Many years ago, when she was more at herself , Matty made a trip to Vancouver to see her son and his family. The entire time she was away Daddy fretted and would barely leave the house 'in case your mother might ring'. Kerry Sister kept house for him during this time and she had imagined taking him out on lots of visits and expeditions but he was having none of it. "Your mother might ring." I remember that Matty's youngest sister loaned her their mother's wedding ring to wear during the trip so that Matty might be watched over from heaven. Even so, while Matty was going through Heathrow Airport she experienced a panic attack. Then she remembered her mother's ring, had a sense of her mother's presence and recovered, carried on and completed her journey with no further drama.
She had a great time in British Columbia with the brother and his Canadian family. That little house at the top is where she stayed. While I was there Vancouver Brother took me on a little tour of all the houses he has lived in. That house was the first. There was a huge pear tree in the back yard and two of his children were born there.
I fretted a bit myself before I left for my trip. Worried I would miss a plane connection, worried that the brother and I would get fed up with each other. After all, we would never have spent so much time in each other's company before. But mainly I worried about the journey. I'm not afraid of flying – just of missing planes.
Like Matty before me I was wearing my mother's wedding ring. I consoled myself that if Matty could make this trip without mishap, then so could I. It wasn't as if it was the ring's first visit for it had been there before me. My trip went well. I got there in one piece. One poignant moment – on first seeing each other at the airport Eamon saw our mother in my face and I saw our father in his.
And the return journey? I missed a connection. The world didn't end. Nobody died. And Aer Lingus didn't charge me an extra cent.