John McCullagh July 31, 2007
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Our parents were never happy; they fought constantly like politicians exchanging insults to the bitter end. For the greater part of our childhood their relationship was marked by angry verbal encounters in a daily war of attrition.

By the time our adolescence arrived our parents officially ended what can only be described as a love-hate relationship. We stayed with our mother while the honourable father-figure flew away to embrace the building sites and the pubs of New York. We were cast aside, our time as cannon fodder on the domestic battlefield over. We became unwanted prisoners in an armistice that was beyond our control. Following the declaration of their private ceasefire there were no special privileges granted to us.

Within two years our precious mother also left for a new life with a new man in a new town. We went from pillar to post, finally finding comfort and shelter with cousins on our mother’s side of the family equation.

Now, on that day as I gazed around the familiar, tranquil sandy beach I briefly longed for the intervention of our long-lost parents. They both should have been there at the hospital to bid farewell to their daughter, as she drifted towards an untimely death. My vain, wishful thinking? Maybe. Maybe not.

Our grandparents had long departed this world and surviving family members were scattered across the globe. We were all alone, just like in those early days; a brother and sister bonded by love despite the misery, the agony, the gaping wounds of family turmoil.

……"Calm" to be concluded ………

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