Life is different for everyone. Riches count for little when things change quickly. In what I suppose must be termed a mundane context, just scan some of the recent developments in horse racing. No matter what Rich Ricci’s net wealth is – and a calculator with multiple zeros would probably be required to get near it – the financial – and maybe more so – emotional blow of seeing many of his star stock, Vautour, Annie Power, Faugheen, Min and Getabird, taken out of the equation has had to be taxing.
It’s been articulated here in bits and pieces – the last year or so have brought life-changing alterations to the road most travelled for yours truly. Adjustment has been difficult. Quite upsetting, in fact. Finer details of what it has entailed aren’t about to be re-hashed here. In ways though, the toughest alterations are the ones most wouldn’t even think of.
On a dark September evening what’s close to thirty years ago now, yours truly was bemused to hear raucous applause and cheering erupt in the centre of Dunboyne as the arrival of the Meath team who’d gone under to Cork in the previous day’s All Ireland SFC final was awaited.
Meath’s misfortune that day enabled the completion of a historic double for the Rebel County. Admittedly, initially, the highlight of the evening was getting to shake Colm O’Rourke’s hand for the first time, as well as the O’Connor family from Warrenstown, Dunboyne, giving me their match programme with the autographs of every one of our players thereon.
Some months later, something even more special occurred. Brendan Reilly – who was right half back that day – mentioned that he’d an “auld jersey” at home in a box which he wanted me to have. Well, suffice to say, it wasn’t any “auld jersey” – it was the garment he wore during the game in question.
The above statement could be ascribed to innumerable contexts. Most poignantly close to home in relation to what was unquestionably the most difficult year’s mileage these wheels have clocked up thus far. Unending thanks is expressed to those who aided conveyance through same.