I was saddened to hear of Whitney Houston's recent death, following a long battle over many years with drug and alcohol addiction. It would appear from media reports, that her departure from this world was not premeditated, even though many would have said her death was inevitable. The above picture is from her latest album, and even with perhaps a little help from digital enhancement, she was still a stunningly beautiful woman. A friend, who works in the music business gave me a copy of this album, and in spite of years of abuse, her voice is still glorious, with that extra edginess that comes with more downs than ups in life. She would be best known for her starring role in The Bodyguard alongside Kevin Costner, singing such hits as, I'm Going to Run To You, Share My Life and Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You. Whitney R.I.P.
The classic, I Will Always Love You was one of Emma's (Pictured Above Left) early teenage party pieces. When Emma began her studies in UCD after her Leaving Cert, I thought I would never stop crying every Sunday evening as the train for Dublin pulled out of Limerick Junction. Of course these weekly departures were planned and very necessary, but it still didn't stop the dam of tears bursting every time I heard I Will Always Love You being played on the radio. Now, she is based in the heart of London chasing her dream of becoming an opera singer, and each time I take her to the airport, my drive home is always a watery one.
My other daughter, Katy (pictured above right) left for Canada today, and I find it difficult to describe the ache and tightness I feel around my heart this evening. This departure had been on the cards for at least two years ... so therefore planned for some considerable time. Katy is a musician/singer/songwriter/sound engineer and as that business is thriving over there, her leaving Ireland makes absolute sense. She is also a born traveller, who wants to taste the world and what life has to offer, and just recently home from six weeks travelling in India and trekking in Nepal, she is chomping at the bit. Emma came home last week to a house filled with family and friends who wanted to wish Katy the very best of luck and Bon Voyage. They both departed from Cork airport this morning on two separate flights to London to follow their dreams. As much as you reason with yourself, the plain truth of the matter remains. The love for your children is so bloody well unconditionally juicy, that their departures have to hurt!
The picture above of my father and I, was taken at my graduation from UCC Cork in September, 2009. Dad fell a few months after that picture was taken and has been in failing health since. He spent two of the most formative years of his life from the age of 2 to 4 yrs old as a TB patient in a special TB hospital, which consequently left him with a weakened chest. What appears to be a genetic curvature of the spine does not help the performance of his lungs either.
I departed for the UK on Jan 5th to celebrate dad's 84th birthday on Jan 9th. I was supposed to be only staying for one week and because he developed pnuemonia and fluid on the lungs, I ended up staying for 7 weeks. My dad and his 91 year old wife, who can only get about with a walking frame and wheelchair, were completely independent up until this point, apart from the fact that dad hasn't driven his car since his fall, and therefore my brother does the weekly shop etc. Dad is home from hospital now and naturally I couldn't come home until all sorts of care and safety alarm measures had been put in place. Physically, dad has improved and according to my daily phone calls since returning home, he continues to do so. However, dad's memory, which has been slipping over the last couple of years, deteriorated dramatically with this latest bout of pnuemonia; so much so, that he didn't know who I was on many occasions over the last few weeks. At times, he thought I was his nurse. I rang him tonight and reminded him of the girls' departure; he said a couple of words and for the first time ever, just passed the phone over to his wife without saying goodbye.
It would seem that part of my dad has departed too ... albeit unplanned, but it still hurts!
Another picture of departure: My friend Diane and myself saying 'Goodbye' To Emma in London after listening to her singing in a recent concert.
A tribute to the departure of Whitney and that of family and friends..... planned or otherwise! Below a much edgier rendition of I Will Always Love You. Mushy for some perhaps. But ain't it LOVE that makes this life beautiful!
Ciao for now!