March 2001 The Trips To Trabolgan (Holiday park Cork ,Southern Ireland)
Each year around March we packed the car and headed off to Middleton, county Cork. When I say packed the car it really was packed and everything except the kitchen sink came with us.
We started going to Trabolgan about nine years ago when Gary was five and little did we know then that Trabolgan was to become so important for our memories of Gary. It was a place which gave Gary, Stephen and Lisa the freedom to explore. To go out to play freely. It was a place where families could share in the joy of playing together and we as Mom and Dad loved so much to see the children happy in that safe, beautiful and peaceful environment. Our visit in March '99 is the most precious because its our last visit with Gary and probably our last ever for us as a family. The thoughts of going there is too hard without Gary.
I can remember the morning packing the car everything was planned by mom and we just followed out the plans early that morning. Gary had one thing on his mind to make sure his golf clubs he used came. Mom was concerned that her new shoes were stuffed in the back and they would be damaged Gary made sure they were ok. Its strange how trivial things become important when you search your memory for every detail.
I think a lot about our journey and in particular stopping in Dungarvan ( a small town 60miles from home). We went inside and bought fish and chips and sausages and ate them sitting on a bench looking out on the harbour. Without a care in the world on a beautiful Spring day. Months later we look back and think how can Gary be taken from us like that but those questions are the very ones which shall tear our heart and soul and shall only be answered when we meet up with Gary.
As I was out walking tonight with Christine and our dog"Casper" we stopped to look up at stars. I believe that it's quite a common thing to when we are living through our grief. We both shared that feeling of how small a part we play in " the big picture of life ", how great the universe is and how little we know of what life is about. We arrived at the back of our house and stopped for a moment and as we stood and stared we never thought we would see the day when a part of our little family of five would not be inside waiting on us to return home. Almost two years have passed since Gary died and we learn to live on and try to let that hurt go. The realization that Gary had his life on this earth and while here he did what he came here to achieve. As his Mom and Dad we find it so hard to accept and it is something which shall always be on our mind. The comfortable feeling of living and the security has gone and the missing of Gary is so difficult. We both agree our lives is still of the utmost importance for our children's sake as well as our own. Even though the " sparkle " died the day Gary died but we have learned that each of us is a small part of the "picture" and without all the small parts the world could not live on.
From Gary's passing life has been hard to accept but we know we must learn from his death. Firstly the love we share towards one another. And also to try to be a better person. Without learning this his death for us would be so much harder to live with.
One day we shall be able for to meet with Gary and take up life's mystery once again. To Gary we send our love we miss him every day and always wonder what he is doing.
Take care love from Brendan, Christine and Family.
March 2002 Almost three years since Gary had to go. Today St Patrick's day a wet and windy day with little fine weather to go out , I think of how our family is and how Gary's passing has changed our life. We have been to hell and back and that journey goes on. The hell side of things are not so bad now although the normality of life now includes the pain of loss and that is difficult to accept sometimes.
March once again and my thoughts are scattered in my head at this time. I look at the newspapers and the television and see the terrible killings that go on in Israel. But its not just there its all over the world so many senseless deaths. I call it senseless deaths but I have come to learn there are is no such thing. All of us were put here for a reason and I have learned we must die for a reason but try to figure that reason out is such a difficult chore to which there is no good answer. I hung a couple of photographs of our children and they hang beside photo's of Gary. Such beautiful children all of them but now that's all we have of Gary and its not enough if only if only just like on the television we could make Gary appear home.
Happy St Patrick's day to all and to Gary we send our love. I hope life is ok for everyone where ever you are and I hope life can be as good as it can be for you.
Take care for now all our love from Brendan, Christine and family