A good mannered daughter, holding the hammer and a limerick pops up.
Aoife, aged 2.
Her first words were 'Ta-Ta'
Just over 7 years ago, the above photograph was taken. Alison my wife is my hero and always will be, no question, but Aoife is the apple of my eye, no contest.
I know the next bit might, OK 'does' sound totally biased but I can assure you (and those that know us both will testify) as an only child, we do not have Aoife spoilt and when we are out, be it ballooning, in a friends house, out shopping or meeting people for the first time, it gets remarked on more than often, how mannerly our little Miss is.
I can only accept 33% of the blame here. From day 1, myself and Alison would gently but routinely massage the manners in to Aoife. For the first 2 years it was just "What do ya say Aoife? Say Ta-Ta" and we moved on from there. So that's 66%, where's the other 33%? ...
..It's Aoife !
You can bring a horse to water but can't make it drink. That works for kids as well as horses by the way lol. I'm no expert by the way, but I am a firm believer a child has to want to do business if it wants to learn anything and that includes good old fashioned manners too.
So moving on from there, when Aoife (slowly but surely) found her manners feet, herself and I must point out here that other like minded kids? they also have garnerrd a knowledge of understanding. The 'why' I must have manners. The 'nice things happen to me' when I make an effort to say 'please' and 'thank you' even in small situations. As I say to myself when I hear Aoife's manners at work, good exam results open doors, excellent manners opens those doors that bit wider. And no CV in the world that I have certainly seen can contain the authors manners, can it ??
Roll on my illness, what a learning curve for this 9 year old. My Gastro Cancer was just 2 weeks old when Aoife perked up and askedAlison one day, "Mammy, does Daddy have cancer?"
If I was present, I think I would have just caved. Alison simply replied back that "Yes, Daddy has and just like Aunty Xxxxxxxx, Daddy is going to get better too". So as you can C, the 'Big C', 'the Bug' and so on has never had a place in our home, but Cancer has. It's not taboo. How could it ? It's a horrible thing but if you are going to try and help somebody with it, at least have the cop on and intelligence to call it by it's proper name. Don't be afraid of it, it doesn't bite. Oh wait, sorry, like f¥ck it doesn't, it does !!! But don't let this mad dog scare you. Address it, Stand up to it, Fight it !!!
Aoife. February 2017.
Since I got sick, I see Alison's caring attitude just oozing out of Aoife. I hope you understand, I'm not using this blog entry as a gloat on Aoife. However, I am using it to bring Aoife into the fold and recognise this 9 year old kids untold contribution to, and I'll quote my good friend Anna Kellett 'Team Aidan'. Aoife certainly knows 'Daddy is not well'. Out of nowhere, while here at home, Aoife will just come over to me (wherever I am or whatever I'm doing), give me a cuddle and quietly say:
"Daddy, I love you".
Yes, of course this melts my heart, but as it's melting my heart it is also most definitely enforcing my resolve. My right but also my fight to wipe out this gastro cancerous tumour of mine. This thing is going. It's getting smaller, weaker, not raising it's head anywhere else.
The chemotherapy I'm receiving is cracking it open. No surer thing. But I think it's a bit more than that. My chemotherapy is the hammer, but like any good panel beater, yes, the hammer helps but one needs to know how much force the hammer needs, that's my job. How to hold the hammer is also a prerequisite, that's where my full support crew come in. They are my hero Alison (with willing apprentice junior hero Aoife) and of course Alison's family, my close circle of trusted friends, my wider circle of fellow hot air balloonists that are scattered all over the globe, and of course YOU who is reading this blog.
All part of the magic ingredients and they are cooking away.
In closing, I would like to share a recent verse that was recently scribed on my Facebook page:
I'd often heard of Murphys Law
But it became a cliche, if not a bore
Till recently I heard of its reincarnation
A bloke in Ireland broadcasting to every nation
Having got the big C, he wasn't afraid
By generating publicity it helped it fade
So the reborn Murphy is showing people how
It's possible to fight it, right here, right now!
Ian Roger Warrington. February 2017.
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