Lucky and Blessed

Good morning.  After a night of pouring rain, it’s a sunny day on Scarlet Crescent.  I have a batch of ANZACs in the oven and some applesauce on the stove while Declan O’Rourke croons to me on the stereo on the other room.  Evelyn is up in my bed having “quiet time” after a series of tantrums… never a dull moment with a 2 year old around!  Frank is on a mission to get us a new washing machine today, after over a month without one.  (Secondary reason for making cookies – mask the mildewy smell in our kitchen! yuck!)  It is going to be another tight week in our house, but at least we won’t have to burden the in-laws with our laundry any more.

In the back of my mind, I’m imagining a little getaway for our upcoming fourth anniversary… I was hoping I might finally see Galway, or Clare, or maybe even just Wicklow, which is a bit closer to home.  How nice it would be to have a spa day and be able to sleep in WITH my husband, rather than taking turns.  But I really don’t know if it will happen.  We might have to be content with a nice meal out here in town and a night/morning off from our little alarm clock, Evelyn! 

Money is really tight.  I don’t think most people understand just how tight it is for us.  It’s more than just having to give up a few special treats – it’s having lived without them for a long, long time.  The trip to Boston was thanks to a personal loan and the goodwill of our friends and family.  The new stove we bought earlier this year was partially funded by the local social welfare office, and the washing machine will be the same.  I’m not proud to say it, but it is our reality, and a big part of why we want to move back to the States so desperately. 

It’s funny how our lives take different turns than we’d ever imagined, isn’t it?  Each of us face hardships, and so we should – they are part of being human, and if we’re lucky, we will become stronger because of them.  Yet, when I was planning out my life at age 16, I never would have seen myself here, with my particular blessings and challenges.  Probably best I could not see the future back then.

And yet, today at least, I feel very blessed.  I am blessed to have help when I’ve needed it.  I’m blessed to be looked after so well.  I am blessed to have learned so much about life and the world and myself in the time I’ve been in Ireland.  I’m blessed to love and be loved, and to know that whatever else, this will remain constant.

I look back at the years before I met Frank, and I remember the struggle of feeling loney, and misunderstood.  I had so much love to give someone, and I longed for a soul mate. My arms ached for babies. I may have had other comforts and pleasures, but there was always a missing piece to my puzzle.  And I think of friends now, who are still looking, or who have seen their love trampled on and lost, or have even had it tragically taken away.  And I know, with every bit of me, just how much God has given me, anniversary getaway or not!

Frank is the love of my life.  Evelyn, and any other babies that come, are my reason for getting up every day and willing a smile onto my face. I am lucky.  I am blessed.

To end off, I’ll share the lyrics with one of Declan O’Rourke’s best love songs that expresses all that I’ve just spoken of.  If you want to hear/buy it, you can find it here.

Silly Days by Declan O’Rourke

In the silly days
When I was a boy
Just a little ray of sunshine
Always reaching
Always looking up
It seemed like twenty was the big time
I would grow up
Get married
To the woman I love.
And we’d be best friends
Maybe children then
All seemed simple enough…

Now we live in a world
Where the lights of the city
Seem to outshine the light of the stars
And we’re reaching up into the dark

Now our parents
Had these values
Passed down through the generations.
More forgiving
And somehow willing
To make something of a station.
And it was normal
To give your everything
To your one and your only.
But for us
It’s more frequent
To be young, free and lonely…

‘Cos we live in a world
Where the lights of the city
Seem to outshine the light of the stars
And we’re reaching up into the dark

Now is the time
When we must decide
What we will be leaving
For our children
Will they also live in a world
Where the lights of the city
Seem to outshine the light of the stars
And you’re reaching up into the dark?


3 thoughts on “Lucky and Blessed

  1. Michael

    Oh how I remember those early days of you and Frank. You are correct in saying you are blessed. Patty and I did not do things the easy way either (still don’t) and relied on family and friends for support early on. Well worth it I can tell you.

  2. maryannk

    Mike – you were always one of my biggest “Frank supporters,” and I’ve never forgotten that either. Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

    Mairead – cheers. Thanks for reading along.

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