Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


The Mother and Daughter Of All Rows

On a Sunday morning there is nothing better than lying on the couch, full from a good breakfast and all the family around me. Ruby is on one couch, her kingdom, surrounded by her phone, Ipod and laptop, earphones in so she doesn’t have to listen to us. Lisa, Freddie and I are on the other, doing lazy Sunday morning aslittleaspossibleness. A few minutes ago Freddie raised his head from a cushion…


“Mummy, what happened yesterday?” he asked, innocently.


If only we knew, I said to myself, if only we knew.


Yesterday morning Freddie and I were settling into a morning on our own. Ruby and Lisa were going off toWaterfordfor a last day with Aunty Rudi before dropping her  to the airport for the trip home. Before the two left I was hugging Lisa and Ruby joined in, such acts don’t happen as much as they used to when Rubes was a child. It was a lovely moment. However, this was going to be the men’s day. Daddy and Freddie were going to do nothing and we had all day to do it. We’d already had the big breakfast and Freddie had a load of movies lined up for us to watch. That morning after he’d come downstairs Fred had had a small frontal lobe seizure, just a five second “fright” and so I was happy to keep him safe on the couch.


After all the hugs and goodbyes, the two ladies set off and Fred pulled a blanket over us two.


About ten minutes later Muttley the dog made that whining noise he only makes when he hears our car on the road. Couldn’t be, I thought, they’re on the road toWaterford. But, sure enough, Muttley knows his cars and within a minute Ruby walked in, or should I say, strode in, Lisa striding not far behind.


“What happened?” I asked, “Did ye forget something?”


“Mum’s being a @£$%%,” Ruby said, heading for her couch.


Not a word else was spoken between the two of them, but they never made it toWaterford. Poor Aunty Claire had to take Rudi to the airport, while Freddie and I had a day of tears and swearing, which were not in any of the movies we watched. So our day of men at home doing nothing was ruined by a row which even today, neither of us are any the wiser how it happened or were in any way involved but we do know it managed to take over our home. I was looking forward to us doing our own thing but so it wasn’t to be. The power of a teenage rage. Despite my best efforts of brokering peace, the house lay under that cloud of rage for the day, Freddie and me doing our best to keep out of it.


24 hours later its still on Freddie’s mind, the little fellow doesn’t understand how it all happened. His slightly wiser, 46 year old Dad hasn’t a clue. Later last night we watched a doc about how a beautiful, older tiger was driven out of her home by her daughter; very appropriate viewing for the day that was in it.


All this came at the end of an eventful week for the family. Last Sunday evening I had a Skype call with Ed Galvin. Fred loves sitting on the side of the computer, just getting his head in shot, watching and listening to the call. As Ed was flying in fromMaineon Thursday and arriving inTraleeat eleven, I offered to collect him at the train station. Freddie was delighted, we were going to the train station. My only hope was that the two of us would make it over to collect Ed. It’s in our make up these days that we don’t plan for the future, you never know what’s going to happen in our house. By Sunday he’d been four days seizure free, great as always to have those days, but you never know what’s around the corner.


Thursday came around and all was still well. Lisa took Ruby to school, a bit later than usual so Fred and I were on our own, he’d get to come to the train station after all. He was a bit dopey but claimed to be fine. The poor man is so fed up with being asked how he’s feeling. When he wakes in the morning, “how are you feeling? Any confusion?”  And so it continues throughout the day, every day. His answer as always is “YES, I’m fine”, usually with more than a little annoyance in his voice. Oh those over protective parents, will they ever leave that poor little man alone?


At about five-to the two of us set off. Fred sat in the car. I asked that question again, to which I got the same answer. We drove across town, Freddie describing everything he could see out the window, “the sky, some trees, a hotel, an old lady, another old lady.” He tells it how he sees it. At the station we waited outside, me worried about Freddie, the man himself reading his Incredible Hulk magazine. Ed arrived more or less on time and we headed to Ballyard.


After a while Lisa came back home. Freddie wasn’t his usual ebullient self, especially with a visitor in the house but I tried not to read too much into it all. We could spend our days trying to second-guess what’s going on in Freddie’s head, in fact we do, but we can’t let it restrict his life. About midday, I took the jetlagged Galvin off to his home in Kilmurray and left Lisa to care for Fred.


It was great to get out and do a few things. We settled Ed at his home and I headed off to get some frogspawn. Freddie loves the stuff and I thought it would a nice surprise for him. There is a great spot at which I’ve got some before and there was plenty again this year. I filled a small bowl and wedged it under the back seat.


In Dingle I did my jobs, I’d decided to wait around and collect Ruby, it was a good opportunity to do a few things. So I had lunch and a chat with Keith before heading off to collect the darling daughter. She got in and we chatted for a few minutes, until about half way up theConnorPass, before the headphones went in. Not too bad.


Arriving home, it was a bit like the old days of Ballyseede last year; Freddie was asleep under a blanket. How many evenings last year did Ruby and I come home to that?  He’d had a couple of small frontal lobe seizures and was trying to sleep it off. Eight days free, that was what we’d been granted. I showed Fred the frogspawn, he was interested but very dopey, he cuddled back into his Mum. As I had a few things to do, I headed off to my office. When I came back down, he was still asleep.


“He’s had his tonic-clonic,” Lisa said, with an air of resignation, we both knew that it had been on his way.


Fred woke to the sound of my voice and he wasn’t letting the epilepsy take his evening. He wanted dinner and so I started making one for him and Rubes. A few minutes later, a sleepy boy, helped by his mother, staggered in to see the frogspawn. They hadn’t been forgotten either. Dinner was demolished in true Freddie style and no sooner than he’d finished when a little frontal lobe broke through. He was not deterred by it, in true Freddie determination he shook it off and continued with his evening. About ten o’clock we headed off to bed, read a few books and Fred soon fell asleep. Just an hour in he had another frontal lobe, five seconds long as usual, but he just turned over and fell into a deeper sleep.


Friday was a take it easy day. Fred had yet another frontal lobe about 7am but he didn’t let it bother him. Lisa took Ruby off to school and the two men went about their morning rituals. After Lisa returned I did my few jobs but we were all on high alert for the day, surely the epilepsy wasn’t going to leave him off with just the one tonic-clonic…


About five, Ruby came home from school. It was a Friday evening and the house was in good spirits. The week was behind us and there’s something about a Friday evening that, when you close the door it feels like your life is yours again. In the kitchen I was making dinner, Fred was helping. Lisa was hovering, worried as always. Just as well that she was, as she was able to catch Freddie as he collapsed to the ground.


The second tonic-clonic. It hadn’t gone away.


The couch was prepared and Fred cuddled into his mother for a recovery sleep. It didn’t last long. He soon woke looking for his dinner, that wasn’t to be forgotten. The rest of the evening passed peacefully, Fred watched a movie before heading off to bed about ten o’clock. No ill effects from that seizure which threatened to ruin our favourite night of the week.


As we cuddled up for the night, Freddie asked what we’d do tomorrow. Tomorrow was Saturday, the day the men were to be together…


Little did we know that cyclone mother and daughter was on its way...




Posted by John Verling

Filed under: News Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.