Aidan Mc Nally's Blog: Random thoughts by Aidan.

September 17, 2023

TODAY – You WILL be ok! Okay?

TODAY – You WILL be ok! Okay?

It can be hard to feel okay on a daily basis and sometimes there does not have to be any significant dramatic event to bring about any such type of feelings. Feelings are just like that, they come and they go.
I guess we could repeat that very important piece, “They come and They GO”. Why bother repeating it? Because the highlighted portion is that the same feelings do come along from time to time and the important piece to know is that will also go away and make room for other feelings also.

When we find ourselves under the weather so to speak or not feeling at our best we tend to sit in those types of feelings a little longer. We actual may begin to think that the feeling will never go away and our life is over or we must remain in bed with the covers over our head as this may the only option for us to survive. Ever feel like that?
And of course it is at precisely these times in our lives that we cannot see beyond what we are feeling. Yes, for sure the feelings are real and you are not going out of your mind or in some strange way different to the rest of us. The thing is that many will never own up to being in such a state of being down or feeling horrible and so it is not common place conversation where we can all identify and relate with one another and “normalise” the whole experience of feeling down.
It is part of the funny way we humans go about our business, well funny maybe not so comedic in actual fact, perhaps weird could be a better way to describe the human behaviour I am talking about.
The bottom line here is that when we begin to understand that we are not the only person in the world to feel this way, it does slightly lift some of the burden for us.

To “NORMALISE” feelings for ourselves can be a difficult thing for any of us to do. This is why I mention above that we must pay attention to the fact that feelings will come from what might seem nowhere at all and then the key point of focus is that they can change rapidly for us too. Meaning of course that the horrible down or nasty feeling will leave also, hence the do come along and they do GO AWAY.
You might hear some fancy buzz words about “dealing” with your feelings or “process” what you feel in order to help the feeling subside and move on. And of course for these reasons when we feel like shit it can be the most foreign idea to us to even begin to think about processing anything. Why so?
Because we feel so crap that we do not want to do anything, we do not wish to engage or interact with people and we definitely do not wish to hear upbeat nonsense or positivity from anybody. We want to sit and wallow in our downward state of mind and tell the whole world to “Leave me ALONE”.

Do we really wish to be alone though?
Many times we do not wish to be alone, we think we want to be left alone and suffer our own misery when in actual fact we ask to be left alone to help us wallow and then sit in our negativity a little while longer. If we allow a new form of opinion or stimulus from another person we might begin to slip out of our downward state and at the time it feels like we would rather sit and stew in it. Much like how the negativity spiral works really and then one negative thought after another can lead us in to all kinds of depressive states of mind.

I share this post on my blog so that all and any person can stop by for a read while you are stewing in your feelings to bring about the possibility for you that 1. You are not alone at all & 2. That feelings come and GO.

Oh yeah I have already said that a few times above, perhaps I already know that I did and it is important to repeat it a few times so that the message can sink in for you. What can bring about a change for us and how do we move away from our negative experience of feeling down or depressed or upset with the world?
By increasing the stimulus around us.

When we are down and want to really stay in our down place, we tend to remove all possibilities of perking up. We may close the door, shut off the lights and again we may pull the covers over our heads. We want nothing more than total blackout from the world and nobody to bother us. We want silence and we want to be miserable all by ourselves. Whoop de doop on that one because these are the things we know inside of ourselves that will feed the down feeling inside of us and we wish to feed because we wish to remain stuck in our feeling of horrible. The choices we might make when we are speaking inside of our mind in these times could be the trifecta for keeping us stuck, “I hate my life” – “I can’t do it” – “This is too much for me” – “I will never blah blah”.
The list is endless of things we might say to ourselves to maintain a miserable feeling for a while.
So how do we not isolate and speak poorly to ourselves? How do we begin to lift the grey cloud from around our own heads?

We flip the script. Yup that is how simple and easy it is. We turn our mind around to the other side and we begin to say some slightly more positive things to ourselves.
I hear you say (I don’t want positive, I don’t want nice, I don’t want blah blah blah”). If this were really true then you would not be down or miserable in any way, you would be content because you would have all that you want and none of what you do not want.
You would have all the isolation that you want and so would have no hurt or horrible feeling of feeling alone, which means you would be happy about it. I do understand that some of you out there are most content when alone. I also understand that some of you out there are always seeking and wish to create whatever feeling you have been most comfortable in for your entire life and so when you are asking yourself what can I do to not feel like shit so often, perhaps the real question is why is it that I seek the comfort in feeling shitty? What is it in my own life that brings me back to somewhere that I think I do not want to be?
Only to find out that you have a history of it and it may have been your most familiar as you grew up in the world and you spent years upon years in your adult life recreating it over and over again. We might leave that concept for another day though.

The post today is about how can we become okay in our day and help ourselves to know this for like a fact. The best way to consider these things is to understand that we are not alone and that other people experience the same, they just do not speak on it all of the time. Another key factor is understanding that the feeling will GO away too.

5 simple tricks to tell ourselves to change ourselves from having a shitty day to becoming okay inside of ourselves.

1. I am not the only person to ever feel like this. And I will be okay during this.
2. Feelings come and they go and I am not stuck here forever. It will pass.
3. More stimulation will help my head become occupied with other thoughts.
4. Alone and isolated is not what I really want. I WILL call my friend.
5. I have the power over me to change this day IF I REALLY WANT TO.

We all go through varying degrees of not feeling okay and that is why it is totally understandable and everybody who has had these days can tell you they were some of the most horrible they ever experienced and some will tell you they have them regularly.

We do not ever remain happy all of the time and we move from one feeling to another quite often. It would be quite exhausting to be upbeat and “on” all of the time and so our feelings do serve us well to keep changing depending on the environment we surround ourselves in or the people we spend time with and of course how we talk to ourselves too.

We can help our feelings change from time to time by bringing ourselves to places we like. Many people begin to sit in nature and allow an appreciation for all living things to grow inside of themselves and then this can turn in to real appreciation for our own life.

We do have real friends out there who understand and they are willing to help carry us through the nasty days and are willing to be an ear and listen to help us through. All we have to do is call them up and say, “Hey I am not doing so good today, can you chat for a while?”

Self talk is so important and the most powerful tool to help us shake off that feeling. What we tell ourselves is really what sticks inside of our mind. It is the beauty in showing us how we do have the real power over ourselves. We possess the ability to breathe and calm ourselves down and talk nice to self. It is this that gives us great power over anything in our life. We can change our situation by focusing on and telling ourselves to see things clearly and how we do not need to bow down or give in to a feeling of where we might feel stuck. We have the ability to take control of our on life and make choices and decisions for ourselves to better how we feel. That there is a massive piece of info because we have the power to do these things and all we need is a willingness to want to bring about a change. Remembering of course the old saying “A change is as good as a rest”.

I do get it though and I do know how hard it can feel to be going through anything that seems difficult. I am writing this here to offer a snippet of encouragement and a helping hand to you as I have had many days of down and miserable myself. I have developed my own strategies and do understand they may not work for every individual also.
I remember always that there is no single thought or no single feeling that occurs in my love that will consume me out of existence and therefore I go through them all, both good and bad confident in one simple factor. My feelings will come and THEY WILL GO.

Being okay lies directly behind the feeling not so okay and this has worked every single time. Tried and tested method so to speak.

This is why I sign off confidently with

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Published on September 17, 2023 02:25 Tags: calm, happy, happy-life, lifehack, love, manifest, meditation, mind-hack, peace, psychology, reading, self-care, self-help-books, self-love

September 1, 2023

THE WEEKEND – Plan, Chill, Enjoy?

THE WEEKEND – Plan, Chill, Enjoy?

Yup indeed, it rolls around time and time again; “The Weekend”
It is obvious right? So what is the difference between a Tuesday and a Saturday?
The timeline of a J-O-B could have something to do with it, you work a job Monday to Friday perhaps and the weekend means a couple of days where you get to unwind and relax.

The Saturday of yours would be much different if this is your situation of course. A day doing some laundry and a bit of a market day to then settle in at home with a nice thought out meal and loads of time to cook it for yourself and then a movie to fall asleep to. Sweet dreams on your Saturday of chill.

The Saturday where you get to wake up late and have that mid morning breakfast, eggs how you like them and a lazy brunch session. Then it is all about the glad rags and off out with friends. Tapas bar and taxi rides to a few too many beverages and who cares that it is 2 am when you collapse in the hay, it’s Saturday after all and Sunday is a whole day of recuperation

The Saturday where you wake up early anyway (routine and all that) and you get to have a slow coffee with a book to read. A day to yourself visiting the city coffee shops and museums. An open air market for a stroll around. Laundry on Sunday and a dinner date with a friend. Home early and ready for Monday all over again.

What about the family and the kids though?
Saturday and they have no school and you want to make activities for everybody for the day. A ton of clothes to be washed and mouths to be fed. Running here and there like a taxi with drop offs and pick ups. Is there a baby sitter available for your night out getting “hammered” with friends? Hair done and the one de-stressing evening you get each week? Sunday family roast meal and all in bed early for school on Monday.

Some work in the shed on a DIY project with your son to help. Wash the car perhaps and teach him what little chores are all about. Is it traditional to have the “swim in the bath” on Saturday nights? Bath night used to be designated to Saturday back in my time and then pyjamas and a kiddie movie on the one night a week when we were allowed to stay up a little later.

When I reflect back on weekends I recall how it was fun time. No serious school work to be bothered about and Friday nights were easy going and Saturday was full of all the fun stuff. Soccer to be played and maybe help my dad with a project. There were other Saturdays where I had swimming to go to in the mornings and piano lessons after lunch (they were a drag) There were many a Saturday night where I did enjoy a bath too. I call myself a traditionalist and still honour Saturday as “bath night” to this day lol.

I did the going out and nightlife stuff too a little later on and the Saturday night out usually a meal and some club somewhere. Always easier to get a table booked for a Friday night over a Saturday night though. Goes to show you how Saturday night brings more and more people “out out” as they say.
Sunday was a day I remember being a lazy day usually. Late home cooked breakfast and the afternoon to relax with the feet up. No more meal cooking on a Sunday because of the devoted time to no work and all rest.

I wonder who will comment and share what the weekend means to you?
Friday; chill evening?
Saturday; activities day?
Sunday; lazy day?

Is your time all routine now and you repeat the weeks and the weekends over and over Do you find it hard to fill up the free time weekends offer you? Maybe you never have any free time at all?
Is Saturday night the b-all end-all of the entire week? And if so, why is it any different to Tuesday night?
I guess a rock star has their Saturday night as the high point of the week. The big gig night and their most important work night of the week. Just as the person who works at the cinema has their busiest night on Saturday too. The waitress too for that matter. Professional athletes have “Game Day” at the weekends and so spectators have that in their plans to go and watch right?
Who else I wonder has their busier time at the weekend compared to their midweek.

We look forward to the weekends and then we also hear people say they dread Monday.
I wonder these things and present the concept of making every day count no matter the name of the day. Our life is a one time around trip and even though the saying does exist “Failing to plan is planning to fail”
So I guess a planned weekend is a good weekend.

Now that you have imagined all that I have mentioned above and have read down this far perhaps you can press the little like button. And of course you can find some reading material in the link that I have highlighted. It is a link to books that I have written, I simply ask you to stop by and check them out. You may have just stumbled upon your next “weekend read” book and can plan next weekend for enjoying the reading days that Saturday and Sunday offer you. Allow the full weekend because you will be struggling to put the books down and do anything else lol.

Have a great day, whatever it is named.
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August 15, 2023

What is your TIME worth?

It is not everyday I write and it is not everyday that I read, here there and other days I get knee deep in both. Why today over any other day? Basically as random thoughts enter my mind I write them out and some may form the main chapters I will build a book around and other days I will formulate a blog post like today.

My recent event included a funeral of a close friend, a friend who I have known the best part of all of my life, a friend who I did not need to know what they were doing each and everyday of their lives though a friend who when we got together we did catch up in a matter of a few minutes with a glance and a grunt or a few short words and then we were all caught up. We didn’t need to go in to things as we have known each other since childhood. That kind of a friend, perhaps you have some of them too.

Ah yes his death and the recent funeral.

As he has been laid to his final rest this past weekend it is only my perspective that I can deliver to you today. I can guess at how he might have been feeling over his past 6 months or so based upon how we had received a diagnosis involving cancer for him 6 months prior to today, almost 6 months to day.

We headed off to go visit his clinic to attend his doctor’s appointment. He didn’t drive so I had arranged with him to go with him for the doctor’s visit that morning. We made our way and were on time and found a lucky parking space right in front of the hospital where we needed to be. I said to him

“I will wait here until you come out and there is no need to rush or anything, I will be right here”.

To which he replied “Ah no man, I am not sure of my way around the hospital, come in with me in case I get lost”.

It was early enough that morning I think his appointment was for 10.15 am and I thought I would just close one eye and chill out and wait for him. Upon hearing his concern for getting lost, I thought of how he made a good point about it and there was a good chance he could get lost. I agreed to go in with him.

I got the necessary pay and display ticket and went into the hospital with him to find the clinic he was to attend and we met with the secretary and she told us where to sit and wait to be called.

He turned to me and said “When they call me you have to come in with me because I won’t understand what they are saying. You know me; I am not good with fancy words”.

I replied “Ah man this is your personal doctor visit and I will be right here waiting for you. If they get confusing you can ask them to explain to me after or something but I am not going in”.

The doctor came a called him and he grabbed my elbow to raise me up from my seat as he was getting up to go in, saying “come on man, I need you with me”.

Reluctantly though feeling very much on the spot I got up and walked into the doctor’s office with him.

With a few simple introductions of whom is who, two people in the office a doctor and a nurse were introduced to us and we made known to them why I was there too. And without very much hesitation the doctor proceeded with,

“We can confirm our suspicions and confirm that you have cancer”

That is what the doctor said and the remainder of our visit with him were the details of how the treatment process will work and what is now required of my friend going forward from that day.

We drove away from the hospital with a bit of a silence between us and then I decided to pull the car in off the road before we hit the motorway home.  I said “What do you want to do now? And who do you want to call first?” We called his next of kin; his sister who I could hear was beginning to shake in her voice after we told her the news. I asked again where he wished to go and what did he want to do and he said “let’s just go home and think about this for a while”.

Off we went.

In our journey home we discussed the matter and all kinds of possibilities and he told me thanks for coming in with him today that it meant a lot and helped him. He said “It softened the blow by you being there today, thanks for that”. I knew it was serious and a big ordeal for him and it was a surreal experience for me to sit in a meeting with a doctor and listen to a cancer diagnosis being given to be honest. My friend asked me would I help him through this cancer treatment and care for him if it gets messy and I agreed by telling him, I will be here and whatever we need to get done we will tackle it. Don’t be worrying and I encouraged him to get ready to begin a real fight and we can talk more as the process of treatment begins like the doctor had mentioned. Because of our route home I figured it was a good idea to visit with his other sister and tell her the news also as it was on our way home. When we got to his sister's house we told her and she was in shock though their other sister had already told her via speed dial I can imagine and a knock on the door came while we were visiting with her and it was another sister.  We left shortly after and I told him it is best now that all of your sisters know and I reiterated that it is going to take fight and strength and he agreed compounding my words with “I am going to fight harder than I have ever fought anything before, mark my words”.

Six months was the battle and yes I did offer you the spoiler alert earlier on as we did indeed bury him this past weekend. Through the six months of his therapies and medicines, I kept true to my word that I would be there for him and he kept true to his that he was fighting and following along whatever the doctors and nurses had said for him to do. For six months we have sat and listened to music passing the days and evenings and for six months we have been closer than ever before. He knew if he wanted to go somewhere or needed something all he had to do was call me up and I would respond with a “yes in five minutes” or I will be there in thirty minutes or whatever it was. Other times it was only a matter of sitting in his room while he fell in and out of sleep because of being tired after a chemotherapy session. He would call me up and say things like “Are you dropping down for dinner?” or “Do you want to come down for breakfast?” Sometimes I showed up because I felt he just didn’t want to be alone and other times he wanted to discuss the treatment and then other times he wanted to go through the Alexa thing and listen to hours upon hours of music from our childhood days.

There were days it was not about food nor about music, there were days I felt it was important to just be present and sit in silence and for nothing else, allow him know that somebody cared enough to pass time and be in his space with him.

Did this bring him strength? I do not know. Did this help in any way? I do not know.

For six months we did an everyday thing and when he wanted to do something we made it happen. When he did not feel up to doing anything, well then we simply did nothing. I could not give him new lungs and new organs or new voice box; the voice box was where the cancer began. When it came time I could not give him new bones either.

All I could do was be there for him in a capacity that I could be and that was to pass through time with him. To be a familiar everyday face for him and for him to know that his buddy was with him. A couple of chats on the phone each day and a few visits and plenty of cups of tea. That is what it took, TIME that is all I had to offer. Did it do him any good in the bigger scheme of things? Who really knows for sure? What I am aware of and what I believe in is that no matter what any persons says, does or thinks, I placed what I had on the line and that was time. What he had to place on the line was his life.

Things became worse for him through the few months and he was hospitalised eventually and the downhill spiral had begun. I presented myself as often as I could and he appreciated it. He would explain to me what the nurses and doctors were saying each morning and then ask me what does all of that actually mean? Many times I would let him know I would have to Google those things because things are beginning to sound too technical now and I am not sure. I knew they were not good signs and I did not want to worry him anymore, so in some of the instances I told him some versions of what we might call white lies. The hospital visits were coordinated with his family and so all were taking turns to pass through time and spend visiting hours with him. In many times in our lives there will be nothing more that we can do except share ourselves by sharing time with someone. If cancer had have been a person he would have strangled it with both hands, funny thing that he had a pair of hands that could choke an elephant literally, so to choke cancer would have been a great thing to watch him do. Nobody wants to die and definitely not at any kind of young age either. He fought it hard relying on his own attributes his own physical strength. Coupled with medicines he began to go down in his weight and the pain was not stopping. The spread of cancer was happening for him and there was nothing any of us could do for him. Annoy him with smart comments, piss him off with too much care and walk away and leave him in the hospital each evening because he was too ill to come home with us. Then came the more harsh suffering for him and when we listen to a friend when they are angry or upset because nothing seems to be taking away the pain, it can be a hard thing to do though we are not the ones in the pain, yet we can feel it too.

Then the end starts coming closer and it is ugly and disgusting to witness. Skinnier and less aware of what is going on and still whispering that he feels pain. We shared these times too and we acknowledged what we had meant to each other and we sat with some music, some more laughs at old stories and we sat passing time together.

The following became a wake and a funeral, these are things I promised myself I would not attend anymore in life though with him it felt like a true friend had been lost and who am I not to show respect and honour him? Every piece of him being brought home and laid out for a wake and his funeral mass ceremony were beautiful. The music and singing were breath taking and his graveside prayers followed with song over a speaker were moving too. What he deserved, a beautiful day with the sun shinning.

I share the experiences of the past six months with you in brief to shed some light on what it might mean in your own day to day living to be there for somebody. To share time in their space where they may be at. This is not about me and my friend being super close or having a bond from our youth. This is about what I believe the world ought to be like. People being there for people. How does anybody cope with anything if it is not for the helping hand of friends? Friendships that come and go and what does it mean to share time with someone in your life or not even in your life, somebody who needs the gift of time. I know now that all of my friend’s family wish for more time, why so? Because we never have enough of it to do all the things we want to do and we need to wake up and realize that there is a limited amount of it that we have been given and that we will also expire some day too. When they say things like “life is short” listen carefully and understand what it means. My friend was still making plans from his hospital bed, he had not given up and so for as long as he was not giving up then I was not willing to give up on him either.

This blog post is again about my random thoughts and to share with you some of my recent experiences to shed light, to bring up the topic of conversation of what are we really doing here? What are the tiny little things that we CAN do for another human being to make the journey a teeny bit easier? I can go about life doing all for myself and nobody else and I can go about wanting to be there for everybody possibly to buy my way in to heaven as they say (lol) I know this is not my agenda, I know I have no agenda. I simply see things like this; if I can do something today for another person then do it! If I cannot do something for another person then I will not do it.

I was not too busy to pass time with my friend who was on a faster path to death than me. I saw it like this, here is something I CAN do and it may mean so much more to him than it does me so WHY NOT?

I ask you do you ever consider others in this way and do you think that you have it inside of you to begin to see that life is so short that if you blink you might miss it. Slow down and take some time with your friends and family. Slow down and see that there is so much to be gained by doing nothing. Pass through time together and be there for someone because we will all come to the end eventually. This human race is not called race because there is a prize for being first or finishing ahead of everybody. The finish will come whether you rush it or not, therefore take some time and slow down and see what it is to be human first and then get involved with the “Rat Race”.

Get involved with others who might need some of your time and do not think that any piece of any day is in any way, shape or form a waste of time.

I am glad to have had the opportunity to spend time with my friend.
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July 10, 2023

Grief is stranger, life even stranger (more strange)

Grief is a leveler, this is something I can speak on til the cows come home, with authority and for all who may have been drawn to this post because of the title, well , YOU KNOW.

What is grief? How is it so powerful of a feeling or process? And what do we do about it?
Here goes my most simple explainer.
When we lose a loved one, we the person who finds themselves grieving, we are left with a void or an emptiness where once there was a person. A person whom we loved. Not always loved in a way like madly or deeply in love though we loved them nonetheless. So when we are faced with a void, an empty chair where once sat our loved one, we still have feelings for them. We miss them, yes this is correct. We have nowhere to direct our feelings of love. They are gone from this world and are no longer around us nor in our lives. So what do we do with all of this love if we do not have the person to direct it at any more?
It is called GRIEF.
Grief being our own love towards another becoming turned inside out, so to speak. A love that does not land and is not challenged or reciprocated. A love that can only stir up in our emotional selves and the.n fall to the floor almost. Like we cannot direct it anywhrre. We do not receive a smile back, we do not receive anything back because the person is no longer with us, gone from this world.
Our love for them, towards them and of them has nowhere to go.
So why does it hurt so much?

You can read my life story called TWO sons TOO many and you will be brought up to speed about me and my life through the memoir mentioned above. In there you will read of how I openly discuss what it has been like to lose two of my sons.

So grieving is this weird feeling of being in love with somebody that is not here. A thought in our mind of how we would like to see that person just for a smile or 5 minutes of their time. Grief is the animal that would make you want to be able to make the world disappear for one day or three. Grief can be that thing that creeps up out of nowhere and brings tears to your eyes leaving you with no explanation at all. Grief can have you angry and resentful towards your loved one for leaving you to deal with all the hurt and pain. Grief can make life and people around you seem strange or bring about a feeling of being a stranger in your own home, your own world.
If you have ever felt any such weird way during your grief or living with your grief, you are not mad or insane. Grief simply does these things and some feelings can come from nowhere based all upon the love you have inside you for the person you have lost.
Then why does it hurt so much?

The hurt we feel in grief is the love we have inside of us for our lost loved one. The more it hurts the more we did love. It may seem unbearable and a hurting pain that may never go away, take comfort in knowing it is true love that brings about such pain. Take comfort in knowing you can feel and have had so much love for that person.
Grief pains because you cared, grief hurts because you loved. I understand that these are no quick fix remedies nor does knowing why we hurt so much make any of it any differemt. I simply post on grief and the extent of pain and love to let any person know that you are not the first and not the only person to have felt like this before, there are many of us who hurt our way through a day or wish for other people around us to understand what it is like. And by the same token it is not our go to conversarion to be explaining ourselves or why we might not feel like doing certain things.

Grief is weird and grief is difficult even at the best of times. Life itself can be strange and we can view people as strange sometimes too. And we do not wish to be feeling so strange amongst the strangers. It is just how grief can be and there is nothing we can do to ease another persons burden of grief. We must make progress in seeing grief as a strong emotiinal love. Can we, will we ever normalise the process so those who have not experienced loss might gain an understanding? The reason for my blog post today is just that.
Let us normalise the process and make a kinder world for those in pain. I guess not only for those who pain with grief, also those who pain and hurt in silence. Can we take a momemt from our day to consider life for another human may not be that strange at all. Perhaps they are a person who is hurt, perhaps they have no words to explain. Perhaps being a human to another human would be a great place to start.

I have no answers, I have no remedy, I simply say, enjoy your life no matter how you feel. In pain, hurt and love. Enjoy them all as we never know when it will be our own last day.
I do not know who needs to read this today, if it is you who needed this read then I am glad you found my blog roday.

July marks a very special for monrh for me in my life and my journey and so a blog post to celebrate.

As always I sign off with,
Like, comment, share where ever you find this post.
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Published on July 10, 2023 13:30 Tags: bereaved-parent, books, child-loss, emotional-health, grief, hurt, loss, love, memoirs, pain, thoughts, writ8ng

May 10, 2023

HAPPY IS NOT FOR SALE – Did you know that?

HAPPY IS NOT FOR SALE – Did you know that?

Why so?

In following on from the “concept” the idea that many will say, right off their tongue – “Money can’t buy you happiness”

Is this true? Or is it just an idea?

It will really depend how your own view of what happy is, wouldn’t it?

Let’s say as an example that I want to have three cars, a weekend SUV (sports utility vehicle). Sports vehicle to carry my surf board, my golf clubs, my hiking gear, my kayak and tent for camping and a few extra supplies. Yeah that is what the sports utility vehicle is for, not just taking up large space on narrow roads or awkward parking spaces. Recreational use type stuff. I want a second car for commuting on a weekly basis and something that is easy to find parking for and is a run of the mill car, 4 door easy to whip around in car. And my third choice is a Sunday drive prestigious model of something or other. Three cars nonetheless. So, I want 3 cars and I have them. I am happy right?

Let’s say I want a house, more than that I want a home and a wife and two point four children and a labradoodle dog. And let’s say that I have them all with me, I am happy right?

Let’s say I want a decent job to pay for all these expenses that I have in my life and let’s just say that I have a cushy number as a job and my salary helps me pay everything and have a little left over for holidays and savings. So I am doing okay and pretty comfortable. I am happy right?

The examples above would apply to an older person, well middle aged at least. How about a younger person or an older person, d they not have wants and desires to make them happy too? Of course they do. So let’s just imagine that whomever you are reading this right now that you have all that you have ever wanted.

Are you happy?

What is happy and does it last?

Money does not buy us happiness because happiness is not for sale. You can buy all the material things you want and still go through a time of unhappy. Makes little or no sense though?

When we begin to understand that our happy is not inside of things and other people, our happy is inside of ourselves. Then we can begin to unlock some of the happy times life will offer us. And these come with no cost, genuine happy is a feeling and an idea, a state of mind and a state of being.

So are you being? Or are you simply human and not the being piece?

Why so many question on the matter anyways?

I find happy in some of the simplest things in life, once upon a time I worked hard in the rat race and enjoyed golf practice in the evenings and started my day with a session surfing (paddling out) we used to call it lol. In those times I was quite happy yes. I still can recall issues would come up and life got difficult at times. I bought the nice cars and thought they were the greatest things ever and was having a blast of a time enjoying everything I could and I found unhappy times right there in the middle of all the money. WOW! Why?

I can recall specifically one day going to purchase a new vehicle and I was buying it with cash. I had a friend drive me to the car shop and I was ready to throw down and buy myself something new and shinny. The car dealership would not take my cash though, yup, they wanted a bank draught or cashiers check or for me to sign up for monthly payments. They said they would have to report the cash purchase to the tax authorities and it would or could become messy. I thought what a mess and I walked out from the dealership. I was walking along the road outside of the dealership with no way home. There were no taxis passing by and I was not in a good area for phone service. Yup, fifty grand in cash in my pocket and walking along the roadside just the same as if I was broke. That day thought me something. Money in my pocket does not matter. I can feel as lonely and shitty as hell whether I have money or not. I was learning a valuable lesson that day. There is no answer by buying things to make me happy. Of course I got home and got a vehicle through another route soon after. I remember how I felt walking on the roadside, I was unhappy!

I also can explain you some of the times I experienced where I would earn good money for certain projects and I was not happy at all. There is no point for me to go on and on about thee kinds of things as I am sure you get the concept, right?

So what is happy? This is a question you gotta ask yourself. Relationships for example, does another person make you happy or are you splitting up with someone because the just don’t make you happy?

To stamp tat one out, no other person has the responsibility to make you happy. That is nonsense. Yes indeed no other people have to be assholes to you or people do not have to be nasty to you of course, basic respect of another human being means we be civil and respectful, right? Though others do not have any responsibility to our happiness. Happiness is a feeling, a state of being so how does another person work their way inside of us and meddle with our emotions and make us unhappy? We allow them to, we become dependent upon them or we keep looking out and we think we are being made happy.

When we realise happy comes from inside of ourselves then we will begin to notice how we can be happy a lot more often and it does not depend on anybody else or any other thing. We do not have to depend on a partner for our happiness; it is upon ourselves if we decide it to be so. We actually make ourselves unhappy more often than not, if truth be told and all that jazz. We fuck it up all by ourselves.

Imagine that!

We do need the approval of others, meaning we dot need to seek out validation or have other people approve of us or to approve of our feelings. Our feelings are ours.

Allow me to be more direct with you, your feelings are yours!

Perhaps a simple exercise will bring it all together a tad simpler. Go to your mirror and stand in front of it and look at yourself. Speak these four sentences to yourself

I make and create my happiness.
I am responsible for my feelings.
Happy is not for, it cannot be bought.
I am worthy of happy in my life.
That right there is a simple daily practice you can add into your life and it is my firm believe you will notice subtle difference occurring in your everyday life. The only way you will know how this work is by giving it a go for a while and see for yourself.

Four sentences above that can help you to change your life. When you figure out that there is no price tag on happy, it is for a reason.

Your dreams will come to you, your possessions will bring comfort and your loved ones will bring to you love. A content life is a happy place especially when we remind ourselves that – HAPPY IS NOT FOR SALE
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March 14, 2023

Oh boy oh boy oh girl

Oh boy oh boy oh girl…..

Ever been in love? What a feeling it is to have, to experience and to totally enjoy.

Why even ask the question? Am I asking you or am I asking myself? I rarely use my blog posts to ask myself questions though I do and have quite often aired out my thoughts and feelings from deep inside of myself. Why so? Because, I originally called this blog “Random Thoughts”.

To the point of feeling in love or falling in love or experiencing love, I am certain many of you have enjoyed the bliss it brings with it. I am speaking from a place of what can be called, expanded emotional existence in this life of ours. The expansion came into to play when I went through some very dark years, years where I did not believe in the world or the words people had to say. I call them dark to make a reference term that may be understood more clearly. In reality it has been anything but dark, enlightening beyond words, beyond explanation. The expansion of my emotional self was born out of these times and has not been of my own doing. What I mean by this is that I did not sit down one day and decide to do some meditation and then enlighten myself beyond and to some place of super-hyper emotional well being or anything. I felt dragged downward and I have felt that life was very tough to participate in and to be involved with. I withdrew would be the simple way to explain it.

Why even begin to share some of this with you?

I share with you and put this article out there in the public domain via the world wide interweb to shed light on these things for those who may feel they have lost their own voice or may be scouring the internet for encouragement, inspiration or a simple pick me up. The value in my own story is that there is always something new ahead and there are many times we will not understand what is happening and we will not understand WHY!  

To keep it short on the issue of where I found myself at is that I have had the misfortune to sit graveside on two separate occasions and bury my two sons. Darra died of sudden death when he was 15 years of age one night in his sleep. Patrick as a toddler of 1yr and 4 months walked his way into a swimming pool and drowned. For me it was the nightmare of nightmares that would not end. My son’s deaths occurred within 2 yrs and 6 months of each other. So, basically within 3 short years I went from super de duper happy go lucky and fun loving to bitter down in the dumps. It only took the first shock and tragedy to collapse me and then the second whilst making attempts to rebuild myself to floor and shatter what was left of me. These episodes of stretching of my emotional self really did do a number on me and my emotional well being and were two complete wrecking ball whacks to the mental health also.

I write and share some of my personal issues here in my blog to shed some light of where I have been in terms of tragedy. I understand what it is like to question every single ounce of life itself. I am also aware that there are many people out there in our world who find it hard to pick themselves up from where they are and what it is that might, only might be going through their head right now today.

I write to you today about the emotional stretching of how it got really bad for me for some time and then I can sit here and write about what it is to feel love. To enjoy it and to feel what it means to me. The stretching to the left so to speak in times of darkness and grief has also allowed me to experience the heightened greatness of feeling love and beauty on the opposite side to the right, again so to speak.

I know love exists in the world, I can feel it and I can experience it. I feel it from my partner and I feel it from my children, I have experienced it from my family and my friends. I do agree that having been stretched emotionally into a place of grief and bereavement that there is the possibility that I now experience all of my emotions to a deeper or “stretched” type of feeling. Call it level or plateau or whatever you will. The point is that it is possible to overcome our severe tragedies and it is possible to experience the look of love from our partner. The love we see in the eyes of our children. These things are real and can happen for us all. I never did think I would ever smile again in my life back when I was sitting graveside or on a dark night when I sat alone and looked back over pictures of my deceased children. I never thought that I would ever hold my children again and feel love. I never thought that I would sit and hold Patrick’s mom (my partner) and feel love ever again in a peaceful moment. I did not know that my stunningly beautiful daughter would bring so much joy to my heart.

Funny thing about when I post or write about things is that I only feel comfortable to write about that which I have experienced. Can I be convincing to you through a blog post?

I have experienced these feelings of love. I am enjoying and can openly tell you that I never ever thought I could return or go beyond where I am now today. What was holding me back you may ask? I was not ready – good answer. I was holding me back, afraid to feel the nice once again because of fear – good answer.  I was and have been preventing myself to be too overwhelmed with emotion because I have seen how hard I can fall when things do not work out – good answer too.

These fears inside of ourselves can prevent us from experiencing and enjoying so much of what life has to offer us. I know only too well what it is to be drowning, to be drowning in sorrow. I know what it is like to struggle to come to terms with something in our lives and I am totally aware of how hard it can be to deal with the reality that can be present in our lives. These are some of the reasons I write about love to you today.

How many of us have ever considered that “All we need is LOVE”?

Imagine for a moment every baby that is born into the world is deserving of love and that they cry for food and to be held. They can be clingy at times (for sure) though all they want and need is a little love. You and me, we all began the same way when we were born, in need of a little love. As we grew we began to understand some false narrative that we didn’t deserve love or we didn’t need it to survive. It is the nicest form of existence that I have ever experienced and I am not in any way ashamed to share this with you. This is not a “Valentines day” post that I forgot to post either. I am simply sharing with you that I am in love and have been for quite a long time and when these feelings are reciprocated and felt back by me through my children’s eyes or my partner’s love, it is how I can share with you that the hard dark times do not last forever. I have walked though the fires of hell and survived, I even more recently been at the point of drowning and very nearly dead and I am here to tell the tale.

What is it that keeps me going?

The new heightened sensitivity that I have been given is allowing me to feel some of the most beautiful of what we have in life. The awareness that comes with being open to receive love is magical and I am certain that there are many people in our little world that think they will never smile again, I am aware that many people suffer in silence through their own trauma and the way in which it is possible to really believe that life will never be good again. This is why I am writing this post tonight, to encourage you to take my word for it that all will become better once we begin to understand that it may never be the same again and we begin to see that things are ever changing, just like how I went from very happy and fun loving to bitter and broken. Changes are happening all of the time. We simply need to see that we can have a beautiful life even though we may have had to struggle to stay afloat. Nice and beautiful does exist and are very possible inside of your own life too.

For some back story you can find my memoir TWO sons TOO many on Amazon.

For more updates and encouragement in your own life, follow along



It may not all happen for you over night. It will happen once you have a willingness to keep on going!
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Published on March 14, 2023 16:39 Tags: blogging, blogpost, emotions, feelings, hope, inspired, life, living, love, memoirs, self-help, selfhelp, struggle, willingness, writing

January 29, 2023

WOW 20~23

WOW 20 ~23
It is indeed one of the cool number years. LeBron / Michael and even the 23 flavours of good old Dr. Pepper. 23, twentythree if you like, for grammar purposes and all that. I personally have chosen to not apply grammar all of the time as I have often felt that in our modern society there are many who do not get it and why should I sacrifice readers for use of grammar. Do you know what I mean? Many writers out there get what I am saying and many have sacrificed, many on the flip side will persevere to preserve. Just kind of how it goes really.

So 23 is well and truly upon us and have you managed to stay true to your resolutions? I ask for a specific reason, the reason being that if you have done so well done to you and if you have not; well done to you also. There is no shame in falling short nor in not completing. It may suck a little bit in the short term, the really good piece is you made an attempt and you have now got some more knowledge about how to go about your goals in a different way next time. That right there is an awesome advantage of never having given it a go in the first place.
Another of my reasons for asking the loaded question is to dive into the importance of here and now. Our feelings or how we tick. Ya see, if one is not achieving the year they may have felt they wanted, that right there is totally okay too. Why so and how?
To be in the here and now is to acknowledge where we are today and not a dream of where we wish to be come year end. The power of this is huge beyond what you may want to accept or understand. Right here right now writing this is where I am supposed to be. Accepting this fact brings me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction and an all around happiness to my day. Because I am not stressed over yesterday nor panicked about tomorrow. This is where I am meant to be precisely at this time. This is the point I wish to hammer home with you today. Wherever you find yourself good, bad or indifferent it is indeed where you are meant to be for right now and to live in the here and now and accept where it is that we are is a great peaceful happy state to find ourselves in. I speak on this from a very real position of growth and learning from within my own life. I am not saying you can read the chapter above and understanding my point that all will be resolved for you. I am saying that it is a great frame of mind to adopt into your life. The power of here and now. No other portion of our life mean anything to us except for this precise moment. All that our life is a tower of moments all stacked on top of each other and we get to enjoy only one at a time. Can you grasp that? If so, you are on your way to great peace and happiness. Well done to you. If you are someone who struggles with remaining in the here and now. Continue to make attempts at bringing yourself back to NOW repeatedly throughout your day. It is your willingness to give it a good go is what will bring you there when all is meant to be. Which kind of speaks to my motto a little “Never Give Up”.

Keep on enjoying twenty twenty three and I look forward to meeting more of you this coming year. For all of you who read a long with me and never say hi, Hi there, fellow human. For all who are here at this point with me right now, thank you for your time and a happy new year to you. And for all who took the time to wish me a happy birthday, thank you to all of you too. Let’s engage with each other this year writers and bloggers alike. Hi, and comment below.
Whatever you are going through whereever you are at in your life.
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Published on January 29, 2023 15:06 Tags: blogpost-readers, books, inspired, life, writing

November 23, 2022

Let’s talk about LOSS – Holiday Season

Let’s talk about LOSS – Holiday Season

It is true and to say first and foremost, loss is a bitch of thing to experience. It has a way of steam rolling you right out of your day. Definitely holiday season does not help as the holidays are often centered round sharing happy times with family and loved ones. What is going to exaggerate or increase a feeling of loss? Absolutely correct and right, the feeling of loss is exaggerated by they are just not here anymore. This can be a very tough pill to swallow, even tougher when nobody else seems to get what it you are feeling.

I have experienced loss in what has felt like the most tremendous form of grief I could ever imagine and so my understand of loss for others is along the lines of how I have experienced such deep and devastating feelings that, I began to understand how hard it is to get my mind and self around it, that it has to be extremely difficult for everyone. The loss in my own life has been the death of my children; yes you did read that correctly. In 2011 my first born son Darra died of what is known as “Sudden death”. He was 15 years of age at the time and he did not wake up one morning for school. He passed away in his sleep and that was the beginning of my own serious and intense life of grief and experiences of loss. Yes, I did say children above. Darra was my first born son and we now closing in on the end of his birthday month, November and then we commence the beginning of the holiday season and the December. Darra’s anniversary is in December as he passed away 12/12/2011. Quite a while ago now isn’t it?

During that time in December 2011 I kind of fell out of love with Christmas and the holidays and had no more care for new years or any of the festivities and then each and every year since it has been a tough month to go through, what with his anniversary and the remembering of the whole ordeal of 2011. So, I know exactly what the holiday season is like when we are in a journey of grief and experiencing loss. Boy oh boy did I wish never to become so deep in it or have to learn my way through it or around it, I promise you that. Nonetheless I am here writing this blog post today some 11 years later. I could go into all the details about how it has been or what it was like, safe to say you could read all about my experiences in my memoir, TWO sons TOO many.

Yes TWO sons, to lose one child is too much for any parent to have to go through in one lifetime and for me to lose TWO sons has been for sure 1 son TOO many, hence the title TWO sons TOO many.
During my new life as a man who didn’t know what this loss feeling was and what grief was all about I had the beautiful experience of becoming father again, Patrick was born in 2013 in February and it was the weirdest feeling ever. To be so happy to have a new son and a second chance at this game of life all the while grieving and pining for Darra, it was probably the closest I will ever understand to what it might mean to experience “bitter sweet” feelings. I got to spend a year and a little more with Patrick and he died in 2014 in a drowning accident. My little angel sent to cheer me up and deliver to me new hope, a lifeline thrown to me in a sea where I was drowning in grief for Darra. My two babies gone.

So what of the holidays and how do we survive these times where all family and loved ones get to spend time together? How do we turn a feeling of loss into something can become bearable for us?
We can look back at the nicer memories as a starting point. We can recall the nicer times we did actually spend with our loved ones and though they are not with us today, we do possess the ability to turn a sad day into a nice day. I didn’t say “a great day” on purpose because it can be hard in times f loss to achieve a great day. What we definitely can do is have a nice day, this I am certain of because I now in my life have many nice days.
How though?

It really all does begin with how we can begin to understand that when we are overwhelmed by our emotions that they still remain as emotions. Yes our mind can wander off into dark places and we just want to keep on crying, be it on the inside and privately or completely out in the open. We possess the ability to take charge over our own journey in grief and loss. We can decide, “Today WILL be a nice day”, we have the power to decide this. Did you know that?
We can recall the nice times we spent wit our loved ones and we can see a smile and remember the times where we were so totally happy/in love/over the moon with the person we have lost in our lives.
We CAN do this and it is not something I just decided to write because it sounds nice or anything like that. I have lived it and now today as a father who has lost his two sons, I write this to encourage any person who is experiencing loss or might be drowning in grief. It is POSSIBLE, it just is hard to imagine, so why not begin to give it a go. Forget about imagining it anymore and simply DO IT.

Yes it will be the holidays and yes the world does not make much sense a lot of the time though there are some things we can take charge of. My feelings of loss are feelings and they will come and go. Am I going to sit around and lose out on enjoying my daughter’s life because I am too caught up in the misery of loss? No!
Are any of us going to allow what we feel to completely take over our lives because we are unsure or we are confused and the world does not make sense any more because we have experienced loss? No!

Are any of us going to hold back and not allow our pain to pass through us? No! These my friends are the holidays and holiday season that I have been referring to and it is in the title too, HOLIDAY. Take a break from what feels like it has been breaking you and give yourself the holiday. Look back on the fond memories and smile. Yes indeed I can recall when I felt so guilty to smile and to laugh; some will call it survivors’ guilt because my loved one is the one that is gone and not me. I remember how exactly it felt and it is not a nice place, I understand that. Our time here on this planet is to live, so let us live on in the memory of or in the idea of making our loved ones proud or even in the idea that our loved one would never wish us not to enjoy our holiday time. Most all of whom have gone before us wish for us to have the most amazing life and time here in our life time, right? So let us do it for them for now as a starting point. Let us brave face the world and seek out the magic and beauty that exists. Done are the days of keeping the blinds pulled across or the blankets over our heads. Let’s live and let’s show our beautiful loved ones that we mean business t0 enjoy our time in this world.

I live my life to make Darra & Patrick happy. I even speak out loud to them all day every day. A simple decision of turning left or right and I can be heard saying “what do you think guys?”. Yup it works for me and has done for a number of years now, so give it a try. Find what works for you and stick to it, give yourself every chance and opening to find that contentment again. Forget about happy for now. Focus on being content in the grief journey you are on and enjoy as many of the small simple things in life to help build up steady by steady the nice feelings. Watch how they will grow too and what a daily nice feeling can add up to and the see saw continues. Slowly but surely the nice will out weigh the bad and we can find a way through the holiday season while experiencing loos and feeling grief.

Happy Thanks giving as they saw this time of year; it is a simple way in which we can see how something can work in our favour even though nothing of grief or feelings of loss can feel nice. I am thankful that Darra & Patrick came into my life and thought me so much. I am grateful and thankful for all that I have experience because of their very existence. Yes, much of what I have experience since their passing has been painful, it is because they have existed that I learned love as a father and that I then felt pain and hurt as a grieving father. For these intense and very real feelings I am thankful to them every day. Darra & Patrick I give thanks to you for helping daddy see things deeper in his life and helping me to grow on my journey of loss. I am thankful and I am learning every day how to know what it is to appreciate our fond memories and I look forward to the holiday season now and yes I might cry a little from time to time I remain ever thankful for your life and for your passing as I got so much from you both.

I also mention happy thanks giving to you all for the reason of I have another book where I discuss how it is that I came to navigate through my thoughts and feelings and I have offered this book “Layman’s Handbook in life” by me Aidan Mc Nally, I offer this at a special discount for “Black Friday” so that all out there who have a difficult time overcoming or learning on their own journey can find some simple tools to help and assist in making it easier.
Layman’s Handbook in life is a book where I wished I had to turn to during my darker hours and felt compelled to write it. You can grab a copy for only 99 cents on Black Friday on Amazon. My gift to show my thanks and to help all who may need it right now.. It is because I know this journey of overcoming trauma that I was able to first hand write about it.
And of course it is title Layman’s because I am a layman who has been in and around the block once or twice in my lifetime and I wish for others to gain insight through my own learning.

You can follow me on social media sites

Facebook & Twitter @TWOsonsTOOmany
IG @2sons2many

Please do like, comment and share this post where ever you find it as it helps me do 3 things.
1. Spread awareness of my writing.
2. Reach those who need to hear these words today.
3. And gain more insights myself by your feedback.
Thank you.
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October 24, 2022

TORN – like a piece of paper?

TORN – like a piece of paper?

I am torn, what does this mean?

To tear a piece of paper means we get two pieces of paper and so it is, in a physical sense, a bonus. We once had one and now we have two, right?

Yes in terms of needing to allow two people write something down at the same time, it has become beneficial to tear something into two. A piece of a rag/cloth perhaps, we can again benefit to now have two pieces. Mind you, if we are tearing a piece of paper and that happens to be a piece of paper money, well that is not very beneficial at all. Yes we may now have two pieces though we have rendered the entire piece “useless” by tearing it. The tearing has made it lose its value.

We may have heard ourselves say some things like these before, “I am torn between two minds about….” Another can be about our emotions and say “I m torn between my feelings for and my feelings against….” This brings me back to the tearing of the paper money. Can we render ourselves less valuable by being in a position of where we are torn?

Does this mean we are more valuable when we remain whole? Or are we more valuable when we spread ourselves thin and are torn between our job and our family and our children’s lives and our partner’s lives and our friendship circles? Those just there can be the basics of life for many and as I have now just written them, they seem to be quite a lot. Remaining whole does definitely jump out at me as being the better state to be in to be able to cope and cater to all that may be going on. Therefore it is perhaps a more simple way to look at things that we are faced with daily. I am spread thin today can be a simpler use of words to consider as opposed to “I am torn”.

When something is torn it can lead to a condition of being damaged. Am I damaged because I am between two minds about something, so to speak?

Interesting ideas pop in to my mind when reading this question out loud to myself. I can find myself torn between two minds about many things. Examples of this are definitely between my love for something and my need for something else. Which becomes more important? I remember my own father always harping on about “I do not care about what you want and am more concerned and focussed about what you need”.

So my needs over my wants really were my lesson from him. I did hear this again and again some years later. Focus on what you need and then the pathway to all that you want will appear.

The ability to make a decision when we find ourselves torn is not always clear and easy. Definitely not as easy as me writing a blog post about it and I understand it can take some of us some time to make decisions. A simpler attitude can help a concept to consider.

Am I being true to myself?

Does this serve me? (Me and my family)

Do I wish to be comfortable or uncomfortable?

True to myself is an important position to take and the most advised of course. Serving me and my family is equally as important and now for the comfort. Do I wish to remain comfortable and torn or do I wish to bring about some discomfort and become content or remain torn and comfortable, hmmm!

I have found that when we are torn and are asking ourselves questions that it is a valuable lesson to understand how we can train ourselves to be answer orientated over questioning. Present answers to ourselves daily rather than remain torn or indecisive. Solutions and answers are a path to contentment and a happier place to be. Though an initial feeling of discomfort will arise, there is a much bigger picture to consider always and the uncomfortable route often leads to the most “happy place”. Perhaps the real question can become.

Am I aware that there are billions of people in the world who could not care if I am comfortable, content or happy?

Am I aware that my own comfort totally relies on my own self and not from others?

Am I aware that the longer I remain torn between two items I am denying myself peace?

So by answering these questions above would mean that if I am more “aware” of things about my own better place, I can make decisions a little easier. Perhaps the real question is why am I torn and what is it that allows me to continue to wish to allow myself to remain stuck?

I leave the thought process up to you now and you can see where you land with being torn and what it is you need to do about it.

Have a great week. Follow he blog below and for all else of my content around the world wide interweb

@TWOsonsTOOmany @2sons2many
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Published on October 24, 2022 02:54

October 5, 2022

Often times we forget - People in our lives

Gratitude is a great word to begin with here today. Pause for a moment and consider what it may mean to you.
It was put to me quite recently that I did not possess "not even an ounce" of gratitude. I considered the point being made and it is definitely "au contraire" .

I found myself faced with some sad news that same day and my entire thoughts became filled with gratitude. My emotions, now writing this are filled with gratitude. Often times we forget the people that have come into our lives, for whatever reason, we move on and we grow and we do indeed evolve along our own journey. Yes we have all met many people along our journey. I have even noticed a post on social media recently asking people if they can remember an influential person from their childhood days, a school teacher or someone that inspired their entire life.
It is worth giving some thought to for sure.

I wish to use this post today to make public a deep sense of gratitude that I possess for a man who by his own good nature afforded me a wonderful opportunity in life.

Rev. Fr. Roch Bennett O.F.M cap.
Fr. Roch passed away on Monday evening/night at the ripe age of 97. Now that I think of it, he seemed 97 when I met him first, all those years ago.
Maybe it was just me but when a Capuchin brother who wears a brown robe and has a grey beard and is as big a man as Fr. Roch, in his spirit and presence, well they just seem older, maybe because he oozed wisdom. Yeah that could be it alright, his wisdom made him seem older.
I have a ton of fond memories to share with you about the great and mighty Fr. Roch, for all those who knew him well, they can attest to how sometimes you just didn't want to hear or know he was on his way.

It is not that Fr. Roch was with me for any great length of time in my life or any great deep conversations we may have had. Some of the laughs we had shared over the years or even some of the sermons he would dive in to when we were just having a casual coffee. It was his vision and again his wisdom. For Fr, Roch to have existed meant a man in the world had an idea and gave it his all and created something which then in turn gave me a great opportunity in my life. I am sure there are tens of thousands of people that are saddened by the news of his passing and many of whom can recall a story or two that will bring a smile to their face even a laugh, a deep chuckle type laugh that Roch himself would have. Like everyone in the world, there are sure to be good and bad stories and when the good outweigh the bad a million to one, then these are my point of focus.

Because Fr. Roch existed in the world I was given an opportunity to begin my life all over again.
Many hands can be raised to testify of similar. I was a wayward type teenager and I had a ton of trouble on my plate. Officials of all kinds knew who I was and the common answer from most was, send him to jail. Though when in court and pleading for my own release it was only because Fr. Roch had established an adolescent treatment center that I was given a chance. I did not know of or had ever heard of the man prior to me being 17 and in a whole bunch of trouble.

Yes indeed, I put in the work on myself and I have lived my life as a sober living person ever since those days, yes it is true. The scenario that came about though that day, I was in court and given a suspended sentence to be in residential treatment in the county of Cork Ireland. When the courts had heard that all the alcohol treatment facilities were for much older adults and that prison was not the place for me, a counselor who had done some work placement in this "new adolescent treatment center in cork" spoke up on my behalf and the judge gave me that chance.
Yes to the judge that day I am grateful, yes to all who spoke on my behalf that day in court I am grateful. Though the gratitude that exists in my life is recalled by the passing of Fr. Roch this week.
Fr. Roch saw that there was no bad in anybody and that every person deserved a chance. His work on keeping kids off the streets of Cork and getting troubled youth jobs and placement on courses and pushing people to better themselves in their own lives is what stood out to me the more and more I got to know the man. It is because he saw that an idea about helping and doing good in his community just like he had taken his vows to do so was what he stood by.
He sure did love his religion too and a few sweets here and there. A scone and some butter, yeah he had a bit of sweet tooth alright. The man helped so many in his lifetime it would be too many to begin getting in to and I can humbly say, I AM EVER GRATEFUL to Fr. Roch for his vision, his putting together teams of excellent staff members and his continued begging to keep us going.
He used to joke about his main profession was that he was a professional beggar as he had taken a vow of poverty when he entered into the brother hood and so that made him by trade a professional beggar.
His begging kept us alive and well in the treatment center and we ate like kings during our time there. We received a small weekly allowance and we had everything at our disposal. Sports centers, summer holidays, schooling, one to one counselling, horse back riding on weekends, sweets and goodies when he would visit (even when he came to give out and call us ungrateful ha-ha) he still brought the sweets/candy.
Top to bottom, managerial staff, a day center, a phase one, two & three residential facilities, a home for youth other than the drug and alcohol rehab, staff living facilities, boy oh boy his begging amassed a massive amount of resources to continue to push on and help people. WOW.

The world has lost one of the greats this week in Fr. Roch's passing. A fond lover of the Kilkenny cats and all the hurling championships. Roch loved sport and part of our routine involved a daily run every morning before breakfast. Heavens knows how I hated getting up to go running every morning, lol. Fr.Roch is a legend and always will be.

I write this post to give a tiny glimmer into how much of an amazing man Roch was. One doesn't meet these kinds of people often and there are often times we will forget those who have helped us in such a subliminal way.
I repeat,
Because Fr. Roch existed in this world I got a second opportunity at life. I have lived, loved and lost and I remain EVER GRATEFUL to the mighty Fr. Roch.
Rest now Father and don't run a muck in heaven, in the words of your father "let them all go to hell" lololololol
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Aidan  Mc Nally
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