tagNovels and NovellasThank God for Irish Women Ch. 13

Thank God for Irish Women Ch. 13

bymemorable_event©

Conclusion. Thanks for staying the course.

July 20, 2010 through 2012

This final chapter summarizes many events that occurred during this time period including our visit to Dublin and our wedding. I think you might find this interesting.

Our drone demonstration with the CIA evaluation team was successful and we were the only team to achieve the specified requirements. This contract was worth $74 million to our company and our team was honored with special company recognition and a very nice bonus, which I donated to the Cathleen Foundation. These little drones are now in use many places in the world and are proving critical in several hotspots to find the bad guys. They work in close, find the targets and then the Predator Drones take over and do their job.

Emily was very busy. She spent additional time in Nashville with Bob and Judy until the Stanford classes began. Her full time class schedule just about took over her life but she loved it. Even though she was in Computer Science, she was allowed to take an elective course each semester and she used that opportunity to learn about welfare case management, health and human services, adult and child psychology and business management. All that knowledge would be useful to the Foundation.

Emily found three more projects to fund in late 2010. She was at the airport one day and saw a wounded soldier arriving from war in a wheelchair. He was missing both legs. His wife, a three-year-old son and her parents greeted him as only a loving and proud family can do. Several other bystanders shook his hand and thanked him for serving.

Emily stood fairly close to them and heard a conversation that convinced her to get involved. She approached the grandmother and handed her a note with her phone number. She whispered to her that she would like to help this young couple if they would let her. Four days later, the young mother called and they talked for an hour about the needs they had with modifications to their house. Emily never gave her name, only the Foundation name. Not once did the young mother ask for anything for herself or her son.

Emily engaged a contractor who specialized in handicap access and accommodation and the work was done at no charge to the young couple. The Foundation paid $61,980 and also gave $25,000 to the young family to help with any other needs they had. The wounded warrior called her after the modifications were done. His words touched her so much that she cried that night when she told me what he said. That family went into her diary and will be there for follow-up for many years. The real need down the road will be the education funding for the son.

The second project was a student Emily befriended one day at the university center. The young woman was sitting by herself, obviously distressed, and just staring at the floor. Emily sat down near her and asked if she could help. After a few awkward moments, the woman opened up. Emily has that influence on people.

The young woman's father had passed away from a heart attack several weeks earlier and she was being forced to leave Stanford after the current semester. There was no money for her to continue. Emily wrote down her name and said that she would be praying for her.

The next day, Emily went to the finance office and paid for the remainder of this young woman's under-graduate studies. The young woman never knew Emily's name and they never saw each other again. The check from the Foundation to Stanford University was for $94,820.

The third project involved a police officer's family. Emily saw one night on the news that an officer had been killed during a traffic stop. He had served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan for several tours and had survived only to return and be killed on the streets of San Francisco. The TV reporter indicated that he had two young children. The young widow's brother was interviewed and a few things he said caused Emily to take notice.

She called the TV station and talked to the reporter who had covered the story. After Emily explained what her Foundation did, the reporter gave her the young widow's phone number. The next day Emily called and gave her condolences and asked if she could meet with her. Again, only the Foundation's name was ever used.

The young widow had a number of health issues and the officer's health insurance survivor benefit would not be sufficient to cover the costs. The Foundation stepped in and worked with the police union rep to determine the health care costs that would not be covered. The Foundation then made arrangements with her primary care provider to pay these expenses.

This is an on-going need but the Foundation has paid $6200 so far. This family has also been added to the diary because of Emily's concern for the young children's future. Even thought there was a nice life insurance benefit paid, it would not be enough to provide a quality education for the children.

As time allowed, Emily visited with David and Jill in LA and we had them up several times over weekends. Both really impressed her and their love has grown. Jill was unable to have children so there are no half-brothers or half-sisters.

The relationship I have with Emily has matured. We obviously enjoyed passionate sex using many different positions and physical locations. For some reason, we enjoyed sex on the kitchen counter a few times. Emily must have seen that on a porn film.

Her pussy was always inviting me to visit it seemed. We showered together but not too often. The big change was that we spent a ton of time just talking and sipping on beer or wine at night. TV was not a priority unless her Giants were playing. We would never solve all the world's problems but we discussed a fair number of them.

Emily "elected" her dad and me to the board of directors of the Cathleen Foundation and we met over beers at least once a month to focus on new projects and receive updates on the diary entries. David was not allowed to use FBI databases for a personal reason but some of the information he dug up on potential projects made me wonder how he got it. He occasionally offered up a potential project discovered during his FBI investigations and two of those were funded.

I had two more major team developments during 2010. One was for a small robot to check under cars at border entries. It runs around under the vehicle like one of those little vacuum cleaners. Before this, the Border Patrol only had hand-held mirrors and those were not very effective. It had excellent optics and can smell many different types of drugs. Its "nose" is almost as good as a trained dog.

The second development was a robot that operated in the sewer systems of major cities to check for blockages and buildups. People had been doing this until we demonstrated a robot that could deal with all the crap and water without failing. The rats don't seem to mind it too much and haven't tried to eat it yet.

Mom came for a visit in October 2010 to see the new house and spend a little time with us. We used her visit to have a party with David and Jill, Agent Norris, his wife Andi and a number of Emily's (and now my) friends. There were about 20 or so at the house and it was really fun. However, I'm not sure the older adults liked the loud rock music. Every time I looked at mom, I had to smile at the thought of her wearing crotch-less panties for my dad. Never would I have imagined that.

Thanksgiving week finally arrived and we headed to Dublin. We had upgraded our wardrobe to reflect the standards Emily said were in use there. We actually may have been overdressed a bit. Since her last visit, her granddad and grandmama had learned about casual clothes and often wore them around the "house." Their house was a mansion set on a large estate about 15 kilometers out of town. Like Emily said, it was spectacular and similar to ones seen on TV.

Her grandparents had a dinner for us with Uncle John, Aunt Lillian, Shannon and Brandon the second night of our visit. It was a fantastic rack of lamb and some wonder fresh vegetables grown in their greenhouse. Dessert was a tasty trifle.

After dinner, the men adjourned to the library and the women to the sitting room. Granddad and Uncle John smoked pipes and we all sipped great cognac. The talk turned to my background, education, work and especially the farm. They were very interested in the dairy and grain agriculture of Iowa and we talked for 10 minutes on the merits of American dairies versus the Irish dairies.

Uncle John wanted to know about my goals in life and my plan for reaching those goals. Granddad wanted to know about the Cathleen Foundation and how that worked and was funded. He did know about Emily's insurance proceeds and that Kaitlin had left a substantial sum of cash for her. How he learned that was a mystery to me.

I described her projects so far and what she was doing to follow-up using her diary entries. They both smiled when I talked about the help she gave to the young girl by paying her college expenses.

Granddad then cut to the chase and asked me about my financial prospects and how I planned to support Emily. I outlined for him the trust fund I was left as part of my grandparents' estate and the expected income from my engineering work. He seemed satisfied to hear that. Brandon was bored to death and pulled out his iPhone to play some games.

It was clear to me that granddad and Uncle John already knew most of what I told them so all I was doing was confirming it. They obviously had a good network of investigators.

That evening I learned that Shannon and Emily made plans to spend the next day together and were going riding in the countryside. One of the grooms was going with them.

The next day I went with granddad to his club for lunch. He introduced me to a very eclectic group of gentlemen. I was glad I liked Guinness stout because I had to drink several pints. Granddad seemed impressed that I knew the history of Guinness and the key people that made it successful over the years. Emily knew he liked it and I spent a lot of time on the Internet to learn about its history.

When the subject turned to Jameson Whiskey, I didn't try to impress him. He knew it by heart and I couldn't compete with that. But I did know the basics and we ended up discussing the reasons behind his decision to sell the business after 200 years of family ownership. It was a very interesting afternoon and educational for me.

Emily was thrilled with her day. Shannon was becoming one of her best friends and they spent hours talking about boys and clothes and the Foundation. She invited Shannon to come and spend time with us and see California. She promised to do that as soon as possible.

Emily also asked Shannon to be a bridesmaid and that invitation was quickly accepted with pleasure. I agreed with Emily's earlier description of Shannon. It would be hard to find a prettier Irish lass. Her dark red hair was amazing; her beautiful clear skin with just a few freckles and her lovely voice would melt any American boy's heart. Emily told me she was going to buy a UCCC as a Christmas gift for Shannon. I told her I didn't want to know that.

We went hunting on the estate Wednesday and granddad's German shorthaired pointer Ben did a magnificent job finding pheasant. I shot two and granddad shot three. They were delicious that Friday evening. We told hunting stories, some of them probably true, and laughed the entire time at funny things we'd seen. I thoroughly enjoyed spend time alone with him. We sat under a tree to rest, taking turns scratching Ben's back and talking about life and our families. Even though he was in his 70's, he was spry and an interesting man with wisdom I envied.

While resting under the tree, I asked, "Did you know that Emily had to drop out of Stanford because she didn't have the money to continue?"

"We knew she dropped out but not that she needed money."

"She did." I replied.

"Darren assured me that she had the funds but just decided to drop out. We were terribly disappointed but knew she was having a tough time adjusting to Kaitlin's death.

"Before her mom died, I sent three letters to Emily just trying to establish a direct relationship with her so she would know she could depend on me. They were never answered. When we went to the funeral, we were surprised to learn that she didn't know much or really anything about us. So her mom must have not given her the letters."

"We found them unopened in the safe deposit box. Emily has read them now."

"Good. I'm sure the last few years have been very tough for her. I can't imagine dealing personally with some of the tragic losses she's survived. She's an amazing young lady."

"She sure is."

******

Grandmama surprised us with a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Their cooks were excellent and the food was delicious.

They invited Uncle John's family again and several American couples that granddad knew from the business world in Dublin. There were 16 of us sitting at the formal dining table. It was an elegant and delightful dinner. We dressed in our formal attire, of course. Seven men ended up drinking and smoking in the library until midnight. They discussed the Irish version of what American farmers and businessmen discussed at such gatherings. Although I didn't smoke, I held my own with Scotch and some very old Jameson that had been barrel-aged for 30 years.

On Friday, the girls and I went shopping in Dublin. Shannon drove and we had a blast. A couple of sweaters for dad and a very nice lace tablecloth for mom were purchased. We also went to a traditional pub for lunch. Shannon was an expert chauffeur and tour guide.

On Saturday, granddad and grandmama asked us to join them in the sitting room. When we arrived, their solicitor was there, much to our surprise. Emily had met him on her prior visit so they exchanged pleasant greetings while he and I just shook hands and smiled.

Granddad kicked off the discussion, "Emily. As you know from your last visit, you have a trust fund at Mellon but there are many restrictions on it. One of the restrictions is that for you to have access prior to age 30, you must marry someone that you grandmother and I approve. We are very pleased with your selection of Matt to be your husband and we hope to be invited to your wedding next year."

Emily and I looked at each other and smiled as she reached for my hand. "Thank you granddad and grandmama. You will receive our very first invitation."

"As you also know," he continued, "Kaitlin was a source of unhappiness for us but we understand why that happened. We learned over the years that it was as much our fault as it was hers. We regret that her untimely death prevented a reconciliation that was certain to come. We were very proud of her work for Ireland and she undoubtedly saved many lives."

How in the world did he know that? Emily and I were stunned.

"Had Kaitlin lived until our deaths, she would have inherited at least €100 million from our estate. You will now inherit that sum, Emily, and I would like for you to use at least half of it to permanently fund your Foundation. With that, your children can continue your work forever. The effort and commitment you've made to help others and not yourself is commendable and you make your grandmother and me very proud. Our solicitor is here to witness this discussion because we are going to give you €10 million now for your Foundation and he will modify our wills to reflect this change. Would you like that deposited into your San Francisco account or your Iowa account?"

This was getting scary. What didn't he know about us?

"That is very generous of you granddad and grandmama. Many people can be helped with that money. Our Foundation account is in San Francisco."

"But there is also an account at Wells Fargo in West Des Moines in your Foundation's name."

Emily looked at me. I smiled and said, "Dad asked me to set it up for him and Mark to fund. That will be a Christmas gift to you."

Grandmama glared at granddad and he quickly apologized for ruining that surprise. "Obviously, my information is not perfect and I apologize," he said.

Emily smiled and assured him that there was no need to apologize.

He grinned and continued. "Now for the land and manor house. The custody of this property will pass to John but you will always have the privilege of coming and staying as long as you like at any time. There are twelve guest bedrooms here so your ten children can each have their own." All of us laughed. He added, "We've been missing the laughter of young folks around here for a long time." Grandmama nodded her head.

He turned to me. "James and Kathryn are very special people and are loved by most everyone, it seems. You're a very fortunate young man to have been raised by them."

"I agree, and I look forward to introducing you," I replied.

"What impresses me about your character, Matt, is that you continued forging a life of your own after your inheritance. Most young men wouldn't have concerned themselves with continuing their education. You received enough money to live a very nice life of luxury without the pain of learning a discipline such as engineering. But you worked hard to learn that profession at a quality institution. You used the money as needed, not as you wanted. You have always worked hard and never taken life for granted. Your faith is God speaks well for your parents and you. Wealth makes it very easy to ignore the needs of others but you didn't. That's to be commended and admired by all of us."

"Thank you, sir." Emily squeezed my hand. I felt like I wanted to cry.

Grandmama asked Emily, "Is the wedding going to be in Iowa?"

"Yes, grandmama. My friends will come from California but most of the guests will be from the Iowa area."

She continued, "I would like to help with your wedding. I think you have a tradition of wearing something old to bring you good luck. I would like to entrust to you something old that has been in my family for almost 400 years. It is a coin that your ancestor carried for good luck during the Irish Rebellion in 1641. It worked and he survived several battles against the English.

"You're our eldest granddaughter and by tradition this coin passes to you for safe keeping. You are to pass it on to your eldest daughter if you bear one or to your granddaughter. If there are no daughters in you progeny, you will give it to Shannon for safe keeping."

"Thank you, grandmama. I'm honored to become the custodian of this special family treasure. I'll make sure it stays in our family."

Our farewells the next morning were tearful. It had been a wonderful visit and a time of building and renewing relationships that would last a lifetime.

******

Emily threw herself into her studies immediately following our trip. Jodi and she talked frequently and Emily said that she was very busy with the church school and trying to set up the house that she and Clint had purchased. Clint's feeder lot building project was moving right along. The foundations were poured and the first steel building would be delivered in December.

Jodi's mom Jackie had recovered completely and was trying to figure out why she never got a bill from the hospital or doctor. They just told her there was no money due. To our knowledge, she never learned who paid it for her.

Emily and I returned to Iowa for Christmas. Emily was "surprised" by her gift from mom, dad, Mark and Cheryl. They funded the Foundation account at Wells Fargo with $2 million. We were thrilled at the generous commitment they made to her efforts.

The reunion with Jodi and Clint was fun. We saw their new house which was lovely. They were officially engaged and had planned a wedding in Kansas City for June 18th. They asked us to be part of the wedding party and we instantly accepted.

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