Thursday, 9 August 2007


Marie shed some tears today. It's because Jenna is going back to Ireland. Out of all my daughters, Jenna is the one Marie feels closest to. It took Marie a while to establish this relationship with Jenna (click here for more info). Since Jenna has had mental health problems in the recent past, including mild agoraphobia, Marie felt that they were kindred spirits. And because Jenna talks non-stop, there is never trouble continuing a conversation. No awkward silences. Having a daughter (Elisha) only 13 days younger than her aunt (our daughter Orla) was another thing they had in common. Marie (and I) had visions of aunt and niece growing up together in a close relationship. Alas! it is not to be.

The announcement came totally out of the blue. Marie and I and Jenna's sister, Carla, had been intensively looking for a new house for Jenna and her family to move to. We had just identified one, a good-sized semi with a beautiful large and level garden, and were going to arrange to get it the next day. I told Jenna the good news, but, far from the ecstatic cries of delight, I got a flat instruction not to proceed. The reason for this was given a few days later.

Marie feels like she has lost a friend - the one who has been the most empathetic. But she and I agreed not to try to influence Jenna's decision. It's my opinion that parents should teach their children how to live without them; so when they become adults, they should be left to make their own decisions.

We will still see Jenna and Elisha (but apparently not her husband). She's promised to fly over and visit regularly. And I'll go to Ireland with Joe and Orla sometimes. But relationships will, inevitably, change. And every now and again Marie will shed some tears for what might have been...

Btw...I can't help Marie with this; because I'm upset, too.


Ruby said...

Geez, you two have had one thing after another lately, I feel for you both.

You're right about letting kids make their own decisions, its really hard sometimes but they are adults. I do the same in making them independent and being there for them if they do make mistakes along the way.

I try to look at everything as something that happens for a reason, so maybe this is to help Marie become more independent as well :) even though a really scary step.


Sarah♥ said...

Hi there..
This is a tough situation for the both of you.
Your wife IS lucky for having someone in her life thats been so supportive and understanding but sadly now its being taken from her through no fault of her own.
Thinking of you both..

Robert said...

Hi there Ruby & Sarah

Thanks for your kind comments. I really appreciate them.

I hadn't really thought about the fact that we've been having a sequence of unpleasant events, but I guess we have.

But with being the parent of 7 kids, life never gets dull!

And lots of good things are happening simultaneously - Orla's hugs & childish kisses as soon as she wakes up in the morning...Orla & Joe saying "Love you mum/dad" at the most unexpected moments...Joe washing the dishes, just to help out...Orla completing one entire day without a nappy AND no "accidents"...the older kids dropping in unexpectedly...

We're lucky in so many ways. It's what we concentrate on.