing weight. I saw him the week before I went down to Norfolk in September then didn’t see him again until the weekend after I got back and I was shocked at how much weight he’d lost in that short time. Macmillan have been helping out and will be arranging a place in a care home for him in Ireland if and when he needs it, so I know he’ll be well looked after. He keeps saying he’s coming back here in six months time but we don’t think he has six months – that’s his goal though so we’re not going to deny him that, but we honestly don’t think he’ll even see Christmas. It’s a very sad situation and one we can’t fight, I’m just hoping that when the time comes my son and I can be strong for each other.

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  3. It certainly is, and very emotional when my son and I left to come home today – we are going to try to go back for a visit soon though. I managed to get a few photos during the journey, which I’ll put on my other blog soon.

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  4. Hello. I followed you over here from a Ten Things of Thankful post because, honestly, I liked the name of this blog when I heard it. It reminded me of something my grandfather once said. It made me smile and then I was excited to see the word Ireland in your first post. I love Ireland, but this post is not a happy one. Sorry to hear of the circumstances for your trip.

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    1. Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you like the name of the blog. It took me ages trying to think what to call it, then a chance comment from my son about having a house full of mice – I’d just added another mouse figurine to my collection – gave me the idea.

      My trip to Ireland, although not a happy one, was also a mixture of odd, weird and mixed up occurrences all condensed into just over 24 hours and I got back home feeling completely tired and drained, both emotionally and physically. I’ll be writing a follow-up post to this and also a couple of longer posts with photos on my other blog soon.

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  5. I must admit the break-up with my son’s dad 30-odd years ago was a bit of a traumatic time but we all got through it and survived, and over the years he and I have become good friends. He’s lived on his own for many years but always had a good relationship with our son so in spite of anything that happened in the past there’s no way I would turn my back on him when he needed help.

    Thank you for the hugs – I have one friend who doesn’t understand why I went to Ireland no matter how many times I try to explain it, so to know that other people do understand means a lot.

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