“Well Tony?” I think that’s as much as I said to him.
It was last Monday, just after the funeral of Jack Roddy (mentioned in another daily thought) and I was walking back to the sacristy. Tony was walking towards his car, having prayed with me and many others for Jack’s Soul. He nodded to me and I spoke briefly as I went past.
A few months ago Tony came to see me to arrange his wife’s Anniversary Mass. As he often did, he came in and sat down for a while. He chatted about the Mass and then wondered if he could ask a favour. I assured him he could.
“You like to sing”, he told me “and I love to listen to you. Now at Bernie’s Mass, would you do something for me?” Preparing myself I wondered what song (from my all too limited repertoire he might want) and wondered if the song would be a song or a hymn. Would it be appropriate? I knew, were it possible, I’d not say no to anything he might have asked.
“Your friend, Fr McDonagh, he does a mighty job on the Waves of Kilkee. Could you play that on a CD for me?” Alas, my repertoire would not be required after all:)
I told that story the night of the Mass and gave McDonagh his moment – well nearly six minutes to be more accurate. Tony was right, he and his accompanying musicians do a fine job on that tune. Tony was happy.
On Tuesday evening I was at a meeting and someone told me Tony was in hospital. I said I hadn’t heard. The news was not good. I called his son and, sure enough, Tony had been given 24 hours. He was dead in less, R.I.P.
I’m glad we played The Waves of Kilkee. I’m glad Tony felt he could ask me that. I’m sorry I didn’t say a bit more to him on Monday last. Had I known it would be the last opportunity, I’m sure I would have done so.
The thought then … when you meet your friends and loved ones, spend time with them, talk to them, waste and pass time with them. Someday it might be too late.