St. Patrick and the Novice of Dún Garbháin

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  St. Patrick and the

Novice of Dún Garbháin

 



 

I am the sunlight that ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumns’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush,
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

 

Do Not Stand Over My Grave And Weep
by Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932



Wilton, Connecticut, Spring, 2016...

“Eamon…would you come here?” Danny called from the den. The boy got up and walked slowly down the hall. A shudder went down his back as he remembered a key detail of his daily routine that had been neglected. His fear was borne out by the look on his step-father’s face as he walked into the room; noticing that Danny was standing by the desk and pointing at the open laptop on the desk.

“Would you be tellin’ me what this is?” He spoke with a soft, quiet tone; Daniel O’Phelan was what they used to call an ‘even-tempered’ man. The boy stepped closer and looked back and forth between Danny and the laptop.

“I….Kenny Tobin …he told me about his coosin, Da…” He stammered. Danny’s expression didn’t change as he spoke.

“Go on, lad.” The boy shook a bit and continued.

“He’s …Danny says that Billy is…” He paused and looked back at the laptop. The webpage displayed several small pictures of attractive teenage girls…at first glance.”

“I was just curious, Da… I wanted to see what he was talkin’ about, you know?” The boy’s lip quivered. It’s been said that the younger you are, the better off you are if you prove to be a poor liar; mastering that craft might be helpful for a time, but after a while it becomes a big problem. Eamon would never need worry about being ‘too good’ at lying. Danny shook his head; his silence demanded that Eamon reconsider what he had just said.

“I…I…” Eamon shook a little more noticeably, and Danny put his hand up, palm forward to halt the boy.

“I think ye best be gettin’ to yer room, aye? Yer Ma and I will be in shortly. I think we all need to have a talk.” Danny leaned close to the desk and closed the laptop, leaving the boy to wonder what his fate would be, since he knew that the talk wouldn’t end up well.


The boy sat on his bed holding his pillow tightly; a sad and barely comfortable replacement for the stuffed animals that had long abandoned his bedroom. With a no-nonsense stepfather, it was grab whatever he could when it came to managing being a boy; all other times there was the specter of having to be a man, even if he was only fourteen. He looked around at his room. The posters on the wall reflected an interest in soccer (football), but the older he got, the less appealing the sport had become. Playing on a team with little responsibility as a six-year-old back in Dungarvan had been one thing. Being the stepson of the coach of the number one traveling team in Fairfield county for U15 was something else entirely.

The minutes slipped by slowly and what seemed like days still had lapsed into almost an hour since the boy had gone to his room. He lay back on his bed and closed his eyes after his tears did nothing to dim the harsh glare on the light on the ceiling. A few moments later he had fallen asleep....

* * *

Dún Garbháin, Ireland, 467 AD...

“Eimear,” a soft voice called out; waking the sleeping child. Raising up to an elbow, the child looked around and noticed that instead of a bed, the room, if you could call it a room, was dark and dusty; the only light slipping through some cracks in the crude wooden planks that covered the window.

“Yer Da is goin’ to be comin’ home soon; ye best get changed.” The words came from a woman who looked unfamiliar and yet felt like family. And the words were alien and yet completely understood.

“He’ll have listened to that old man …the priest who speaks in riddles, but you don’t want tempt the goddess; yer patroness will not be pleased if she finds out her servant has been found out, and both of us dead and buried before she even has time to draw her sword. The child’s namesake was the valiant woman of legend who had possessed the gifts of womanhood; something the old woman hoped to see imparted to her only child.

“Yes, Ma,” the girl stood up and went to the back next to the hearth and looked around, still worried that someone might witness her.

“Now, don’t worry, child; you haven’t got anything there that I haven’t seen before.”

“Ma? Will she ever come? Will anyone ever come?” The girl looked down at her feet, which were shod in the most precious possession she owned; a pair of calfskin slippers that her grandmother had saved for her birth. She took them off and put them in a rough looking sack and placed the sack in a notch by the hearth; placing a broom in front of it so it would go undetected.

“I’m sorry, Eimear, child, but if’n yer Da finds out?” The woman sighed and shook her head before looking out the open door to the hovel.

“Quick, off with it…” She yelled and shut the door and threw the girl a rude looking tunic and suede trousers almost all in one motion. The girl pulled off the linen gown she was wearing and draped it over the bench and put on the other clothes. Magically, if only in dreams or perhaps a nightmare for the girl, Eimear was transformed into Eamon, the only son and child of Maire and Conor. He pulled on the oversize leather boots his father had handed down when he got some new deerskin boots from the tanner in town in exchange for four Red Bream he had caught.

“There’s my lad,” Maire said, almost as a taunt, but she frowned in sympathy when the boy wrinkled his face in shame.

“Never you mind, child. You’ll be standin' all nice in the grand halls and seein’ all the faerie royalty soon; Mav and her court will carry you off as a princess like no one’s ever seen. The boy put his head down; trying hard not to cry. He had lit candles and prayed hard to whomever would listen about how he felt, but nothing seemed to make a difference.

No matter what he wished, he was born as Eamon Og Longergain, and Eamon Og Longergain he would remain. He was about to ask a question when the door opened suddenly. Though he wore the right clothes, something in him still feared discovery by his father, and he turned as if by failing to see his father his father wmight fail to see him. He heard someone call his name…

* * *

“Eamon?” Instead of harsh abrupt foreign sounds, the words that followed were soft and patient and safely familiar….

“Honey, you’ve been in your room for so long; can I come in? Can we talk, honey?” The boy found himself lying on top of the covers of his own bed. His face was wet with tears and his arm had fallen asleep under his chest when he had turned over. He sat up with a bit of difficulty and faced the voice; his mother, Aileen Flynn O’Phelan.

“Ma?” The boy almost whispered in the darkened room; craning his neck while looking past his mother to see if she was alone.

“He’ll be along shortly.” Aileen looked over her shoulder into the empty hallway.

“Am…am I in trouble?” The boy put his head down and grew quiet when his mother made no sound. A moment later the two were joined by Danny, who stepped into the room and closed the door. No need to trouble Fiona, Eamon’s sister. Danny walked over and sat down on the bed next to the boy; a move which seemed almost foreign. Aileen pulled Eamon’s desk chair over and sat down in front of him. She smiled at her husband and nodded. The boy looked back and forth between the two and his look grew even more anxious. Danny nodded back at his wife and spoke.

“You will never help yerself by lyin’ lad, and I do not want ye to lie to me again, aye?” The boy looked up and nodded. He had managed not to cry; it wouldn’t do him any good, and with a coach for a father, it likely would have made things worse.

“I’m sorry, Da.” Eamon almost hated that word…’Da,’ since it was as if something in his heart was usurped by a pretender; a replacement for which he never had a say. The man stared at him for a moment; the silence was just as painful as if the man had yelled, though Eamon would have been sorely pressed to remember the last time he had heard his step-father yell.

“He knows you are, Eay…” Danny looked over at Aileen and shook his head no, but his expression seemed welcoming. She nodded and smiled at him, acknowledging his ‘request.’

“I think you need to apologize and do a bit of penance, aye?” What could the boy say? There was no argument; he had lied to Danny and that was that.

“You and yer’ Ma will decide what’s best, but that’s not why we’re here, son.” The word tore at the boy like claws; ripping another few centimeters more in the tear in his heart. The word wasn’t something he heard often after hearing it every day when he was little. Too much loss and too much resentment seemed to block whatever relationship he could have with his stepfather.

“Now, before we go any further, lad, you need to know that I’m not angry.” Eamon actually tried to feel relieved, but the look on Danny’s face seemed to reveal an indifference that would be worse than any punishment he could mete out. He put his head down in shame.

“Eamon…listen to yer Da.” The boy nodded reluctantly. There was no way he would ever accept this interloper even if his mother had been swept away by the man. No one would ever take the place of his Da; no one could ever fill the hole in the boy’s heart. Let his mother do what she wanted; it was her life, but he wasn’t going to. He lifted his head slowly and looked at his stepfather.

“I mean, it, Eay…I’m not angry. I’m disappointed.”

That was probably the worst word the boy could ever here. First, the man’s expectations were too much to accomplish, since they demanded that the boy be something he wasn’t. But it was the unspoken expectation that hurt the most. Never really knowing what the man truly wanted, and wondering if he had broken some kind of trust. Had he failed to please the man who had said nothing of what he wanted?

“Yer Ma n’ I have been talkin’, Danny said in a flat tone as he looked over at Aileen. She smiled and he went on.

“I think the time has come where we need to address this problem of yours!”

Danny looked away and sighed. The boy may not have been a product of his own line, but he had hoped to instill some sense of family…some way of retrieving what had been lost when the boy’s real father…that word, ‘real….’ Sean Flynn had been his best friend, and Danny had no desire to take the man’s place after his passing. But love came softly for him and Aileen, and he found himself going from a bachelor with no real family of his own to a husband and a father of two children.

“Yer Ma n’ I have made a decision.” He said it flatly with no emotion, causing the boy to get very emotional as fear gripped his heart. He stood up.

“No…please…no.” The boy began to cry; perhaps as hard and loud as ever other than the day his ‘real’ father died. He stood up and pulled away from the reaching arms of his mother and the insistent grasp of his stepfather. Running to the door, he shook his head as tears streamed down his face.

“No, Eamon…NO!” Aileen shouted, her own cry seeming to plea for understanding that could never come. The boy opened the door and turned back one last time. He looked right at Danny and practically growled,

“I hate you!” He opened the door and ran right into his sister Fiona who had been listening in the hallway. Their legs got tangled and he fell headlong into the frame of the closet door across from his bedroom. Lying on his back he looked up and saw two faces standing over him. They looked familiar and foreign at the same time. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell into a dream…. But not before hearing a voice call to him….

“Eamon? Let’s go.” A beckoning, but the words, he would recall with great difficulty later, were not the words that were spoken, but rather...

“Eimear? chugainn, m'iníon! (Eimear? Let’s go, my daughter.)


Port Láirge(+)...south east of Chill Dara, Eire...468 AD

Eamon looked up to see an old man standing by as a young woman reached down in assistance. He found that he had been sitting on a crude bench at a heavy plank table under a tall broad tent open on two sides. His nostrils filled with a thin aroma of some kind of soup in the large tureen over the open fire at the edge of the tent. The woman was dressed in a very dark blue robe and a cowl draped over her head covering a tight hood-like cloth. A wimple.

Eamon looked at the woman and wondered who she was and more importantly how he knew what a wimple was. She turned to the old man beside her; he was clad in a similar if ‘manly’ version of her garb; a very dark brown robe that had certainly seen better days. She spoke.

“Father Coithridge? Will she be able to accompany us to Chill Dara? Sister Mairead is staying behind to convalesce, and we certainly could use the company.” The old man smiled at the nun and looked back at Eamon, whose confusion seemed to grow with every moment. Daughter? ‘she?’

"Further, Sister. Her own destination, aye?"

What was going on? he thought. The nun managed to pull Eamon to his feet and he looked down to see that instead of his own clothes he wore the robe of a novitiate…and not the robes of young novitiate to a monastic order, which would have been difficult enough, but the robes similar in cut and shape as the young woman in front of…her? A novice SISTER?

“Sister Brigid? I think that havin’ our little sister Eimear come along with us is a wonderful idea; Jesus and Mary be praised.”

“Thank you, Father,” Eamon found himself saying, as the young woman led him to a another smaller tent. She ushered him in and closed the rough-cut flap before placing her finger over her mouth to indicate quiet. Eamon nodded and she smiled before speaking in a low whisper.

“Yer Ma wished for you to be as you appear now, and I promised her I would see to you.” She pointed at the boy’s clothes, which were in the manner of a novice of the order the young woman had herself founded. Sister Brigid touched the boy’s face.

“After the accident, we were left with what to do. The Draehoid priest did what he could, but he was unable to save….” She looked up and down at the boy’s body.

“The herbists in the village where you lived had given you a tonic of some strength that helped you recover, but to be as you are now.” She put her head down and sighed. The pain of his mother’s passing nearly overwhelmed the moment even as the physical pain of his own injuries reminded him of what and who he had become.

“You are no longer your own alone, child,” a voice came from behind him. The old man stood in the doorway of the tent; the flap held up as he stooped to enter. He smiled at the child of God before him and took her hand.

“Yer Ma pledged you to the Sister’s order much like Hannah gave Samuel to serve Eli and God, aye?” A soft laugh escaped the old man’s lips.

“What…I don’t…how can I?” The girl looked down at her body, her eyes filling with confused tears. Any other boy would have been angry and frightened and bitter over a change not of his own making. But she…Eimear ni Longergain; pledged in novitiate to the Order of Chill Dara; the young woman before her the founder of the order and her spiritual mentor. She shook her head in wonder.

“You…there are words that we must speak to you before we set out, dear one.” The old man smiled once again. He seemed so familiar; a gentle fatherly old man whose heart seemed to embody all that she had ever heard of the priesthood; as if he had been the template for all the kind men she had ever known.

“You have yet to heal completely, child. Your body has changed and you are on a path that will take you where you were never meant to go, but for the care and love of a God who knew exactly what you needed. Your heart and mind are still changing, child. Never forget that God will go with you, no matter the path you choose.”

“I don’t understand.” Eimear looked back and forth between the old man and the nun; both of whom she had come to trust in a manner over which she had no recollection, but the trust in her heart was secure. It was only then that she notice that while the man spoke Irish, his accent seemed to be that of someone from another land.

“You will travel with us, but only as far as Chill Dara, where you will meet a young man who holds both your futures in his hands so to speak. You may remain a novice in Sister Brigid’s order for the time being, child, but you can rest assured that your path has already intersected with one who shall travel the same road as yerself,” the old man smiled at Eimear and nodded.

“I don’t understand? Who…what is going on.” The girl’s head was filled with wonder mixed with more than a small amount of fear as the unknown may trouble us all from time to time. And she was reeling, and found it exceedingly harder to maintain some balance without the help of a trusty arm offered in care. Her recovery, as the old man had said, was still ongoing, and her healing was more now a matter of becoming resigned to the inevitability of her fate. Her fate? What exactly was her fate? As if the woman before her had anticipated her question, she spoke; a smile broadened and her head tilted in sympathy.

“I know it’s all so hard to take in, Sister Eimear, but try to understand that the Lord works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.” Sister Brigid nodded slightly. Eimear looked away. “His?” What of the goddess or Meadhbh…what of the faeries of which she had heard as a little …’boy?’ What had happened? The promise his mother made when he was a wee lad about being delivered from the path upon which his small feet were placed from the time he was able to walk.

“Your look tells me you have many questions, child.” The old man smiled once again. He seemed confident that all the answers would be spoken, even if the girl before him remained doubtful. And then he did a curious thing. He pointed to Sister Brigid and nodded, as if he knew something that no one but her and he might share in secret. She smiled and stepped closer and spoke in a near whisper even though they were virtually alone as the other members of their party were many paces away from where they stood.

“Mary.....she and her angels have stood over you since you were small, Eimear. That which you and yer Ma prayed has come to pass; just not in the way anyone would have had it be. The trials for which you were born have made you a better, stronger, more caring servant of the creator and his Son.” The woman seemed to speak in riddles.

“That which you have prayed and to whom has been ascribed to the one who made you; Mav is but another servant and one who has been at yer side all along. Helpin’ you be ready for the service to which you have ultimately been called.”

“I don’t understand…what other service would I…what am I ready for? What is my fate to be?” Tears came to her eyes. She had never desired to be a sister in any order of service, but now, there and then, it was as if it was her desire all along. But no…this was but a stepping stone. The novice had discovered she was made for other things…things of which she had dared never to dream. She looked down at the robe that covered her slight frame; as a boy she had never been a very big child, but even as a girl, she seemed awfully small. She shook her head.

“All in time, child. You’ve been preparing for this since before you were born.” Sister Brigid seemed to be speaking in riddles, but her words also seemed to make complete sense. Eimear looked down at herself once again. As her gaze fell upon her body, the wind changed and the smoke from the fire shifted and blew through the opening in the tent, filling it with a billow of white. Her robe seemed to change appearance, and where her garb had been dark and plain, it now gained the look of soft, almost light green gossamer; a change that wasn’t lost on all three. The old man laughed softly.

“Jesus and Mary, there you go, child. Perhaps a sign from above, aye?” He turned to Sister Brigid; her face was beaming in an almost gleeful recognition.

“What…I…”

“You don’t understand? Neither do Father Coithridge and I, dear child, but we do see as you do that you are not quite suited as a novice, no matter how sincere your vows. You have been called to a much greater challenge of service; one for which you are entirely suited.” Sister Brigid put her hand on the girl’s shoulder and nodded.

“Sean Og Dubhaggain (*) is a mighty blessed young man, child, and that’s a fact!” The old man laughed.

“Sean? Who is he?” Eimear asked and Sister Brigid laughed softly at the ironic demonstration of God’s grace. She shook her head as if the girl should have known all along; certainly it was something that had visited her dreams since her childhood.

“Sean? Why he’s your intended.” The girl’s eyes widened a bit in anticipation and a wee bit of fear.

“You and he….are to be married.” The old man laughed softly and placed his hand on the girl’s shoulder, mimicking the gesture of Sister Brigid only moments before as the girl started to shake.

“Eimear ni Longergain…It matters not to the creator where and how you began; only how you will end up, aye, or my name isn’t Padraic.” The girl’s eyes widened one last time as she realized she was in the presence of Padrikus; the patron priest of Eire… St. Patrick as whom he would come to be known.

“Eimear ni Dubhaggain…now that sounds just fine, aye?” The old man laughed softly and nodded and smiled one last time. And with that, the girl fainted dead away.


It seemed almost as if time had stood still while moving rapidly past the girl’s eyes. She looked up and saw two faces; always two it seemed, but she was disoriented; perhaps she had just dreamt it all. But then, as things came more into focus, she noticed that the two women who stood over her were entirely unfamiliar. They sang softly in a tongue that was nothiing like anything she had ever heard…or seen. The notes seemed to evoke colors as well; shades and hues such as she had never known, but they wrapped around her like a warm hug.

One of the women giggled; a oddly sweet blessing which was made even sweeter when she noticed that the woman held the hand of a little girl who grinned broadly at her. Both women sang and then grew peacefully silent. The little girl waved playfully at her before she fell once again back into a strange dream.


Somewhere else at another time…

“Eimer…do you?” She looked around and found herself in a field surrounded in a semi-circle of people she felt must be friends or family. The old man to her left was dressed in a white robe; his cowl pulled back to reveal a friendly face framed by long white hair. His beard was short and white, but flecked slightly with strands of brown hair. Father Coithridge…Padraic…

“Eimer…do you?” He used his right hand to gesture to her to face forward. As she did she noticed she was standing before a young man; somewhat taller than her and thin. He smiled warmly and she noticed he was holding both of her hands in his. His expression was welcoming, and oddly safe, she felt. His eyes twinkled, reflecting the sunlight in an almost amber hue. His lips seemed almost girlish; plump and welcoming. Eimer thought that shehad never in her life seen a more beautiful man.

“Come on, lass. You can do it.” The old priest nodded and grinned widely. She nodded back, almost in a daze and added,

“Yes.” The next few moments were filled with the old man speaking in a foreign tongue….Benedictus Sanctus….. She found herself speaking…

“Tugaim mo chroí duit.*” The young man nodded and replied,

“Tugaim mo chroí duit go deo .**” He smiled and the old man scrunched his forehead and laughed softly, as if to say, go ahead. A moment passed before the boy leaned close to Eimer and kissed her full on the lips; a kiss of promise and hope that seemed to grow stronger even as things began to fade….


The O’Phelan home, Wilton, Connecticut…2016

“Eamon? Eamon, honey….come….sit up.” The two faces seemed concerned but relaxed as the boy sat up. A second later he was leaning against the hallway wall, dizzy and disoriented.

“You hit yer head, lad.” He looked over to see Danny kneeling at his side, a hand held out in offer. He grasped it and his stepfather lifted him to his feet.

“I think we need to have a talk…all of us, aye?” He looked and saw that his mother and sister had stood up and were helping him down the hallway into the living room.

“I’ll put on some tea.” Fiona said from the kitchen as Aileen and Danny sat down on the couch on either side of the boy. A moment later his sister came into the living room. She handed Aileen an icepack which she then held against the boy’s temple.

“Water should be hot in a moment. I’ll be in my room, okay?” She went to leave but Danny grabbed her hand softly.

“No, Fi…this concerns you as well, okay?” She tilted her head in puzzlement but sat down in the rocker opposite the couch. Danny nodded and smiled.

“I’ve got some things I have to say, and it would be best if I said them without interruption.” His words would have seemed stern but for the expression on his face. He was asking instead of ordering; a change somewhat from his ‘coach’ voice. Aileen nodded, and Eamon just sat; still a bit dizzy from his knock on the head. What happened? Where did all the nice folks go to and why was he sitting there in a tee shirt and jeans instead of….a wedding gown?

“I’m sorry, lad, for bein’ so bloody foolish. I haven’t really been listenin’ to you, and I can see why you hate me. Believe me, Eay….I never meant to take yer Da’s place. He was my best mate, and the finest man I ever knew.” Aileen choked back a sob. It’s hard to love a man when you’re still in love with another, but she still loved Conner years after his passing even though she was madly in love with Danny as well. Both were men of character from where she stood, and she knew that Danny understood and accepted it.

“But havin’ said that, I did him a disservice with you and yer sis…” He turned and shook his head.

“I am so sorry, Fi…I loved yer Da an’ only wanted to do right by him by bein’ a good father myself, and I haven’t been very good at it.” Fiona shook her head and began to cry softly before speaking.

“I know you love me and mom and Eamon, Danny. I know it.” She stood up and walked to him and gave him a quick hug. Tapping Eamon on the wrist, she spoke softly.

“You’re gonna be alright, Eay, okay?” Eamon nodded sheepishly as Aileen squeezed his hand.

“We weren’t angry with you just now, child.” Danny smiled and shook his head ‘no.’ Eamon realized that it was the first time Danny had used the word ‘child’ with him; not just a word but a real term of endearment as if the modifier ‘my’ had been silently added. He bit his lip as he saw Danny had begun to shed his own tears.

“What we mean to say is that we know that on top of everything else you’ve had to adjust to, you’ve had to put up with me bein’ as thick as a champ, aye?” Eamon was confused; what had Danny failed to see….besides….. His eyes widened as Danny nodded, almost anticipating Eamon’s thoughts.

“When I saw the website on the computer, I was worried. I thought I had failed you somehow. But yer Ma and I had a talk, and I realized that I hadn’t…at least in that regard. You’re who you are…what God made you to be. It was like I woke up in a mornin’s hush, like that old poem goes. Quiet and all peaceful, I had time to realize just how blessed I am for havin’ all of you in my life. I’ve been leanin’ on you so hard to be somethin’ yer not, child (there was that word again) and I’m sorry.” He shook his head and bowed it as tears began to stream….sorrow mixed with guilt added to relief and finished off with pure joy at the realization that he indeed had been the father he had hoped to provide for his best friend’s children. Aileen reached over Eamon and grabbed Danny’s hand and squeezed.

“What…I don’t understand, Da…Dad.” Eamon had been used to calling Danny by the Irish ‘Da’ more as a term of respect than affection. But to call him Dad meant that things had changed between them. Danny lifted his head.

“I suppose we should be callin’ you somethin’ different as well, child.” Eamon squinted in confusion.

“Yer Ma tole me that she had a name if’n ye had been born different…you know?” Eamon didn’t know at all, but Danny spoke the name softly, almost in a whisper; not in shame or embarrassment, but almost as a quiet blessing, since he wanted the child to know he finally understood.

“I am so glad that you’re all in my life. Fiona, lass! Aileen, my love.” He nodded at his wife and she grinned. While she treasured every moment that he would speak her name, it was in anticipation of the next name that brought her to happy tears.

“And you, my child. Eimer.”


The following summer…Allen’s Meadows Municpal Sports Complex, Wilton, Connecticut

A group of teens stood next to the three adults on the field as the raindrops finally let up. Thankfully the shower lasted only about ten mintes, so they could resume practice. Fifteen members of the traveling team; one of the best Danny had ever assembled. Nine boys and six young ladies stood in a circle, including Fiona, who had finally made the traveling squad after a great year on her high school team the previous Autumn.

“I have a feeling that this is our year,” Sharon Parsons said. She had been an alternate on the women’s team that went to the quarterfinals in the World Cup a few years ago; now coaching after a career ending knee injury. Her husband Andrew and she had been assisting Danny for two years and their son Ben was one of the best scorers on the team. Next to the three adults, an almost elfin-looking young lady stood with a clipboard in her hands. She looked over and spotted her sister and waved. Fiona turned and heeded the gesture.

“You’re raising your hands, Fi…. Fold ‘em behind your back,” the girl called.

“Okay, Eay….thanks, sis!” Fiona called back as Eimer nodded and smiled. Just then she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. She turned to see a tall girl standing before her.

“Hi….Sorry I’m late, but my Dad had to drop my Mom off at work first.” She put out her hand and shook Eimer’s and said with a smile,

“Name’s Siobhan, Siobhan O’Duggan….but everybody calls me Joni.” Eimer shook the girl’s hand almost robotically. She stared at the girl and notice that she had the most handsome face she had ever seen, set off by eyes that twinkled; reflecting the glint of the sun with an almost amber hue….

Seo é a dheireadh...


*Tugaim mo chroí duit. – I give my heart to you.

**Tugaim mo chroí duit go deo. – I give my heart to you forever.

Special thank you to Angharad for the link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_not_stand_at_my_grave_and_weep

 



Please note that for the purposes of this story, all dates are broad estimates. The time frame is fluid, since records are not clear or in complete agreement with one another in all details.




+Port Láirge - Modern day Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland
*Sean Og Dubhaggain - Sean O'Duggan