Well I went to see my aunt Mary Margaret in Richmond. On the plane I met a girl called Elle who sat in the next seat. She talked with me a fair bit on the short flight from New York. She had been visiting a friend in Connecticut and was on her way back to Williamsburg. I told her I was meeting my aunt. I said she was a character and that just last week she had driven 600 miles in one day to go to a Funeral Mass. When Elle saw my aunt at the airport – even in the distance – she said, “She looks incredible. She’s feisty”! She is. I bade farewell to Elle and hello to Mary Margaret.
We travelled back to Kensington Avenue – a street deeply linked with childhood memories for there John Shannon lived with Mary Margaret. The Roscommon Herald was bundled tightly by my mother and in broad black marker she’d write John’s name and address on the almost weekly package. A letter would be put inside, telling John of people he knew and that Mary Margaret would come to know on her many visits to Ireland. I wrote too – not a great letter writer (or hand writer for that matter) I sometimes got my messages across in a short but effective way – one comes to mind. I wanted a watch and figured John and Mary Margaret were my best bet so I wrote
PLEASE SEND ME A (drawing of a watch!!)
It worked and they did! So Kensington Avenue means much. I’ve been there a good few times in the last twelve years and always enjoy the visit. Thankfully some of those visits were with my father and mother and they too were happy to be there. Daddy did loads of jobs around the house and, even today, as a wall clock chimed the half hour and hour, I thought he’s left his mark here.
We met with Mary Margaret’s cousin (Pat) and wife (Irene) and went for dinner. It was a very pleasant evening and I was hungry so the food was very welcome and tasty. Mary Margaret and I had some food earlier but sadly I eat all too easily J After dinner we called in with Pat and Irene and had some blueberries and cake. Blueberries, I’m told, are good for the brain but I’m not so sure about cake! That said, it tasted good. Watched a bit of TV back in Mary Margaret’s and shut down for the night.
On Wednesday I didn’t waken too early but did waken … facing the day was good and I spent a bit of time on the computer, partly for my own benefit but also to sort out a few issues for Mary Margaret. I think progress was made but only time will tell. We called to Retreat Hospital where a life long friend of Mary Margaret’s is a patient. We spoke with Ann for a while and I gave her a blessing. I hope it helped some. We also went to Mass in the local Cathedral and I concelebrated with Fr Andrew a lively preacher and spiritual man who welcomed me warmly and shared prayers with me. He told me that today is the 7th anniversary of his ordination and asked for my blessing. I would have asked for his but someone was waiting to see him and I thought it best not to hold him. Two blessings in an hour and many blessings received.
St Vincent de Paul is the patron of the diocese and this is from a window dedicated to him
On the train now to Alexandria, Virginia where I will meet with Jeanie and Corky Korves who are very good friends. I am looking forward to seeing them and, in a special way, to seeing their grandchildren who are visiting; Ellie and Nora.