All is not doom and gloom, there are good things to announce as well. On Friday 12th December my eldest son Jon, marries his long time partner Rosie in Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland. Jorg and I would love to be there and join in with the celebration (and the craic will be awesome) but raising a glass (or two) here will have to suffice.
As I have said before, our children never really get older than teenagers in our minds, and as I have a hard job identifying the old visage I see in the mirror every morning, imagining Jay (as I still think of him from childhood) as a responsible adult is just as difficult! So Rosie gets our special thoughts today in taking on his hopeless pranks - like climbing out of his bedroom window and escaping to the pub (served him well in his rock climbing years, the wall not the pub - OK, maybe the pub as well!); picking up a bale of hay (from a load that had come off a tractor trailer in the road) and shoving it in the back of a friend's car so that Claudia could play horse games in the garden, and I then had to collect them from the local police station; making Claudia climb the 15 foot sea wall at the end of the Coastguard Cottages gardens if she wanted to play with him and Ben; picking him up after he got the sailing boat "Skipper" pushed into Cork Harbour by the tide (possibly the largest natural harbour in Europe!) trying to impress a girl with his sailing prowess. OK, that's probably enough marriage-day humiliation.
So Jonathan, good father and significant other, congratulations on finding a wonderful partner and wife in Rosie; and Rosie, congratulations on selecting my outstanding eldest son for your husband and life partner. May you have a day to remember and a long and loving marriage.
May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
All our love to you both, and to Aoife and Alex (and not forgetting Amy) from Jorg and I.