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.