Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town



For the last seven days our life has been uneventful and there’s nothing wrong with that either. For the first time in a couple of weeks Fred’s gone seizure free for 8 days and it could be tempting fate to mention that here. Having said that there are a myriad of circumstances which I try to avoid because of their association with Freddie ending up in hospital. For a couple of weeks there when I came home early Freddie went over and now I try not to rush home in the evenings. Once I had a particularly spicy stir-fry and a while later down he went, no more stir-fry for a long time after that. Before that bad night in August he was out playing with the garden hose, even the sight of a garden hose now puts shivers down my spine. There have been so many occasions, so many associations that I could become very OCD about them all. However it’s something I have to deal with, coincidence is a very natural thing after all and we can’t be restricting our life anymore than it is already. For the last while I’ve been trying to reason everything that happens and not associate ordinary everyday occurrences with Freddie keeling over. Doing something doesn’t bring on seizures, misfiring synapses in the brain do that all on their ownio.

Saying you’re dealing with something and actually dealing with it are two different things. Yesterday morning we drove out to Dingle to watch the St Patrick’s Day parade and to collect our darling Ms Ruby. The same Ms Ruby had been at a disco Friday night and had slept over at a friend’s house. All the way out to Dingle I was tense, something I’d put down to the crap coffee we bought on the way. Throughout the parade I couldn’t wait to get home, worried that the little man would keel over and we’d have to rush back to Tralee. Again. Afterwards we picked up Ruby and headed for home over the Conor Pass. The tension at this stage was bursting out of my pores and I was snapping at everyone in the car. Ruby passed comment on my mood and this made me realise how wound up I actually was. By the time we hit Ballyseede I was someway better, calming down and seeing things a bit clearer. In the kitchen with Lisa it clicked with me…the last time I’d done a journey in the car with Freddie had been in February, to Cork and back to see his neurologist….and he’d had a seizure on the way home. No wonder I was so tense, I was associating travel with seizures and had worried myself into a tizzy. Now how am I going to deal with this one? In time I probably will by realizing what happened was a coincidence but time it will take.

During the week Freddie asked me to get some headphones from my shop. Don’t know why he suddenly wanted a set but I brought them home Friday evening. He put them on and all night he was wearing them. They are the ones with a microphone so he looked like a pilot sitting in front of the TV watching his programs. When watching his DVD player he had them on so as to listen to the movie, eating his snack he wore them and when it came to sleeping time he kept them on. Lisa slipped them off when he drifted into deep sleep. They were laid out on the bedside table for him when he woke-up; just as well as it was the first thing he looked for. Yesterday he wore them in the car, all the way through the parade and back home again, letting Ruby have a try for a while. Now today he’s on his chair watching Godzilla and Ultraman clips on YouTube. You’d think the earphones would be ideal for the all round experience, but where are they? Thrown beside me on the couch, forgotten like yesterdays news while some of the most ferocious battles for the future of our planet are fought on the other side of the room. No doubt he’ll use them again but he’s such a funny little man with his figaries. He becomes obsessed with things, food, toys, people and nothing will be done unless it’s done in a certain manner. These obsessions can last months or days and I could fill pages with their stories. His mother can be driven mad with them, she is the one with him all day, but we all love him for them, its part of what Freddie is.

After I’d calmed down yesterday I remembered the time as a 10 year old when I was in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork City. For some reason or other it was decided that three Cub Scouts from Cobh would go on the back of a lorry with the Cork Scouts and all of us would be dressed as scouts from around the world. This was before the worldwide television coverage of parades so in all likelihood nobody would see us but the good people of Cork. Plus the only thing that would distinguish us was the different countries scarves and nobody except the poor young fella wearing it knew which county he was representing. If memory serves me I was Sweden. So we set off on an open top lorry, nothing to hang on to but the wooden floor and each other, bouncing around the streets of Cork in the lashing rain. It poured and poured all day just like all the St Patrick’s Days in the collective memory. We got soaked to the bone and afterwards brought back to a hall in Douglas for soup and sandwiches but didn't stay for long because someone eventually realised we were on the verge of hypothermia. In the wisdom of elders nobody had brought a change of clothes, only our jackets which we couldn’t wear on the float as they would have hidden the all important scarves.

Wouldn’t happen today boy.






Posted by John Verling

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