Geraldine, pt 2

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Geraldine, pt 2

September 12, 2019 | Blog | 2 Comments

Some might remember my Geraldine story from Ireland a couple of months ago. In the midst of learning about sectarianism in Belfast, moving my stuff to Glasgow, and getting to know Scotland, I neglected to tell you the rest of that story.

Quick recap- stranger I met at a hostel and then spend the day with in west Ireland.

When Geraldine and I hung out at Kylemore Abbey, she encouraged me to come visit her in the very tippy point of south west Ireland. I was very tempted to take her up on it but my time was getting pretty limited before having to head to Scotland.

On a sunny afternoon I was contentedly writing when my phone rang. It was Geraldine calling to reissue her invitation. Seemed meant to be so I rolled with it and agreed.

6 days later I found myself in her parents home. Her father passed away two years ago and her mother is in a memory care home. I met her nephew, a good lad going to university. Before long we headed out further west into rural Ireland where she currently lived.

I am transfixed by peaceful-seeming water as it confronts the unmovable island.

In her home I saw her beautiful patio garden. She showed me her final project for her arts degree- clay coffee cups that were arthritis-friendly with a large base instead of a handle.

We spent the next day visiting the beach she played at as a child and wished her mother “Happy Birthday” in big, sprawling letters drawn in the sand.

Geraldine walks the beach of her childhood

We saw her mother’s childhood home and her father’s birthplace. I gave her some privacy as she placed fresh flowers on her father’s grave. Even in the distance, I could hear her sing to her father.

I wandered about the graveyard and church ruins as Geraldine visited her father’s grave.

We talked about life, love, and the meaning of it all. Two virtual strangers having conversations I haven’t had with some of my oldest friends.

To be welcomed into someone’s life in such a deep way was almost overwhelming. Someone whose life had been so different from mine and yet not different at all in ways that really matter. I found myself immersed in generations old stories and thoughts for the ages.

Geraldine’s hospitality was warmer than a peat fire on a winter night. Her kindness is already one of the most memorable parts of this journey. As a thank you I sent her a copy of my favorite book on creativity – Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.

I’m pretty sure she and I already created Big Magic of our own though.

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