Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: Irish (page 1 of 2)


Pamela, birthday, love, life, time, family, soul


She’s so many things to me and our 3 girls . . .
She’s our best friend.
She’s the shoulder we lean/cry on.
She’s our alarm clock on mornings that we don’t want to get up, on Her we rely on (and mostly bitch at)
She’s the shine in all of our days.
She’s the heart that we’ll never give away.
She’s funny, she’s kind,  but she’s technologically super blind . . .
She’s there when we need her, she’s there when we need, and we’ll always need her. She’s our lady.
Happy Birthday to our best friend/confidante/psychologist/ psychiatrist/ and SO much more.
We love you and we want you around forever.
Have an awesome 39th birthday.
See you for Hibachi on Saturday night.
Mucho Sake for the birthday girl!
But open wide for the veggies!
And watch out for the volcano!!!!!!





It is on this day that I think about my Mom and Dad.
Saint Patrick’s Day would find my mother in the kitchen cooking her corned beef and cabbage.
And God help you if you didn’t stop by for a plate and a pint.
I miss them both dearly on this day but know in my heart they are here with me as I serve my own
a dish they both dearly loved.
Danny Boy is for me Mum.
Miss you, Ginny.
Blessed be Ireland and all those from County Cork. [my roots]

Dear Mom and Dad . . .

mom and dad


Dear Mom and Dad,

For every memory lost, every heart broken wide open, every tear shed,
every life forever changed, every second chance missed,
there was always that white light of hope,
a sotto-voce prayer whispered by the many that so loved you.
I am currently living in a world that is profoundly affected by the monster that took the both of you.

This Sunday morning (Pamela’s birthday) I will walk with my wife,  your daughter, Maureen, your granddaughters, Sarah, Jenna & Hannah and Jonathan, Sarah’s friend and love.

I will paraphrase your granddaughter  Hannah’s Facebook profile, “We will walk for you . . .  You may have forgotten but we never will.”

Wally and Ginny Murphy.
Mom and Dad.
Uncle and Aunt.
Grandmother and Grandfather.
The lost and never found.

There were so many things that you missed out on, so many precious moments that you should have seen, so many defining points in time that change young lives and this
insidious bastard took that away, forever.
There’s little to be gained with a ‘what could have been’ mentality but maybe that’s just part of being human.
It’s the way we are wired, methinks.
I take comfort in the knowing that you hopefully ‘see’ . . .

I will be walking on Sunday for the two of you knowing that you can see all of us moving towards a cure for the thing that stole both of you from us . . .  all too soon.

On Sunday morning we will walk to remember two (+1) people we will never forget.
We miss you both dearly . . .


[Murphy’s Law]

Black Shamrock

The last time I saw you, I gently closed your tired eyes and
somewhere in the lingering distance the church bells played their melancholy melody,
a dark but fitting soundtrack for the raw and rainy Tuesday night that it was . . .
I kissed your all too cold forehead and covered you with the prayer shawl they
laid out on your bed, a sign of warmth, solace and a loving, sympathetic God. [?]
The physical connection I’d come to take for granted was now severely severed, frayed and ultimately final.
I never liked the word ‘final’.
I cried, wondering why some people had to suffer so much in the endgame, like you did.
The crucifix hanging on the wall opposite your bed answered my question, I guess.
I sat next to you in silence, Pamela and me,  maybe you,  listening to the fingers of the rain tapping on your window,
the Morse Code of the Great Beyond, perhaps, beckoning.

The last time I saw you, I cried because all that was left was the ‘goodbye’.
As my heart cracked open with love, I took you into it hoping you would never leave me.
Although you got your much deserved wings, in my heart, I know you never left.
I never did either, Walter . . .  Dad.

Sweet peace, my father, the sweetest of peace.
I will see you in my dreams . . .



Hopefully, it rocks, in terms of chemistry.
80mgs of a particular drug are coursing through my system/veins right now.
Dear God, help me and ultimately save me.
The end of my rope is looking shorter, methinks . . . .
Those that know, know.


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I will be taking the next few days off from the blog.
I have much cooking and *Irish things to do*
Found this video at YouTube and really lost it.
I’m not a big Keith Jarrett fan but he got me with this one.
(do I need to say get the headphones?)
My mother absolutely loved this song.
As do I.
And yeah, it’s a bit depressing.
But incredibly beautiful.
This video and version gave me many goosebumps.
It is emotional piano playing at its very best.
I guess it’s not odd that I still miss the corned beef and cabbage
and the woman that cooked it with much love so very many years ago.
The missing ‘her’ will never ever go away.
This one’s for you Madre . . .

tried to find this last night but I came up short.
Shamrock is a story I wrote over ten years ago that explains why this song means
so damn much to me.
Please read if you have a moment.

*drink Guinness, wear silly green stuff,
make Corned Beef and cabbage, bake soda bread and listen to Irish music


My Father’s Eyes

It’s like watching the slow and dying embers in the
backyard firepit on a sultry summer’s night.
In some ways I understand it, some I don’t.
Maybe it’s meant to be that way.
It’s hard enough to watch someone you love die but it’s the
‘dying marathon’ of Alzheimer’s that really hurts inside.
I had a deeply emotional visit with my father this past Sunday.
I felt this impending sense of detachment from him that I’ve never seen or felt before.
My sister says it’s that way with most patients in the final stretch of the endgame.
I am trying to make myself understand that.
Not doing too well with it either.
The past 5 years have been a sad and long goodbye and although I’ve said it before,
I want to believe in my heart that he is ready.
My father did not cry yesterday which had me scratching my freshly shaved noggin.
It was almost as if he was trying to be strong just for me,
but maybe I’ll never know.
I sat and held his thin and badly shaking hands and really looked at him,
into my father‘s eyes.
My heart was instantly shattered as a lifetime of tender and lost moments came crashing into my mind.
I want many things for my father and not one of them was in this room that has held him prisoner for the past 5+ years.
I want him to walk and feel the rays of the sun on his face again,
love and be loved in return, find the missing piece of the puzzle he’s been searching for since he got sick.
Find my mother.
I want him to find enough strength to finally fade away and find his corner of the sky,
his cerulean peace.
It’s time for my beautiful father to go home.
Because of all the places I roam, I miss having him there the most . . .



Off in a not too distant somewhere, I hear the shimmering sound of church bells.
Melancholy yet beautiful, their dissonance fills the night air with a longing, a void filled, 
an endless possibility.
Dark grey clouds move low across the sky saturated with change; change of the heart and mind,
soul and body, a chasm of repeating continuation.
The church bells chime on, sounding more and more like a movie soundtrack that once defined your life
as it echoes the pain,
loss of cerebral photographs, and confusion of all the simple things that mattered.
And yet, the sound is oddly comforting, a musical pall of earth tones beckoning pure white light.
I am suddenly aware of the clip-clop of my blackened dirty shoes on the pavement below,
an urban heartbeat, the intrinsic essence of time and space; of a time that
I listened for the sound of your footsteps, of a space holding everything you once were.
My dear, drifting and lonely Father.
If you could only know what I want for you in the most loving of ways.
If you could only hear the beautiful church bells.
But the world will continue to hurt you until you find a way to finally listen.





Lush Life

Special dedication tonight as I recall a smoky dive from the 50’s called the ‘Waltz Club’  . . .
Long story and definitely not one for this blog.
I knew of one of the patron saints of the place, from what I’ve heard.
Sweet dreams, lady, sweet and smoky dreams
Maybe I’ll see you in them . . .


*I find it intensely gratifying (for very personal reasons)
to give you the list of the players on this archaic recording:

Johnny Hartman, vocal
John Coltrane, tenor sax
McCoy Tyner, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
Elvin Jones, drums

God must have been engineering.

Tears, still

Dear Mom,

I stopped by your grave tonight just as the sun was setting.
The town seemed eerily quiet but the burnt orange sky to the west held promise of another day.
Maybe it was remembering you, that’s the Utopian side of my brain at work.
I had little to offer you save for my tears that splashed on your gravestone and
a sotto voce ‘Hail Mary’, slowly spoken for you and all the sleeping souls that surrounded me.
I miss you dearly and still see you in the many places and faces in my life.
Maybe it’s because a part of me still looks for any insignificant trace of you, any sign
Dad is still here and I can’t understand why when I know you’re just waiting patiently for your Wally.
He misses you too.
I just know it.
I guess it’s all in time . . . all in His time.
For now, I pray you are at peace, cradled in the loving hands of God.


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