Friendships are made up of all kinds of moments. Good and bad. Happy and sad. Big and small. Monumental and insignificant.
It may be the time of year – we put up our Christmas tree tonight (more of that over the coming days) to our Christmas playlist – I had a major wave of reminiscence and melancholy tonight. The latter happily passed quickly but the former stayed with me through The Pogues, Chris De Burgh and even a little Cliff. This time of year is one of great joy – hard not to be looking into the eyes of our darling daughter, so giddy at the prospect of Santa’s appearance; a pint of Guinness left for him with his mince pie and carrot for Rudolf!
Four years ago we were approaching the arrival of said daughter – due, and born, in mid February. But year before that we were awaiting another arrival. One that didn’t come. Never arrived. Never left the station.
On 21st December 2012 we went to the hospital to see our baby on the TV; to meet our first born. Instead we met no-one and nothing. It wasn’t to be. She wasn’t there. The subsequent Christmas a haze. The proceeding hospital visits a mix of anguish, anger and anxiety. I wrote extensively above this at the time; the pain and the fear. Handing over my wife – the most important person I have ever met – to strangers at the height of our grief. It still makes my whole body go tense and my heart race.
That day – the day of Aileen’s post miscarriage (I have never written that word before) procedure, remains one of the worse of my life. Separated for four hours – a lifetime. I was lost. Bereft. Tearful. Afraid. I made a call. I reached out to someone special. Someone who eased my pain. Who knew what to say. Who put her arms around me.
If I live for a thousand years, that will still be one of the most significant conversations I ever had. One of the most important moments of my life. She was there for me. Unconditionally. I will never forget it. I will never stop loving her. My friend. A grand woman. Una Lane.