Life, Loss and Love

Posted: January 28, 2011 in "writing", donna o'brien, loss, love, Robert M. O'Brien,

Wow, so a lot has happened since I last blogged. That tends to happen in say…six months or so. We had my husband’s 50th birthday/Retirement Celebration which was hugely successful but an enormous amount of work. I had a ton of help and it was still overwhelming. But so worth it. He is incredibly deserving; injuries he sustained forced him to retire from a job he loved and did so well, and he made it to 50 in spite of those very same injuries. He is truly a real life hero and he’s ALL mine!!

After that, school started and the holidays were upon us and gone before I knew it. Time just goes way too fast. Then as I thought I might be settling into a routine that included writing again (yay me!), we were hit with a loss last week. My father-in-law, a very stern and imposing figure for most of his life, who turned to loving tenderness, a veritable marshmallow when surrounded by his grandchildren, succumbed at the age of 84. It was a blessing in that he is no longer suffering and neither is my mother-in-law because she no longer has to walk into his room and wonder if he will speak to her that evening, eat, or even know who she is. But most importantly, she doesn’t have to watch him suffer ever again.

We didn’t have a chance to talk about my writing, but I like to think he would’ve supported me. He wasn’t necessarily the type that told me what he thought of what I did, but it did get back to me, that he was proud of me. And I did know that he loved me, if for nothing else than for standing by his son, for taking on and loving his precious granddaughter, and for giving him three more loving grandchildren. I certainly loved him.

We will all miss hearing him argue about the latest political issue, or his favorite sports team. But most of all we miss seeing his raised eyebrow, his cheek stuck out for a kiss, and hearing “Love you” when he said goodbye.

So again, I am reminded of how precious a gift life is and how much we need to make of it. We must live each day doing what we love or at least loving what we do at some point during the day and telling those we love what they mean to us. Writing is a way I can accomplish all of these things. It is something I love to do, I can express my feelings in a multitude of ways, directly to those I love or in the fiction I write.

Dad, I love you and will miss you more than you will ever know. Thanks for the multitude of times you picked up and ferried my kids to and fro, and for just being there, someone I could always count on whenever help was needed. May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.

In Memory of Robert M. O’Brien, August 1926-January 2011

Slainte` Dad

Donna O’Brien

  1. Micole Black says:

    Donna and family. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It's too bad that we live in a world where it takes death to remind us how precious life is.

    Treat every day as it was your last. Make time for the things that make you happy and the people you love. Never let an opportunity pass to tell someone how you feel about them, because that moment may be theirs or your last.

    I love you dear friend. And I feel for all of the hardships that you have had to deal with in your life time. Certainly more than any one person should have to bear, but you are a strong woman, and I admire you and your strength.

    Take care.



  2. Thank you Micole. Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Those were very sweet and touching words from my wonderful friend.

    I have to say I agree with you that enough is enough. I don't know how strong I am, I think I am on auto-pilot sometimes and I just do that next thing.

    I know I am really really ready for some good stuff! Like seeing us get published!

    Love you and thanks for the kind words and warm thoughts.


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