Generation Emigration

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens abroad

My mother, my Dublin

A recent visit back to Dublin made me realise how much I miss the country of my birth, a place I don’t get to visit often since my mother’s death, writes Philomena Grace-Lafortune in Canada.

Mon, Oct 15, 2012, 11:02

   

A recent visit back to Dublin made me realise how much I miss the country of my birth, a place I don’t get to visit often since my mother’s death, writes Philomena Grace-Lafortune.

Philomena Lafortune in Canada

I was back in Dublin for about 18 days recently for a funeral and two major birthdays. I realised again how very much I love Dublin and Ireland.

Back in Canada I looked again at a poem I wrote many years after my mother’s death in 1993 and how I felt more than the the loss of a mother but also of a city and a people. The realization hit me as I sat in Bewleys Cafe where my mother used to take me and my sisters after a hard day of shopping.

It was a few days after her death and I was sipping coffee there when the thought occurred to me that I wouldn’t be “coming home” so often, as my father had passed away some years before. The gut wrenching sob that issued from me sounded like it came from somewhere else. I had to run upstairs to the ladies room where I sobbed until the pain subsided. The pain of a great loss, my mother and what came with her, my Dublin, my people, my sod. I took my time to recover in the ladies room of Bewleys Cafe that day, I wiped the tears from my face and stepped out into the sunshine, the now.

I have lived in Canada since 1976 I was almost 20 years old when I left. I met and married a Canadian. With him, I raised three handsome sons, and we also have two fine grandsons. Canada is my home.

Yet I still feel so at home in Dublin even if there are several years between visits. I love to be surround by Dublin and her people, my people.

My Mother My Dublin

I left when I was young
In pursuit of adventure
You already old
A long time
I traded you in
For bigger
Brighter
Captivated by
The majesty
The grand
The new
And you
Forgotten
Lost to me
A long time

Now
I miss you
Long for you
The look of you
Feel of you
Smell of you
Delightful
Dear old Dublin
My mother

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