OUR BEAUTIFUL CAREFREE LIFE AS WAS IN JULY 2012
AND THEN, JULY 6TH
AND MAY 3RD 2013
WHY, WHY, WHY, SO SO MANY WHY’S?
Everyone goes on holiday, so we did that, we went for 10 days to the sunny south east Devon, a truly beautiful part of England. I was afraid to fly as I was five months pregnant with our beautiful little lady. Taking our car also gave us the luxury of bringing lots of Baba Oisín’s toys etc., so we literally could have a home away from home. We had 6 fabulously carefree days together. Regretfully on July 6th, day seven of our holiday at 2:47 PM tragedy struck us and our wonderful life ended. We were involved in a horrific crash. This poor driver RIP was suicidal and was being followed at speed by a Police Officer. Our tragic crash claimed the lives of our beautiful little man Baba Oisín and his beautiful unborn sister.
Until the day I die, and I honestly mean that, I will never forget the horror of knowing my beautiful Baba Oisín was gone and his beautiful little sister too. I have no recollection of anyone telling me but I just remember the horror of knowing this was our LIVING NIGHTMARE realty! I spent approximately 3 weeks in a coma, maybe that was to allow my brain a tiny bit of rest before the horror, who knows? But why us, why me?
Then my darling Con, I remember asking where he was? why wasn’t he with me? To be told he was ‘injured’ too and I’d see him soon. I was allowed to visit him some 9/10 days later the night before we were being air-ambulanced back to Cork. It must have been 5/6 weeks after July 6th. Me sitting in a wheelchair beside my bestest friend who was fighting for his life, shattered my already broken heart! We had a dream in Rosslare, now we had a living nightmare!
Cork University Hospital in Cork was our home for the next almost 10 months until Con needed to go. What a brave warrior, he tried so hard to stay for all of us!
In the November following our crash, when I was out of the wheelchair, finished with the walking aid and had kind of mastered my crutches, I knew it was time for Baba Oisín and Little Lady to ‘come home’. Words will never explain. My beautiful little man coming home in a box! He was cold and silent, not my laughing beautiful little Baba. And his beautiful little sister so so perfect, why, why, why?
I will honestly never be able to thank my wonderful mom and dad, brother Tomás and sister Norma. They had a rota of who’d be driving me to CUH for the next few months. Everyday I had one of them to drive me up, give me hours with Con and then drive me home to mom and dad’s. Then on Christmas Day 2012 after Tom and I spent the day with Con, I drove home, my first driving since July 2012. I wanted our families to have one pleasant memory from a December 25th that was certainly not like Christmas.
The next 4 months continued similar, I drove some days, then my mom and dad, Norma and Tomás would give me a spin up. For the last 6 weeks Tomás and I spent in Brú Columbanus in Cork, home from home accommodation for seriously ill patients in the Cork hospitals. It was and is an amazing facility. My goodness nobody asked your business, we were referred by the hospital so it was serious. The respect they showed us and never once questioned ‘how our day was?’ or ‘how long are you staying?”was just beyond explanation, they’re an absolute gift for those who regretfully need.
The last week or so I moved into CUH, into Con’s room and then on May 3rd, he had to go! Why, why, why???? Certainly not darling Con’s fault, I know only too well how hard he fought to stay!
Then the why’s and how’s and what if’s???
So as a result my coping was honesty busying myself reading every report into what happened on the blackest day, July 6th 2012, on what training and procedures are in place, and what I thought might help to prevent another catastrophic tragedy!
And so began, My Campaign
‘That All Gardaí/Police Receive Training in Suicide Awareness & in how to Apprehend Suicidal Drivers. It’s for the Garda/Police & the Suicidal Soul’
And so began Twomey Family Remorial, no thanks to me, but all thanks to Ger & Thomas, Con’s oldest friends, to Johnny, Finbarr, Aonghus, Mick, Dan and to my brother Tomás who all believed in Our Beauties Legacy! We hold Twomey Family Remorial on the second weekend in June each year. It’s held in Meelin and Rockchapel, North Cork, where amazing people join us in our Under 12 ‘Connie Twomey Memorial Cup’ Hurling Blitz, our Quiz, Cycles, Family Walk and 4 Mile Chip Timed Run. I chat briefly to the kids about our crash and what a great hurler Con was. I mention to them how wearing a seatbelt helped to save my life and the importance of wearing a seatbelt while travelling in the car, and sometimes we might need to remind people to put them on. We give all the children a Twomey Family Remorial Hi-vis vest to take home and have a chat about the importance of being safe by being seen. Over the years, the Road Safety Authority have very kindly provided us with Hi-vis which we have in both villages for our walkers, runners and cyclists that they can take for the winter months.
Con’s friend Nigel has held a Twomey Family Remorial run in Kilkenny, for 3 years , which really has been really magical!
To-date Twomey Family Remorial has raised over €150,000 for various charities.
I never aspired to running a campaign, to being a road safety advocate, or to being the chairperson to a registered charity in my beautiful family’s honour, but that’s the result of July 6th 2012 and loosing your everybody in your immediate home.
Would I change things? Yes a million and 1, the obvious one being July 6th! Jeepers I’ve missed out on so many milestones like my beautiful little Baba Oisín and precious Little Lady receiving their First Holy Communion, another memory we’ll never get the grace to see!
Every year that I live there will be countless memories like this, unseen, unlived, but never forgotten!
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on the 3rd Sunday of November every year, is obviously an important date in my calendar! It’s a day that Our Beauties and all the beautiful people who have lost their lives to the road are remembered and honoured, they were all here for a reason!
Sadly we don’t have an input into any of this, so instead we plough on with the campaign, nag people about staying safe on our roads and our Twomey Family Remorial. We’ll try to help prevent tragedy and promote how precious life really is, because as I know only too well, the life that we know and love can vanish and evaporate in an instant!