60 years of marriage

I got back last Monday from spending a long weekend in Ireland with my Mum+Dad for their 60th wedding anniversary. Quite an achievement in itself, but even more so when you know that the 2 of them have been through over the years. A quiet celebration took place on Sunday in their nursing home in Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, with relatives from Limerick, Tipperary + Cork dropping in. I marvel at and am humbled by the love my octogenarian, wheelchair-bound parents have for each other. Physical fragility (especially that of my father who has been struggling to fend off Parkinson's for 4 or 5 years and is now much diminished) seems to have brought them closer together. 

My mother has in recent months taken to serenading the residents + nursing staff with high-spirited renditions of Molly Malone and How Much Is That Doggy In The Window? in a very high, pretty, but ultimately tuneless soprano. See below for photographic evidence... God bless her little cotton socks! Dad (who has Parkinson's) was in a bit better form than last I saw him 3 months ago. Speech a little less mumbled and more coherent. Enjoyed a whisky miniature I brought him. Mum had a sip of a Baileys mini... for old times sake (but couldn't finish it, so I helped her out). Fruit flan/cake provided by nursing home. Mum + Dad loved the balloon, the chocs, the cards... all the attention (low-key though it was) cheered them up, Dad especially.

A beautiful morning drive from Ballyporeen, Co. Limerick, where I now stay with an uncle + aunt during my trips over, to Kilmallock, Co. Limerick and Mum + Dad's nursing home.  

Mum in good voice. "In Dublin's fair city..."

Dad thinking, "I'm not with her!"

Dad thinking: "Ah, some peace and quiet at last!"

"Oh no, she's off again!" Bless.

5 of my 39 Hayes first cousins: these from Limerick (originally)


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