Monday, 5 August 2013

MY MOTHER'S DEATH AND ANNIVERSARY

THIS WEEKEND I CELEBRATED MY MOTHER'S 7TH ANNIVERSARY
JOJO


ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD MY MOTHER JOJO (JOSEPHINE) WAS 7 YEARS DEAD.

JO WAS BORN ON 27TH MARCH 1929. HER DAD WAS JOHNNY GEOGHEGAN AND HER MOTHER WAS MARGARET COONEY - BOTH OF TULLAMORE, COUNTY OFFALY, IRELAND.

JOHNNY WAS THE PERSONAL DRIVE TO THE D E WILLIAMS FAMILY IN TULLAMORE = THE DISTILLERY THAT MADE TULLAMORE DEW AND IRISH MIST.


LIKE A LOT OF YOUNG GIRLS AT THAT TIME MY MOTHER LEFT SCHOOL EARLY AND BECAME A FACTORY WORKER AT SALTS FACTORY. MY GRANDFATHER DID NOT BELIEVE THAT IT WAS WORTH EDUCATING GIRLS AS THEY WERE GOING TO END UP AS WIVES AND MOTHERS ANYWAY.

MY DAD, JIM BUCKLEY, FROM JUST OUTSIDE TULLAMORE (PULLOUGH) ALSO LEFT SCHOOL AT 12 TO GO MINDING CATTLE AND TO BRING SOME MONEY INTO THE HOUSE. HE EVENTUALLY WENT TO WORK IN SALTS WHERE HE MET MY MOTHER.

THEY MARRIED IN 1952 AND I WAS BORN IN 1952. I WAS BORN IN MY GRANDFATHERS HOUSE AT 10 HEALY STREET. CHARLEVILLE ROIAD, TULLAMORE.
THE HOUSE IN WHICH I WAS BORN


IN 1956 MY DAD WAS APPOINTED THE BRANCH SECRETARY OF THE ITGWU UNION AT CARLOW AND WE MOVED THERE.

IN 1960 MY DAD WAS MOVED TO THE UNION'S HEADQUARTERS AT LIBERTY HALLY IN DUBLIN.

WE LIVED ON OLD BALLYMUN DUBLIN BEFORE THE INFAMOUS BALLYMUN FLATS WERE BUILT.

I WENT TO SCHOOL AT SAINT PAPPIN'S PRIMARY SCHOOL, BALLYMUN, ST CANICE'S CHRISTIAN BROTHERS SCHOOL AND FINISHED MY SECONDARY EDUCATION AT RATHMINE'S COLLEGE.

MY MOTHER JO WAS A VERY SPECIAL WOMEN - THE MOTHER OF 17 CHILDREN (NO TWINS) OF WHICH I WAS THE FIRST.

WHEN MY DAD DIED JO CAME TO LIVE WITH ME IN LARNE AND LIVED WITH ME FOR THE LAST 16 YEARS OF HER LIFE.

WE WERE BEST MATES, TALKED ABOUT EVERYTHING, WENT EVERYWHERE TOGETHER AND HAD A VERY SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. I WA NOT A MAMMY'S BOY. OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS MUCH MORE MATURE THAN THAT. 

WHEN I WANTED TO "COME OUT" AS GAY IN 1999 I WANTED TO TELL HER FIRST. WE WENT TO LOURDES AND WENT OUT FOR LUNCH AND I TOLD HER. HER REACTIONS WAS: "IS THAT ALL?"

THAT NIGHT WE WERE SHARING A LARGE FAMILY ROOM AS AHE WAS NERVOUS WHEN TRAVELLING. WE WERE IN BED WITH THE LIGHTS OFF. SHE CALLED OVER TO ME TO SEE IF I WAS AWAKE. THEN SHE SAID: "I THOUGHT I COULD NEVER LOVE YOU MORE THAN I ALREADY DID. BUT TONIGHT I DO".

THAT WAS TYPICAL JOJO.

WHEN SHE WAS DYING OF A STROKE AND COULD NOT SWALLOW ANYTHING SOLID OR EVEN WATER I BOUGHT A BOTTLE OF CHANNEL NO 5 BODY LOTION AND IN THE HOSPITAL I USED TO MASSAGE HER SORE AND TIRED BODY - ALWAYS OUT OF RESPECT AVOIDING HER BREASTS AND TUMMY.


ON THE LAST DAY SHE ASKED ME TO MASSAGE HER TUMMY ALSO. 

I REALISED THAT I WAS MASSAGING THE TUMMY OF MY DYING MOTHER - THE TUMMY OUT OF WHICH I HAD BEEN BORN 53 YEARS EARLIER. 


WHEN SHE DIED I LOOKED DOWN AT HER BODY THROUGH MY TEARS AND REALISED THAT SHE HAD WATCHED ME COME INTO THE WORLD AND I HAD JUST WATCHED HER LEAVING THE WORLD. A CIRCLE HAD BEEN COMPLETED. 

FOR THE FIRST YEAR AFTER HER DEATH I WAS DEVASTATED. I CRIED A LOT. I CRIED ESPECIALLY WHEN IT RAINED AS THE RAIN REMINDED ME OF TEARS.

NOW 7 YEAR LATER THE WOUND HAS HEALED A LOT BUT OF COURSE I STILL MISS HER.

BUT I KNOW SHE IS IN HEAVEN AND WE WILL BE REUNITED THERE - IN GOD'S GOOD TIME.

PICTURE ABOVE - FROM LEFT - JOAN (JO'S SISTER), MARGARET (PAT'S SISTER), PAT, JOJO AND PHYLIS (SISTER)

ON HER FIRST ANNIVERSARY ON AUGUST 3RD, 2007, I WAS SITTING IN MY KITCHEN IN LARNE WITH 4 FRIENDS WHO HAD NEVER MET HER.

SHE APPEARED TWICE THAT NIGHT AT THE KITCHEN WINDOW = AT 10.40 PM AND 11.20 PM.

I FEEL HER PRESENCE NEAR.

WHAT A BLESSING A WONDERFUL MOTHER IS.

Bishop Pat Buckley. 5.8.2013 

24 comments:

  1. Bishop Pat,

    You were so very fortunate to have had such a good mother.

    I never knew mine :-( It has been my greatest regret in life.

    A Fellow Priest

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    1. My Brother,

      Yes I was thank you.

      I feel for your loss.

      But your Mum is awaiting you in Heaven - and there you will have her for eternity.

      Pat

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  2. Ar deis De go raibh a h-anam uasal (RIP)-as the fenians say! My mother died in St Johns Sligo. She was in care. She should have been in the Roscommon area but St Johns took her in because I was in St Annes. This was the time I was living in Cranmore & had left the parish. She was still in care when I left in a cloud of smoke & ended up in Manchester not knowing arse from elbow & too confused to give a damn. Like the Paddies of old I came to visit my mam when I could. She never said much about my "affair etc" but I'm sure there were mixed emotions in St John's. To my knowledge staff were excellent. Near her death I was well into the beer and while staying in a B&B in Tubbercurry-owned by the local copper I broke my foot in one of his drainholes in the dark & ended up in Sligo General for a month with followup in Manchester for the next 4 or 5 months. I got a call at 3am one morning in Manchester to say my mam had passed away. I hopped over with my leg in a pot for the funeral. Tom Hever (St Mary's Sligo) presided & Tony Foley was the undertaker_all praise to both of them. What p'd me off most if anything was that Dominick Gillooly went down to my mother when the whole affair broke out when I left and explained all the newspaper articles to her. My mother was a gentle soul and I'm sure that she along with your mother now fully understand the complexities of life that we here on earth tend to make so difficult for ourselves. Sean

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    1. Sean,

      God rest your Mother.

      She now understands ALL THINGS.

      God help any priest who would have gone near JoJO to speak about me.

      She gave Cahal Daly and Desmond Connell short shrift.

      She was a quiet lady - but like a lioness when it came to her children.

      Pat

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  3. God made the perfect mother,
    Compassionate and kind;
    With more love and affection,
    Than you could hope to find;
    He gave this lovely lady,
    A heart of solid gold,
    And after God had finished,
    He must have broken the mould.

    God Bless

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  4. Written by Friend

    I’m contemplating my mother today on her death anniversary.

    Mom passed away 18 months after my father did, at the age of 50 (my father was 49 when he died). Her hospitalisation and death has been one of the most stressful times in my life. The three years surrounding that has been an aching blur of memories.

    It’s hard not to tear up when I think of Mom. Words cannot express how much she means to me. She taught me so much by her witness of unconditional love, and her beautiful example of enduring strength in suffering. Her faith in God was unshakeable, and her sense of hope undiminishing.

    It pains me to know that my children don’t have her in their lives. They’re unaware of what they’re missing. I grieve for the future we’ll never have together.

    I miss her.

    And today, more than ever, I miss my siblings. I suspect they’ll visit Mom’s grave today, bring her a small pot of flowers, and perhaps a small tub of double-double ice-cream, her favourite.

    I learned from grief counselling that there’s a body memory for loss. I can’t remember the fine details of the countless hours spent in the hospital, all the funeral preparations, and what we did with her things seven years ago…..But my body remembers.

    This time of year is usually a low point for me. I feel my energies dip. I’m more sluggish and tired than usual and want to sleep all the time. Mentally, I have no desire to think of anything. I escape with my mind by reading fiction and watching movies. Emotionally, I’m sensitive, impatient, easily discouraged, and prone to tears.

    This ebb-tide of grief still surprises me. No matter how hard I run towards joy, loss nips at my heels. Such is the human condition, when loved ones who hold the promise of the future pass on before us.

    Good Gifts by my Mom and by the sounds of it your Mon to Pat:

    Good Gifts of Love

    Good Gifts you hand me down

    From your first touch

    To my wedding gown / Ordaination

    Do you even know what you have given me?

    Do you even see that you are wisdom, you are wisdom to me?

    My song, my soul

    You gave so easily

    I’ll not forget these gifts to me

    We say good-bye but we are not alone

    Here with me still, my heart my home.

    God Bless Pat and I pray for you and those who support you during this painful but beautiful time of memories.

    Elizabeth



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    1. Elizabeth,

      Thank you for your inspiring contribution.

      Thankfully I have passed on from mourning to a mellow and quiet expectation of meeting again.

      I went for counselling when JoJo died.

      When I gave her PERMISSION TO BE GONE it became easier.

      Pat

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    2. We sometimes forget God reveals feminine as well as masculine attributes. Femininity is essential for the animal kingdom as well as us humans. I have learned allot from our pony Boo-daft as it may seem. She was abused in the past and still is fearful especially of men. It took me a year to build up a strong level of trust with her. She is cheeky, naughty, stubborn, moody but at times shows that unconditional love that only well treated pets or animals can show. In a sense she is like a therapist helping me to be more aware of body language and be more realistic in my own expectations and judgements. In the end boo is a horse and not a human. Sometimes we can project our expectations & dreams onto our pets-dress them up etc & also project our expectations onto others which can lead to conflict. Our mothers-generaly speaking can be the nearest thing to God we experience on this earth. Along with the basic instincts human mothers share with other "animals" they also share the love that comes from reflective knowledge and judgement. In using their knowledge and judgement mothers share something with that us fellas can only speculate about. Without females no created group such as ourselves would survive. As for the Church, in many denominations women are the backbone and therefore should not be treated as second class citizens-The laugh in Church of England is that women can be Priests-its like saying they can be a Teacher but not School Principal but then were not School Principals not teachers before they became Head -Sean

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    3. The point I was trying to make above is that women can be priests but not bishops-hope this clarifies what I was trying to say

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  5. One of the most difficult things to deal with in life is the death of a loved one. As a Christian I understand death is a part of life. We Christian's have a blessed hope – that is the return of the Saviour Jesus to catch up His Church (People of God) and bring them to eternal life with Him and God the Father in Heaven. Here are some scripture quotes about death that I hope will comfort you today Pat and all who read them:

    As He Promised, He Will Do
    John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

    Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

    2 Corinthians 5:6-8 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

    1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

    1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

    Safe In His Arms, Now and Forever:

    Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,

    Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

    John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (Jesus speaking)


    Oratory Society Member





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    1. Each and every one meaningful and faith strengthening.

      Pat

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    2. Thank you.

      Each one inspiring and faith strengthening.

      Pat

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  6. These are some quotes that have helped me in the past:

    “They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.” ~ Williams Penn

    ”When the time comes for you to die, you need not be afraid, because death cannot separate you from God’s love.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

    ”It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth.” ~ Ignatius of Antioch

    “He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave.” ~ Matthew Henry

    “Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis



    A friend.

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    1. Thank you. Lovely, meaningful quotes.

      Pat

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  7. A candle is burning for you today.

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  8. Eucharist will be offered for anniversary of your Mother. By the sounds of it a great Irish Mother.

    God Bless.

    D&C Friendly

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    1. Your gesture means more to me than you can imagine.

      I hope you still have your own Mum with you.

      If not I hope you have very treasured memories.

      Pat

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  9. + Pat I had the pleasure of knowing Jo Jo ,she was all you say and more besides.Always ready with a warm welcome and in my case words of encouragement and help,more than that she had an honesty that I could only admire,on several occasions she took me aside and pionted out where I was going wrong,I admired her for that.I know she loved you so much,I know she was so proud of you and I know that at times when you may have felt the whole world was against you,there was Jo Jo standing shoulder to shoulder.I know she was your mother and your friend and in no small way she made you the man you are today.RIP.Mike

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    1. Mike,

      Thank you.

      I never knew she "called you aside" :-)

      JoJo was steadfast.

      Our mothers should be the very last one to abandon us - and ideally never.

      I am not half the human being she was.

      Hope your own Mum is well.

      Pat

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    2. Oh yes! Jo Jo was your Vicar General ! Jo Jo kept a watchful eye over the priests of the society..or maybe just me!!!! Those conversations are not for this forum,we will talk over the phone.She was a lovely woman

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  10. " love is how you stay alive even when your gone " Mitch Albom For JO Jo and Pat Mike.

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