Ballad Of Brian O'Finneranbyskadoo©
I am not a great man. I have never aimed to create a cure for a disease, to write the great novel, or ever wanted to solve the mysteries of the universe. I’m a simple man much like that of my father and his father before him.
When I was 17, I met this beautiful red haired lass. Her name was Maureen, she and I went to school together. Her family lived in the city while mine lived and worked in the fields. My father owned a small farm that he had spent his life building to put food on the table for us children.
Well Maureen’s family was not rich, neither were they poor. For the longest time I admired her from a far and it wasn’t until I gathered enough courage to talk to her. I walked up to her one day after class and said hi and asked her out. Of course she said yes. But as my wife would put it I was like a scared child and it was so cute seeing this strapping young man stammer out the question. She could hardly refuse such a sweet and honest question.
That was over 40 years ago. Maureen and I married a little after our 18th birthday. She was the woman I loved and since that day she has made me the happiest man on the earth. I have tried to spend the last 40 years to repay her with my love in my meager way for giving the honor of calling her my wife. She call me a silly old man every time I tell her she is as beautiful as the day I met her but it’s true. When I look at my Maureen I see this beautiful bright woman who still makes me smile when she enters a room. Maybe I am a silly old man, who knows.
At 19 Maureen became pregnant with our first child; Michael Peter O’Finneran. That was one of the happiest days in my life. To be holding this small person who will be depending on us for everything; food, shelter, love, you name it. That thought is probably the most singularly sobering idea one person could ever be faced with.
Michael was the first of out three children. Next came Patrick Connor and Laura Mary O’Finneran. I would be lying to you if I said raising children is easy. It is simply the hardest thing anyone can do. Anyone who says otherwise is a dead fool liar. Maureen and I did our best.
We moved to the city, where I spent my life working as a laborer to support my family as best as possible. We weren’t able to always give our children everything they wanted or deserved but we did try to give them as much love as we possibly could.
Maureen and I tried to instill our three children with strong morals, teach them to work hard in life for nothing is given to you for free, and that you need to work for whatever you want in life. My three children have put many a gray hair on my head and given me many a headache but without them there would be something missing out of life.
I don’t know if Maureen and I did a good job or we just got plan lucky because all of our children grew up to be responsible adults able to build lives for themselves. Michael starting working when he was 17 and like his father became a laborer but today he is a foreman who gets paid well. He has a lovely wife and two sons. Patrick was always smart, school was always easy for him.
For as long as I can recall he wanted to go to college and he always knew that I never made enough money to make that dream come true so he worked his butt off play football because he knew it could pay his way in college. Low and behold all the beatings and bruises paid off, he got a scholarship to a small school and four years later he graduated with a teaching degree.
Today he and his wife ,which he met in college are both teachers. They have three lovely children two girls and one boy. They live in upstate New York. Patrick went back to college and now is a professor at a small college.
Finally, my precious daughter Laura. She like her older brother Patrick wanted to go to college but unlike him was unable to get a scholarship. She was disappointed but after high school she began to work in this office as this man’s assistant and while working she put herself through college. Now she a book editor for a small publishing company. There she met the man she would marry and have two beautiful children; a boy and a girl.
Sadly, Tom her husband was killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. It was hard on her but being a strong woman she got through it with Maureen and my help.
They have all become well rounded responsible adults, something that puts a smile on my face. Though we don’t always see our children as often as we’d like, when we do we treasure those moments. Now what can I say about our grandchildren, Maureen and I love them dearly and they our precious to us. Our children say they don’t recognize us when we are with their children because we spoil them rotten. Maureen and I say that they are just being silly but deep down we know it’s true.
I might have never amassed great wealth, I will never be in the history books, and I will never be recognized going down the streets but those things have never held meaning for me. Like I said before I am a simple man and what I have wanted in life has been simple. I wanted to marry the woman who I would spend the rest of my life loving. I wanted to have a family and Maureen and I were blesses with three children who grew up to adults. What I wanted most of all was a place to dwell, a place to share my life with a woman, a place to raise children, a place to where I could grow old with Maureen and a place to spoil our grandchildren rotten. A place I could call our home.
Now in reflection, if any of these pieces would be missing, my life would not be whole. So for me this is a life well lived. I am rich, rich with a life of fulfillment. I hope you can know what true happiness is, for it is a life well lived and I hope you’re as lucky as I have been to find it.
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