Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Flowers Bloom and The Rain Also Falls




Ibiza - photo by Helen Tilston
It has been a difficult and different year.    The death of my youngest brother in May left a hole in our day to day lives.   My childhood school friend, Mary, also left this world in November.   Upon reflection,  I am grateful that I was able to spend the summer visiting my friend Mary in hospital, reminiscing, laughing and singing.   Upon graduation Mary joined the Irish Times, where she worked her entire life.  She had a wonderful singing voice and loved Elvis Presley and an Irish rock star called Joe Dolan.  Like many in Ireland who have a song they sing when asked; Mary's party piece was:
"Saturday Night at the Movies"

Mary was very good looking and a natural blonde. She had a quick wit which often got us into hot water.  I recall one time when she visited me in Toronto and we took a bus to New York.  At the border between Canada and the USA, Canadian  Customs and Immigration boarded the bus, checked our passports and asked what did we acquire while in the USA.  Mary's response was:  "Ah just a few phone numbers Officer". Everyone on the bus laughed but we were ushered off the coach and searched.   The Parting Glass for my dearly departed friend Mary Fanning.



 

The Parting Glass

Good Night and Joy be with you all.


49 comments:

  1. Oh Helen I just saw your comment on Poppy's post and it was like bumping into a long-time friend that you haven't recently seen. I immediately came to your blog. I've missed your posts but understand that the year has not been the easiest for you. Here's wishes for a much happier 2016!! Hugs, Jackie

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  2. Hello Jackie,
    How lovely to see you here and thank you for your kind words and good wishes. I am looking forward to catching up on your travels and wish you and Joel a very Happy New Year full of blessings.

    Helen xx

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  3. Dearest Helen,

    How lovely to see a new post from you; I've missed your thoughtful entries, always accompanied by such inspiring images or music.

    It was a difficult year for you, and I hope that this new one is filled with good health, happiness and love.

    Thank you for telling us a little bit about your dear friend, Mary. What fun adventures you shared!

    It is now past MY bedtime, so I, too, will bid you goodnight.

    xx
    Poppy

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    1. Hello Poppy, It is so good to see you here. Thanks for your good wishes. I am very grateful to have had a chance to be with Mary for the past six months of her life. That is a blessing.
      Hope life is great with you and I look forward to catching up on your adventures.

      Helen xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your good wishes. I feel it will be a great year.
      Helen xx

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  5. Prayers and sympathies for the loss of your love ones

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    1. Thank you for your prayers. I very much appreciate your wishes

      Wishing you the best for 2016

      Helen x

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  6. Dear Helen - 2015 has been a difficult year for you, it is particularly distressing when we loose our close family and friends.
    It is lovely to see you back in this space as you have been greatly missed.
    Take care dear Helen♡

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    1. Hello Rosemary, You would understand very well as you lost your dear brother also. It took the wind out of my sail, so to speak.
      I am looking forward to posting at least once a month.

      Helen xx

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  7. I'm sorry to hear you've lost a dear friend, Helen. What a lovely person she must have been, and I hope you can conjure up her image on the beautiful Ibiza street, which seems suddenly lonely when I glance up after hearing of your loss.

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    1. Thank you Mise. Mary was very unique and could likely have made a living as a comedian. I will miss her wit and friendship but I am grateful I was given time to be with her in Ireland. Fondest wishes for a great New Year

      Helenx

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  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. Lovely tribute, beautiful photo.

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    1. Thank you Jen for your kind words

      Helenx

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  9. Oh Helen, what a year you had. Loved the story about Mary hauled off the bus and searched. I'm a fraidy cat, but love those that won't take it. I've been singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to my new Penny Lane. I think my daughter-in-law and son are sick of hearing it. What a beautiful pic from Ibiza. Wild there I hear..

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  10. Oh Helen, I love your posts. I also wish I had been on that bus with you and Mary! I hope and pray that 2016 only brings you good blessings of health and joy and laughter! xo

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    1. Hello Raquel,

      Oh I can just imagine the fun we would have had had you been on the bus. We likely would have ended up in serious trouble. I have so many fond memories of our bus trip from Toronto to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. I still tell those stories at parties.
      Helen xx

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  11. My dearest Helen,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. I had no idea that you were going through a sad time last year. I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved brother and friend. Your heartfelt tributes to your brother and your friend touch a deeper place in my heart. There is a meaningful line in the bible that goes: “they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” I keep my prayers to God and may he keep watching over you at this difficult time and may he guide you with a shining star...

    With warmest wishes, ASD xxx

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    1. Dearest ASD

      Thank you for your heart felt kind words of condolence. You would have very much enjoyed my brother Thomas and he would have had a wonderful time visiting your home, your library and music collection.

      I am delighted you are writing and posting again and will be rushing over to visit. I sometimes take a pot of tea and settle down to read your posts.
      Wishing you the best in 2016

      Helen xx

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  12. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your brother and your friend. May 2016 be a good year for you.

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    1. Thank you Loree for your good wishes. 2016 is starting off beautifully and again I thank for all the prayers and good wishes

      Helenx

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  13. Dear Helen,

    So sorry to hear of your losses last year. Beautiful memories of your sweet friend. I hope that 2016 will be kinder to you.

    Madelief x

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    1. Thank you Madelief. As you well know the loss of a loved one is shocking. I think of you often and you are in my prayers.

      Helen xx

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  14. It's so hard to lose a young brother and a close friend, both in the same year. Hefty and difficult! But I'm glad to see a new post from you Helen! You have been missed you know!
    Wishing you a happy new year!
    Olympia

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    1. Hello Olympia
      How kind of you to say I was missed from blogging. I have missed visiting my favourite bloggers and the friendships made.
      I am so happy to see you are continuing to write.
      Fondest wishes

      Helen xx

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  15. Dear Helen,
    How good to visit, and I can imagine how difficult your losses were/still are. I wonder if we ever forget. I had to laugh at your story...love quick, sharp-witted people, they make life so much more fun.
    We had a lot of rain too...your image above looks heavenly.
    Love always...xoxo

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    1. Dear Mona, How lovely to hear from you. I have missed you. I am coming over to your blog shortly and hope you are continuing to write. Your writing is original and engaging.
      Hope the weather is improving for you.
      Love and hugs
      Helen xx

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  16. Dear Helen,
    I am so sorry to hear about your losses. What a wonderful memory of your friend, she sounds like she had a wonderful sense of humour. Wishing you all the best -xo, Louise

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    1. Hello Louise,
      How lovely to hear from you. You have been on my mind too and I hope your lectures in Toronto were a huge success.
      Enjoy your semester in NYC and fondest wishes for 2016
      Helen xx

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  17. so sorry about the loss of your brother and your friend x I hope 2016 is kind to you x

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    1. Thank you for your heartfelt and kind wishes and prayers

      Helenxx

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  18. Helen, I share the same sentiment of many above, we have missed you, your thoughtful words and beautiful posts. Life is so, so precious. I am sorry for your loss, your brother and a friend in just one year would surely take a lot from you. The loss of of a loved one is so profound, and its impact on our lives is far reaching. I think it changes you to the core, or at least that has been my experience. How blessed that you were to be able to spend time with Mary and reminisce about your lives and loves. What a wonderful time at such a sad time.

    My thoughts are with you, Joe and Mary as are my prayers. I hope you have a blessed and wonderful year Helen.

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    1. Hello Elizabeth,

      Thank you for your support and inclusiveness. I am honoured to be missed from blogging. I plan on posting once a month.
      You are right when you say that losing a loved one is profound and changes one to the core. That is a brilliant way of putting it. That is precisely what happened to me.
      It must be horrific when one loses a loved one in an accident and there is not the time to say good-bye.
      I am grateful for the time I had with my brother and friend Mary.
      Wishing you goodness in 2016
      Helen xx

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  19. Hi Helen - yes understandably I hadn't realised about the terrible loss of your brother - always so difficult ... and then coming to terms with his going. I feel for you.

    Close friends too - I lost one about 15 years ago .. and I'd known her since she was born - so I feel for you with Mary ... but how wonderful you were able to spend time with her and be with her during those last months ... and give some light and laughter into her life - an essential when someone is dying.

    My thoughts - but seeing the photo at the beginning was bliss ... I'd love to live in that sort of climate - but then I'd probably miss the culture.

    Delighted you posted the Ed Sheeran song "The Parting Glass" - it was amazing to listen to .. and I hadn't heard it before ...

    Cheers and with many thoughts as you move forward with your own life and 2016 - Hilary

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    1. Hello Hilary
      Sorry for your loss all those years ago and you well know the feeling and void left by those we loved dearly. Life is moving along and there are good time too.
      The photo is Ibiza where we visited more than a year ago and it poured for two days but the flowers were beautiful. There are a lot of night clubs there and is for the younger set particularly at night.

      I will look forward to visiting you
      Helen xx

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  20. Despite your very sad year, filled with loss, you have posted a wonderfully vibrant, life affirming photo! I do hope next year will be kinder to you and that you will enjoy your travelling. Hope to hear about it here.

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    1. Marianne, your kind words and wishes are powerful and sincere. My heartfelt thanks for visiting. I will look forward to your return visit and comments. A very Happy 2016 to you and yours
      Helen xxx

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  21. Dear Helen thank you so much for your New Year wishes, it was so nice to wake up to your comment this morning!

    Ha Ha! Your lovely tale of Mary made me smile, she certainly was quick-witted I'd never of thought of saying that...brilliant. They were particularly stuffy to take you off the bus and search, boring job's-worth's! It was lovely to hear of your adventure, especially on a day we've all heard of David Bowie's death, too soon too soon.

    Hugs to you and yours Helen,
    Jane

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    1. Hello Jane,
      How lovely to hear from you and thank you for your kind words.

      Mary had a quick wit and we have so many original lines attributed to her quick and original wit and responses. She likely could have made a living as a comedian.

      I was very saddened to hear of David Bowie's death. My late brother Thomas was a huge fan and it is coincidental that Bowie would die on my brother's birthday. I like to think they are both together today rocking away in heaven.

      Hope you are well and I will be visiting you so please keep writing.
      Helen xx

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  22. Dear Helen - Welcome back! Missed your voice. Enjoyed the fun story about Mary on the bus :) What a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your losses. Take care, L

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  23. It has been a difficult year indeed. It is worthwhile to spend time with friends and I'm glad you had the chance to see Mary so much during her last months.

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  24. Life goes on. We can't avoid the changes, the losses. I guess we just give thanks for the times when we were together to laugh and remember.
    The Parting Glass is beautiful - all new to me.

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  25. So much in one year. :( I hope the new year is easier and more peaceful. You are an amazing friend to have spent so much time with Mary before she parted. :o)

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  26. A very sad year for you Helen .... all that I can say is that I'm sure that you have such fond memories of them both. You really must miss them ..... Mary sounded lovely and great fun.
    Here's to a wonderful 2016 .... may it be a Happy, Healthy and peaceful one. XXXX

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  27. Dear Helen, I am so sorry for your losses. To loose a younger brother and a close friend is so painful. I love the 'a few phone numbers' story,Mary had a quick wit and a great sense of humour to come up with a reply like that!Sending all best wishes and love. Jane

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  28. Hello Helen, I am so sorry to hear about your friend's passing. She sounds quite a character! Sometimes life is very hard. I hope you can find some solace in your work. The weather is very strange and topsy turvy here, but there is Spring to look forward to. Loads of love and hugs to you, Linda xx

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  29. Hello Helen, I'm so very sorry to hear about your sad losses last year, both your brother and your good friend Mary. It must be very difficult at the moment for you, and I hope that as each day passes it becomes a little less painful for you and instead can remember the great times you had together. I hope this year is a better one.
    Best Wishes
    Gill xx

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  30. Dear Helen,

    Hope you are well? I wanted to thank you for your, always, sweet comments on my blog. Miss your blog posts and images of your paintings. Take care.

    Happy weekend ahead!

    Madelief x

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