Happy New Year – Twenty13

Another year in the rear view mirror … for those of us who’ve sipped more than our fair share of New Years Champagne over the years, this day seems to come and go far more quickly each time around – I honestly feel this was the quickest of all years – why do you suppose that is? It was a year I am thankful for, on many levels … some selfish, some not so much. Tara and Alyssa are both flourishing in school, and unlike their old man’s days in The Mon, are actually happy to go to school every day. Both are more active than ever in their dance academy, under the ever kind tutelage of Kellie @ MotionsAcademy … and are surrounded by a bunch of kids that are forever smiling and showing good example. As the “resident husband” there, I too am surrounded by people that I’ve become good friends with, despite my more than left leaning political positioning; although I suspect my facebook feed has long been blocked by those less tolerant of my political
posts. I am thankful that Megan finally pushed me hard enough to get back out into the work world and use my “downtime” more productively – it only took her 3 years. I am thankful to Deanna Bailey for putting the idea in my head that working in education would be a good fit for me … she was right. I am thankful to Megan for getting up everyday with a smile, no matter the mood of anyone else in the house, and being the sane one in this family. Finally, I am thankful that I won’t have to look at any more “Is It 2012 Yet” bumper stickers … coz guess what? … It’s not! It’s 2013 people … let’s make this a good one … the moment has always been now.  Happy New Year 🙂

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No More Tomorrows for Sandy Hook …

Sandy Hook Elementary School …

I stopped off at Alyssa’s school today on my way to work – I signed in at the office, and went to her class – I walked in, exchanged a couple of words with the teacher, because, to be honest, that’s all I could manage … I couldn’t speak – I took Alyssa outside and just held her for a couple of minutes – half way through it, Alyssa sensed something was wrong, but never asked what – she just held me a little tighter … too many parents tonight are wishing they could do that even one more time … but they never will …

© 2012, Tim (P) Prendeville

Uncle Joe

I did not know you well – mostly keeping yourself … for yourself … and the few you left in.  Most of the time, when I think back, you were in the background, your pipe and a short in hand … a smile on your face, as if you held the secret to all things.  Every now and again you’d break out into a story of days gone by – my mother, and her family … my father, and his family too – always a constant presence in those stories.  Other than those few times, I only ever saw you as … stoic – except for when my mother died, and you couldn’t bring yourself to walk the two steps to where she took her last breath, and look at her one last time … I was watching you  … you were close to tears … lost for any words other than the ones you shakily whispered – words that made sense only to the bewildered … or those living a great loss.  Have a good trip Joe …

The Godfather

When I was a kid

I used to visit you

And Betty too

On Cook Street

In Cork.

 

Cook Street,

One of those little streets one can find only in Ireland

And nowhere in America

Or anywhere else I’ve ever lived.

 

Your little watchmaker shop

Hidden away

Atop a winding third floor stairs

Hidden away

From most of the world

Yet known to all those who wore a watch,

That ticked

And tocked

All of days before life grew up

And became complicated.

 

How many times do you suppose I visited you there

Before my own travels began?

They were many.

I remember them all,

As if they were one long visit

One Long journey,

Or story

Now concluded.

 

     You were a bundle of life Michael … with many stories the same way told.  Today, you’re going on one more trip – when you get there, say “Hi” to those gone before you, from all of us still here … especially to those that went before their time … tell them we miss them … Have a good trip bubba …

For Diarmuid

Donovans shop
The “Blacka” Bridge
French students in the summer time, that sent our teen minds to places as yet untraveled
Gerry Rafferty
Supertramp
ZZ Top
Cork Con
Shandon Boat Club
Now, 30 years down the road, these and so many more memories and places are all lost to time. I raced out of Ireland before any of life’s wrinkles came calling, and as it turns out, I’ve rarely looked back. To me, all of you remained the way I remember you the last time I saw you – and in quiet times, like now, it still usually fails to register with me that all of you grew up … had lives … and families … and good times … and bad times too – much like how my own life has gone. All too often now though, words from home are not good words – they chip away at that wall of invincibility I once perched upon – It doesn’t seem so high anymore … Diarmuid, I wanted to write these words tonight, before tomorrow – before your family lets you go … sleep well tonight my old friend – something new begins tomorrow … goodbye D …
© 2012, Tim Prendeville

Home

“Home” is not a place of bricks and mortar – it is a frame of mind – no matter the time passed, nor the distance travelled, it is a place, found easily – in quiet thought …

© 2011, Tim (P) Prendeville

The Clothes Line (revisions)

Today I found on another site some revisions to an earlier piece I wrote some time ago (following the death of my mother) … not sure if I ever put them up here … at the risk of losing them to the digital neverland of the internet, I put them here purely for safe keeping … This piece came to me following a comment my mom made when she literally only had a couple of days to live …

“I was at my happiest when I was hanging out the washing”

I know of a little pathway you used to walk.
I’ve walked it many times myself.
I never knew it gave you so much joy.
I never knew it was your solace.

How many times do you suppose you walked on that path?
Up and down come rain or come shine.
How many problems pottered around your mind?
How many did you solve?

When it was young it could see for miles.
The wind could blow,
The sun cast no shadows,
It had purpose.

But now it is old and overtaken by life.
It no longer sees so far.
Its keeper is gone.
No one uses clothes lines anymore.

© 2007, Tim (P) Prendeville

I know of a little pathway you used to walk
It’s one I’ve walked myself.
I never knew of the joy it gave you.
I never knew it was your solace.

What a curious thing to speak of
And at such a moment too.
A lifetime of memories to choose
And your mind wanders to the simplicity of a pathway.

How many times, come rain or come shine
Do you suppose you walked that path?
How many problems did you ponder?
How many did you solve?

When the path was young it could see for miles.
The wind could blow,
The sun cast no shadows,
It had purpose.

But now, it is old and overtaken by life.
It no longer sees so far.
Its keeper is gone.
No one uses clothes lines anymore.

© 2007, Tim Prendeville

From the bedroom window I take the garden in.
It seems empty and small.
It is not as I remember it
But I have been gone these many years.

The clothesline hangs empty
The pathway beneath chipped and overgrown.
When this house was my home
We three were young together

I never knew the pathway was your refuge
Your place to run to from the world.
I never knew the clothesline was your solace
Nor that it gave you so much joy.

What a curious place to muse
And at such a moment too.
A lifetime of memories to choose
But in your mind you’re hanging laundry.

How many times, come rain or come shine
Do you suppose you walked that path?
How many problems did you ponder?
How many did you solve?

When the path was young it could see for miles.
The wind could blow,
The sun cast no shadows,
It had purpose.

But now, it is old and overtaken by life.
It no longer sees so far.
Its keeper is gone.
No one uses clothes lines anymore.

© 2007, Tim Prendeville