From Margaret to Dad: ‘There are too many legends to go into here’

Margaret Griffin, Moynalty, Co Meath


Dear Dad,

I know you will read this letter and be really chuffed but in less than five minutes you won’t remember reading it.

Before you started losing your memory you were the human equivalent of a Sat Nav. I was always impressed as a child how we never got lost. Although your method of finding a “short cut” was somewhat dubious: usually involving following cars as they did complex manoeuvres out of a traffic jam. “They know a short cut” – elicited much groaning from the back seats.

How you could help me with my maths homework. You managed to explain complicated mathematical theorems to me that qualified maths teachers couldn’t. And then how I surprised myself by finding the stuff you had explained easy.

How you drilled it into us, that, if we did a job, we did it right. When we spoke, we enunciated correctly. But the “rahnd-abaaht” accent was strictly out.

How you always insisted on buying the very best quality you could afford. I remember I had the best hockey stick in school but sadly I was far from being the best player.

Your generosity was famed. There are too many legends about it to go into here.

Now, as you have entered your eighth decade, your memory has failed. It is difficult to watch and experience.

I try to be patient when you ask me a question for the hundredth time: I do. I don’t often succeed. It is difficult to hear you ask questions you would never have had to ask in the past. However, I and my siblings will always be grateful you taught us to be decent, honest human beings. Hopefully others will agree you succeeded.

Love your daughter Margaret

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