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.