Skip to main content

Hometown Pride

A person I know came to me the other day with a problem.
Something that they were struggling with and something they really needed to talk about.
I did what anybody in my shoes would have done.
I listened.
The issue involved mental health. It wasn't their mental health it was that of a loved one.
Those of you who know me are aware of how important it is to me that the stigma surrounded mental health is dispelled.
So after she had finished speaking to me, I shared my story with her to show her that their was no judgement on my part.
She appreciated it.
I could see she felt better and we then carried on with our day.
The following day she came to see me again and she thanked me for my time.
I didn't need thanks
As I said above, I did what anybody in my shoes would have done.
I listened.
She felt I went above and beyond her expectations of the conversation.
I felt a bit embarrassed.
I didn't feel I had done anything special.
I came home and I started the think.
I will never turn away a person who needs a chat.
I might ask them to come back a little later but I will always make time for them.
Surely this is just something that people do.
Apparently it is not.
I wondered where this desire to help had come from.
I didn't have to wonder for long.
It came from my home town.
14 years ago, my entire town did that for me.
People I didn't know that well held me when I cried.
People I had spoken to once or twice hugged me when I looked down.
People I had seen since school sat beside me and held my hand
Or walked with me when I needed a walk.
One memory that will always stay with me is my neighbour Dominic who I knew but not particularly well. He actually held me up while I stood and watched my sister be buried.
Nobody ever expected thanks.
Nobody ever recognition.
I was one of them and they were going to be there for me.
I look at who I am now and that love that I received from my home town is what made me who I am today
That love is what taught me the importance of just being there.
The importance of listening
The importance of caring.
My town had a tragedy last week.
I knew one member of the family involved but I feel as though I know them all.
I have watched a little girl grow up via Facebook because she was in photos with my friend's children.
I felt all the over here, my town grieve for a little girl.
My friends hurt over their loss.
I felt their love pouring out for her parents.
As broken hearted as I was watching all this from abroad, one other thought ran through my mind.
Of all the places in the world to live in the time of tragedy, they are probably living in the best possible place.
My Facebook feed has been a web of love and support.
Of mourning and grieving as a community.
It took me back a decade to when I needed that love and support.
I felt proud of my home town
I felt proud of my friends.
The resilience they share is inspiring
The love they spread is inspiring
And not once does anyone expect anything in return.
That town has gone through so much loss
It has had more than its fair share of tragedy
But the people in that town just share their love and kindness.
My dad was talking to a girl the other day who I had helped source a gift over Christmas.
She told him what I had done.
It was a simple task for me, my feeble effort astounded him.
When he and I spoke about it, I said to him that it was nothing. I was able to help so I did.
I will always try to meet or support or help people from my home town.
It isn't because I am nice.
It isn't because I am overly generous with my time.
It is because I will spend my life thanking my hometown for their kindness to me
and showing them that the love they showed me is returned in kind.
Growing up I couldn't wait to leave my small town.
Idle gossip is a curse to any teenager.
As an adult I am so proud of where I have come from.
It has made me a stronger person
A more loving person
A more tolerant person.
Ennistymon, please never change.
You truly are the best place in this world.

Comments

  1. I love you so much. You are a wonderful woman. Caring and kind and the best friend.

    I'm sorry for the loss in your community.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

12 years and counting....

It is that time of the year again, my sister's anniversary. 12 years since we bid her farewell.
Well, tomorrow is her anniversary but I am having a very lazy morning and as a result I am writing this today.

For the past 11 years, the entire month of November has been a struggle for me.
In the beginning it was a raw struggle. Every single day from the 10th (her birthday) to the 29th (her anniversary) was like a hot blade slicing through my heart.
I think it is because the loneliness of not having her with us to celebrate her birthday is intensified by the fact that her anniversary is so close, and there is an awareness and an emotional surge in the three weeks between that just lingers in my subconscious.
Now, I definitely do become very low for those three weeks, but it is much easier to bounce out of it as we approach the anniversary and I realise that my irrationality of the last three weeks was simply bottled up emotion from the remaining 49 weeks of the year.

This year was a t…

The day I got a little sister.

Last night, as I got the bus home from work, I got really choked up as the clock turned midnight. Perhaps because I'd been checking product dates all day, I was painfully aware of what date I was stepping into, or perhaps because I had just returned from a trip to Ireland I was painfully aware of it all. I don't know. It's not important.

When I went to bed last night, I started to think about my sister a little more. A lot more. I remember the day she was born. Isn't that weird? I was only 3 years old but I remember. Mam was on the phone from the hospital to Da, and he asked my brother and I if we wanted to speak to our mammy. Naturally we both jumped at the chance to say hi. Our telephone at the time was in the hallway and was a few feet from the ground, so my brother and I had to stand on a chair to speak into it. As the eldest I went first and gushed and oohed as I thought was appropriate. I hopped off my chair and gave the floor to my brother. I was unprepared for…

Let's talk about mental health

I must admit I am a little bit nervous about writing this blog today.
I am afraid that I will get a little too emotional when writing about a topic that is very close to my heart.
I will apologise now for if I ramble or get lost in a stream of consciousness. I hope you can make sense of what I am about to write.

This week, another life was lost to the tragedy that is suicide. I should correct myself, a famous life was lost to suicide. I have no doubt that this week, many families around the world are grieving and trying to figure out why one of their own has taken their own life.

The reason that I want to write this post is simply down to the number of horrible and ignorant comments that I have read on social media about Chester Bennington's death. For me, it highlighted the lack of understanding of mental health in this day and age.

I'm going to take you back on a wee journey with me and tell you why this is such a personal topic and why I feel that it needs to be spoken abou…