There’s a Perpetual trophy doing the rounds in Dublin Camogie circles with “the Da’s” name on it. The local club presented it to the County Board the year he died… I’ve never seen it. But its nice to know that out there some where, on a strangers mantle piece, is a Cup with his name on it…and the year 1992..I wonder does the winning captain ever look at it. I mean really look at it and wonder who the hell was this man that must have made some significant contribution to Dublin GAA to have a big silver cup named after him. Somehow I doubt it….Still it’s a nice feeling, just known that after all these years his name still floats around in Camogie circles. And despite the years, not a day has passed since that I haven’t thought of him in some form or other.
When I think of the up coming Tour de Frank, the epic two day cycle from Wexford to Tyrone, I think of my Da. Because Frank could have been my Da, he could have been any of our Da’s or family members. All I know is that Frank must have been someone special, for his Sons and Daughter to grab onto Martins grand plan and run with the idea. To mark both his passing and Martins, with an epic cycle. Its a nice thought..
My Da was 63 when he died of cancer. In the three days before he died the hospice nurse called every day, nursing him, minding us, preparing us, bringing us on side, preparing Da and us for his final journey. Ensuring, that in the end he died with dignity, and that when the time came, we as a family were able to let him go.
In Ireland we have a lovely way of saying goodbye, the waking in the house is a wonderful tradition, and the hospice Nurse is now an integral part of that tradition…..And in the end we gave him a great send off…..
The Tour de Frank is a great cause. It commemorates the lives of two great men, Frank who died of Cancer and his son Martin who was taken much much too early, who had a thousand unfulfilled dreams and miles to go before he slept….But it also commemorates the lives of all our loved ones whom we have lost as a result of Cancer…And in the Charities it supports Irish Hospice Foundation and Marie Curie Cancer Care, But also it commemorates the wonderful work these people do in supporting us, and our loved ones when the time comes…
So come August the 24th, when we pull out of Ferns, and the Tyrone gang pull out of Omagh to cycle 158k to Slane…each will carry a private thought, a hidden memory, a reason for just being here, taking part, enjoying the moment and the company, despite the sadness and emotion of the occasion…
So, dig deep, support the Tour….there is not a family in Ireland who has not been touched by Cancer….