Sunday, 19 February 2012


Aidan Power 1947 ~ 2008

Dear Friend,

It doesn’t seem like four years since you left us in such a frantic hurry.I recall that Tuesday getting the call from your sister Phyllis, who had noticed your curtains drawn late into the afternoon,
And driving from my job to your house.Waiting outside in the car watching the comings and goings of ambulance personnel and Gardai, as the awful truth of your departure dawned.How could the welcoming, always open door of your house lead to such a dreadful scene ?
Your lifeless body cold and alone on the landing at the top of the stairs.That was an awful day Aidan, the realisation that you were gone and the inexplicable manner of your departure.Numbed is the word people use to describe indescribable grief, I wasn’t numbed but felt every pang of heartache and despair as the ending of your sweet life swept over me like a murky floodwater.You spent your days striving to do the right thing by God, by your family, and your friends, in fact by anyone who needed a helping hand.Your days spent probing the Scriptures and seeking God’s face.Reconciling the theory of Christian doctrine with the reality of how to work it out in the world.
You stumbled as we all do, but more often than most, you showed the character of your Master in the life you lived.
Today my old friend I trust you are resting in Jesus’ everlasting arms.
Home at last and at peace



Thanks to Aidan's brother Philip who sent me the following piece of his abiding memory of Aidan.

In the twilight glow I see him
Aidan Sleeping in his chair.
As we said good-bye and parted,
I knew we'd never talk again.

Love is like a dying ember.
Where only memories remain.
Through the ages I'll remember-
Aidan sleeping in his chair

Now my hair has turned to silver.
All my life I've loved in vain.
I can see his star in heaven.
Aidan sleeping in his chair

Someday when we meet up yonder,
We'll stroll together once again.
In a land that knows no parting-
Aidan sleeping in his chair

(after the song by Fred Rose)

Monday, 13 February 2012



With all the hype of Valentines Day just around the corner I thought this little 'love' poem would be the perfect antidote to the versified drivel that raises its commercial head at this time of year ! Dickinson's poem packs a powerful punch as you know from reading these twelve lines that this lady knows all about real love and knows whom she has set that love on ! Oh for such certainty , I hear some of you cry ! ~GOSh.~

The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot's pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I've known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone

Emily Dickinson

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Frank on the 'London Eye'


Three years ago today my uncle, Frank Phillips died at age 86 , though his memory is still vivid for those of us who knew and loved him. We shall not forget his forensic memory for tales and places of long ago, his love of English and the repository of poetry he kept in his head from his schooldays. He is also remembered for his sense of mischief and how he delighted in ‘rising’ people to the limit and sometimes beyond ! He was trenchant in his views from immigrants to people with an intellectual disability (a term he never used !) and he seldom gave any ground in an argument.

With sister, Bridie

What I miss most about Frank on this his third Anniversary is his huge sense of nostalgia for the past and his detailed accounts of growing up in rural Ireland in the lean years of the 1930’s. The fields he ploughed, the potatoes he planted, the horse and cart he drove, all recalled by him with an intensity of emotion that brought them back to life in the telling. He came from a generation where life was hard and everything was earned by laborious toil and many became so caught up in the tough business of ‘living’ that not much thought was given to anything else.

Always on the ball !

Frank though was always one to reflect on the bigger issues of life and informed by his wide selection of reading reached conclusions that didn’t always square up with the prevailing norms in the society around him. He maintained this ‘maverick’ streak right up to the end of his life and inspired me, especially as a younger man to plough my own furrow and think for myself. Thank you Frank for the richness of your legacy and those precious memories of your life which are very present with us today as we commemorate your passing.

Gerard O'Shea

Taking the sun in Villiers Square