In my last Saint post I neglected to add my favorite. I figure it is better to roll out anecdotes from my recent trip to Ireland rather than a travel blog–more interesting that way although little coconut assures me it is not all that interesting. Oh the irony!
We had set out on a long leg of our journey from Dingle to Galway via the Cliffs of Moher. Rules of the road were simple. Blanket would drive and I would navigate and there would be no fighting or yelling. Okay then, I excitedly saw the marking for St. Bridget’s Well on the NAV and insisted we must find it, after all, the little coconut is named after her (and many ancestors named Bridget Keilty). As we approached we saw a cockeyed sign pointing up hill. We turned onto a dirt road for some distance before a kid laughed and told us to turn back, we had missed it. Pretty hilarious when we went back and found a 7 foot tall wooden statue encased in a glass box right where the turn was. Hard to Miss!
We arrived, the only pilgrims there that day. We hopped out to circle the statue, surrounded at her feet with stones on which people has written messages and pleas to her. Gradually we became aware of a small corridor in the cliff behind her. We entered the narrow hall to find hundreds of relics and mementos people had left of their loved ones– photos, beads, rosaries. A hole in the wall was lined with tin foil where pilgrims had lit small white votive candles to their deceased ones. Bits of cloth ripped from clothing hung from the branches above us in the small opening overhead. At the end of the slick corridor was the actual well, a square opening in the ground, foaming with brownish water from the river stream falling above. It was pretty moving to say the least and especially mysterious by virtue of us being the only ones there. Naturally curious, I felt compelled to crouch down and touch the water. Blessed water is healing right? OMG–as I leant over, my $700 eyeglasses went in the seemingly bottomless murky well! It was a panicked moment but I decided “oh F ^*^k, I gotta go in! “I laid on the slippery muddy floor and stuck my arm in up to my shoulder, prepared to dive in. After several long, frantic, minutes of routing around, I found them!!! Divine intervention? Yikes, soaked and shaken, I was so relieved I didn’t have to actually dive in. Laughing, Tim ran for water to wash off my glasses and vest. Even this did not stop me from adding my METAvivor pin and placing a token coin in the cracks in the wall over the well, a silent prayer for all my mets sisters everywhere. 🇮🇪💚🍀
On to other unrelated business. My bestie, Stephen, recently took us to my first ever NFL game, the season opener of the Patriots. It was fabulous, so much better in real life than on a TV. I may or may not have cried a little when the Pats took the field. It was incredible, a perfectly warm night, and a huge enthusiastic crowd.
Now I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the NFL players kneeling during the anthem until our “president” decided to get involved. It forced me to look more thoughtfully at the issue. I am with the players. Kneeling is not about protesting the flag, the military or the anthem. It is about focusing attention on racial injustice. Until we are all treated fairly, we cannot have equality and peaceful protest is as American a concept as Rosa Parks on that bus. I personally think the President should be focusing on that as well as the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico and the nuclear show down with North Korea.
What’s up next? I am sidelined today with an ear infection while waiting for my niece to deliver her first baby. On October 13th I will be in Washington DC with my mets sisters to march on Capital Hill and demand more money for research for a cure for metastatic breast cancer and avoiding the pink crap that suggests otherwise. Tim/Blanket was tired of me moping around the house about my impending birthday and retirement and surprised me with a 9 day trip to Aruba the day after my last day, Yay!
This is FTD awareness month so I am contributing a song by Glen Campbell for my friend Michelle who lost her mom way too young to this insidious disease. My dad and I loved Glen Campbell when I was a kid and he would regularly be on the Smothers Brother Show (see, I am old!). This song was a favorite.
Be gentle on each other, no one knows another’s burdens.