The Pallottines, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin


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ruth2Three-year-old Sadie says that Dadda talks with his eyes. An eye-gaze computer sounds less romantic. “I’ll ask his eyes,” she says when she wants something. “He loves me!” she exclaims like a surprise present. Love like a present is the gift we share from him. I hold it fiercely. His magnificent heart.

My husband is a wonder to me but he is hard to find. I search for him in our home. He breathes through a pipe in his throat. He feels everything but cannot move a muscle. I lie on his chest counting mechanical breaths. I hold his hand but he doesn’t hold back. His darting eyes are the only windows left. I won’t stop searching. My soul demands it and so does his. Simon has motor neuron disease, but that’s not the dilemma, at least not today. Be brave.

My Cove…My Tribe


My friend’s calm cousin cuts through the bullshit. “Find your tribe,” she says. Finding your people is more important than what kind of house you live in. Decide whether you’ve found your tribe and go from there. I believe her.

Find your tribe, she said, but maybe the cove is my tribe and the cove is mine. My babies stand with soggy shoes and noses on the shore, skidding on wet stones and cheer as their Momma plunges to her salvation. Yes, this is my cove and the sea is my salvation. It shocks my body back to life, as rain darts on the sea surface on a misty, romantic day.

On other days I need to weep. When your body breaks down in a parked car, it is embarrassing. A man walked by on the footpath at the precise moment my face crumbled, and I turned away sharply. Oh, the shame. The horror that someone should witness this pain in the safe routine of the school run.

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