Campaigning that All Gardaí/Police Officers will receive specific training in Suicide Awareness & how to Apprehend Suicidal Drivers. It's to Help the Garda/Police Officer & the Suicidal Soul #LifeIsPrecious
I visited our family grave, as I like to call it ‘Baba Oisin’s Garden’ yesterday, as I normally do most days. New Year’s Eve for me personally, is a harder day as ‘you’re saying Goodbye to yet another year, as in the Last Time We were Together is even Longer!! which as a mom, dad, wife or husband is understandable!
When I arrived at the cemetery, there I met a gentleman I know, a lovely man who lost his dear son to a road traffic crash many years ago! We spoke about how hard Christmas time can be and both shared the view that we find New Year’s even harder!
For me personally it’s 9 years since I ran upstairs and wished my Precious Baba Oisín a happy new year, I kissed him in his Grobag and had fingers crossed that he wouldn’t awaken, which he didn’t thank God. But I do so cherish the memory!!
Many People have told me over the years that grief gets easier with time, and ‘you’ll get over it’. Apologies to correct anyone who may have thought this, but 9 years on, it actually doesn’t get easier.
Grief is …… Con, Baba Oisín & Little Lady are always part of me, and they’re my treasure whom I’ll always love and adore! Visiting Baba Oisín’s Garden is a help, but My Beauties actually not being here, I’ll never get over!! But I do and will continue to cherish that I got the Grace to be Connie’s wife and bestest friend, to be a mom to our darling, beautiful Baba Oisín and that we all had the beautiful dream of looking forward to having precious Little Lady join our Happy Gang!
Putting up the Christmas Tree is a very beautiful and normal, needless to mention exciting event for most families. I hear you say most?
Sadly, for some it is a no go occasion, as has been for me for many years after July 2012!
I remember Christmas 2013 making the effort of lighting Christmas candles on the windows of our home, for no other reason than a message of HOPE, afterall I’d gone to England in the November to fight for our darling Beautiful Baba Oisín, his precious little sister and my Forever Con! I placed the candles on the windows at home and lit them but honestly found it very very hard!
This was my usual Christmas effort for many years, along with ‘The Christmas Day Swim’ in Newmarket. I’m no swimmer but it was a marvellous distraction for me and my family for many years. My darling sister Norma accompanied my wonderful driver Dad and I as we’d head for the Island Wood in Newmarket, where my fantastic brother Tomás would join me to swim for whatever great charity was nominated. Poor Mom was left at home to look after dinner with my great brother-in-law Michael as they awaited us. It was for me as someone who ‘can’t’ do normal Christmas, an amazing distraction, and to be honest for Mom, Dad and everyone else too! Sadly for all of us, it had to be discontinued in 2018.
That saw me having to make the effort to put up the Christmas Tree! I did it for many reasons.
Honestly, Reality hits even more when you open a box that you sealed from spiders in the attic in early 2012! You go through the magic of putting up the tree before!!!! You go through the magic of the putting away, the silly but beautiful conversations of what may happen in the year ahead before Santa’s next visit! Heartbreaking beyond words when those darling people you chatted with are gone, and their beautiful dreams and aspirations!
And then in 2020, almost 9 years since precious Christmas with Baba Oisin, I pull out the Christmas tree for Dec 8th, as Con always did. I silently cry and shed tears meanwhile I find many beautiful, dear and precious, I mean, absolutely precious memories to the Christmas Tree!
Reality is time doesn’t change, yes of course I sadly get more used to living without My Beauties!
But does one ever get over? I’d truly worry if they did!
Con, Baba Oisín and Precious Little Lady were here for a reason!!
They made my life perfect and my goodness, truly beautiful, so why or how would I ever get over them! It’s not an option, My Beauties made me who I am! And I will always be Eternally grateful!
Just a thought, maybe spare an extra thought for someone you know who’s missing people this Christmas! There’s no recipe for how to help, but from my experience just a call, a word, a quick visit meant a lot of peace and kinda ”Christmas magic” in ever so not ‘Christmas magic’ times!
June 30th, 8 years ago, Con, Baba Oisín & I arrived in Torquay for our ten day break away. Thank God I didn’t realise it was our final adventure together as a family!
We had left home in Cork heading for Rosslare, on the previous afternoon after my wonderful Mom and Dad had called with dinner and to say their goodbyes and wish us a Happy Holiday. Strangely as we were getting ready to leave I returned upstairs to our bedroom and shed tears looking at Baba Oisín’s cot.
Our Beautiful Little Man still slept in our room, and the plan was on our return from Torquay, that he would be graduating into his own room which was all done up and Baba ready. Of course we were going to move in with him too, for the settling in period but I cried at the thought of Precious Little Man growing up and becoming more independent. Silly tears really, as events never allowed us the grace!
Ironically as we were just leaving our yard I got a ‘flash’ that the house might be cold when we’d return from Rosslare the following week so ran back inside and set the heating to come on, on Tuesdays for a few hours. We would be due to arrive back late on the following Tuesday night week, so that way home would be cosy for Baba. It must have been a pinch from my Guardian Angel to do so, as that’s what kept the house aired until I returned in the November when our precious Baba Oisín and beautiful Little Lady were brought home from England.
We had a lovely sailing from Rosslare, and spent the ferry trip with my fab cousin Eileen and her lovely family. We hadn’t known they’d be on the ferry so it was really a chance meeting and one all of us treasure now years on.
We had a really special time in Torquay, doing the normal family stuff, visits to the zoo, the circus, the beach, the playground, the slide, the slide and more slides, Jeepers Baba Oisín so loved the slide! In the midst of our trip we got to spend time with my cousin Séan and his family, which was lovely.
Of course we had the laughs at the making and breaking of sandcastles at the beach and on the Friday morning of July 6th, our magical trip to the swimming pool.
Thank God the six days we had together are as vivid today almost as when the precious moments were created. They still bring many smiles as I look through our photos and relive our laughs. Understandably tears follow quickly, wishing the moments back and of course as one does, ponder on the what if’s?
Would Baba Oisín and Little Lady have been bestest buddies? Or would we have had more darlings like ‘our plan’? What would they be like now? First Holy Communion for Baba Oisín should have been done and Little Lady would be getting ready for her big day..
Millions of what if’s and maybe’s!
Reality is for me, grief will always be a part of who I am. The fact that our tragedy happened 8 years ago, certainly doesn’t make it any easier. They say ‘Time is a healer’ and I suppose for me personally I’ve sadly got more used to living physically without my beauties.
But I do question the saying! Because while I honestly cherish every single moment we had together, the extent to which I miss them and living life without them isn’t something that’s ever going to change. Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady will always be a major part of who I am as it should be!
I have honestly been Blessed with many good things too since July 2012 thank God. I continue to have a wonderful and amazingly supportive family and friends, be it with my study, my campaign or rowing in wth our Twomey Family Remorial. But I would like for anyone who reads this to understand that if you’ve someone dear to you, who has lost a partner, a child, or a best friend, that while their life as you see it might be continuing, their life is very changed!
Needless to mention for me because of Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady I will continue to rabbit on about suicide awareness training for Police Officers, Garda training etc and our Twomey Family Remorial flag will continue to fly on the 2nd weekend of every June because Life is Truly Precious and we really have in my opinion, to try to Enjoy Every Moment!
I am honestly overwhelmed at the amazing response to our events. Back in March when we sadly had to cancel our Twomey Family Remorial Weekend, which of course had to be done for Covid safety reasons, I was, needless to mention, emotional. I suppose my thinking was Our Beauties and their ‘Life Is Precious’ Legacy would be forgotten, which to me is a heartbreaking thought. Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady were in my eyes, here for a reason and I think they have left their mark!
A few weeks ago, I was approached by some of our wonderful committee team about having a virtual Twomey Family Remorial, which I thought was a nice idea. We had medals ordered since January and I was anxious that charity money wouldn’t be wasted. The medals had the year on them. I spoke with Ronan & Co at my run results and they were amazing the way they helped us out. Owing to financial pressures on people we decided that we would not be fundraising for any charities this year and registration was Free. We had medals got for this year so if anyone wished, they could buy the medal at cost + postage to remember us by.
We invited people to join us in doing a 2k, 5k, 4 mile, Half -Marathon or Marathon Walk/Run or a 40K cycle over the days June 5th – 12th inclusive, adhering to government guidelines.
The response was absolutely amazing! We had amazing people across 19 counties of Ireland and in England, Wales, France, Holland, Australia and the US walk, run or cycle for Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady. And by Saturday afternoon on June 6th, day 2 of our Virtual Twomey Family Remorial, the 150 medals were gone and people were enquiring if it were possible to get more.
Personally I walked 52km over the 8 days, my target being to walk a marathon 42.5. I’m not a walker so this was quite a personal achievement. Wonderful close friends and my fantastic sister and brother joined me on different days to mark our Beauties, which was very special!!
On the Wednesday I got a beautiful message from inspirational Vicky Phelan who had walked for us. She had contacted me weeks before to say she would be with us virtually, what an incredible lady. And later John Wall very kindly did a 10k cycle and a walk, unreal.
On Friday night we closed our Twomey Family Remorial Virtual with a Virtual Table Quiz. Con’s brother-in-law Aonghus, runs a fantastic and hugely entertaining quiz each year. My brother Tomás always helps him with the technical side, and this year between them both they managed to run a highly entertaining night, which I think everyone enjoyed. The support and banter was fantastic.
The messages and photos that people posted on social media throughout the week, were honestly overwhelming. They were from the young and from the not so young, from people who are visually impaired and people who are wheelchair bound, from singles, couples and families, from great friends and relatives, all of whom took to the roads for Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady. Truly amazing people!
I was worried that our Beauties would be forgotten and their legacy lost! However, because of all the amazing people who joined in, and took part in our 2020 Twomey Family Remorial, I honestly think their mark and message has travelled far wider, which in my eyes is very special!
Owing to all these amazing people joining in, a nice idea has become a powerful achievement, thanks to their support!
Late last month, on Nov 28th I was kindly invited to join the Road Safety Authority & An Garda Síochána in their launch of this years Christmas and New Year Road Safety appeal at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoighre.
It was personally for me an extremely moving event! The fact that it was on in the National Rehabilitation Hospital and that I was in the place, believe it or not was in a word a milestone for me! When I left Derriford hospital in the UK in late August 2012 it was believed I’d need to spend time there. Fortunately for me I recovered well enough not to need to be treated there.
But it was, always our dream that Con would be able to go to Dun Laoighre, tragically he never recovered well enough to go! At the time, in my own little silly head I had planned on moving to Dun Laoighre whilst he’d be there and had looked up accommodation different nights on returning home from spending the day with my bestest buddy. It was my new plan for us! Tragically for all of us, it was never to be!
A few years later I moved to Dublin while I was undertaking a counselling diploma. Every Monday as I travelled into Dublin to college, I used to drive past the National Rehabilitation Hospital, it was a dagger in the heart to say the very least, the what if’s, the why not’s, the if only’s, the the the ……………
But I’ve had the grace thanks to Moyadh Murdock and the great team at the Road Safety Authority to face my demons and seven years later visit, what I now know is the most amazing facility, but sadly is underfunded and undersized. Please God this will change and they will get the minimum of 300 beds that they so badly need!
During my visit there, I met with some amazingly brave in-patients as well as patients who had spent time there after being tragically involved in road crashes . They were so brave not to mention truly inspiring in their recounts of their crashes and their big big journeys to where they are now! The powerful message they had for us all on, on everybody’s need to respect our roads and the awful impacts of road crashes in changing lives as you know it, forever!
We all know the impact of road deaths, some of us better than others, but the impact of living with life changing injuries is also a death in a way. For many crash victims they will never get the grace to return to their previous work and may not even return to living an independent life, that’s a very heavy cross to bear for themselves and their families. It is in fact death in a way, of the beautiful able person they had prior to the crash.
I suppose for me it was a great ‘kick in the ass’ to be very thankful for the way I am physically after our tragic crash in 2012. It robbed me of My Everybody, which for obvious reasons I will never recover from, but Thank God seeing as I wasn’t meant to go too, I was left with the Grace of Independence.
I remember in Derriford the last day or so before I was flown back to Cork University Hospital, when the medical team used to come to my bed in the Neuro ward in the morning, the Doctor used to say; “Ye know Elber, ye know her case history, She defies medicine!’ I used to think, what a bonkers way they speak about their patients in the UK, needless to mention I didn’t realise the extent of what had gone on either medically or otherwise!
To be honest my visit to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, was a big wake up call for me as to the physical Elber that could have been left! …………….. It’s a Terrifying Thought!!!
Do Try To Stay Safe On The Road!
The Consequences Of A Road Crash Are In A Word Horrific!
It’s A Scary Life Changing Experience That You Really Never Want To Witness!!
Almost 6 years ago I travelled back to Torquay in Devon for any Mom’s ‘living nightmare’, My Beautiful Little Man, Baba Oisín’s inquest. Precious Baba Oisín had left us as a result of the horrific impact of our crash with Marek RIP.
It was in a word horrendous!! Being back in the beautiful town where we had our last hugs, laughs, special moments as a family and now I was there with my wonderful brother Tomás, fantastic Police Liaison Officers Gary and Sarah and my legal team on a fight for My Beauties.
I had managed to forgive Marek RIP the previous November, lit a candle for him and began including him in my Prayers. While many thought this bonkers I’m sure but reality is who do you Pray for, the most influential people in your life! Marek had influenced my life, he’d changed it forever!!
I honestly felt that it was the Police Officer involved was also to blame. However when I met him, I realised he was only a young man, a bit like my brother and so I re read the Independent Police Complaints Commission Report from his point of view. And so it led me to also blame the control room staff who failed to guide him. To me they are a step removed from the adrenalin of the scene and so need to be trained in suicide awareness to guide and help the Officer at the scene!
The Coroner Ian Arrow was terribly kind not to mention compassionate toward us during Little Man’s inquest and allowed me address all involved after. Although we had much drama having to travel to London to the High Court over questions to be put to the jury, the Coroner did say police followed agreed guidelines he still ended up concluding that the guidelines be reviewed. He said: “during the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken. “I ask ACPO to review please, how police officers approach suicidal persons”.
For the first time since our crash on July 6th 2012, I spoke with the media
Thereafter I began my Campaign that all Police Officers, Gardaí and Control Room Staff be trained in Suicide Awareness.
Since then there have been so many positives with regard to this thank God..
I’ve met with many both at home in An Garda Siochána and across the water in the UK. I can hand on heart say that the forces I’ve chatted with from Home Office, Camarthan & Brecon Policing, Devon & Cornwall Police, the Metropolitan Police and the Gardaí have been most welcoming.
Many influential changes have been made across different forces with regard to suicide awareness training both amongst newly trained Police Officers and indeed control room staff which is superb.
I can’t overemphasise the help with regard to this that I received from Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid at TISPOL, his colleagues at Garda Traffic and Superintendent Pat McCabe at Templemore Garda Training College in ensuring that all Gardaí and control room staff were trained in suicide awareness and they invited me to speak with their Garda Driver Trainers with regard to suicidal drivers.
Chief Superintendent Jim Nye kindly invited me over to Devon and Cornwall Police Headquarters in 2015 to see advancements they’d undertaken with regard to driver training and Police Pursuits which were most impressive and primarily based on the principle of least intrusion which I was very impressed by.
Today I learned that all the control room staff at Devon & Cornwall Police were trained in suicide awareness this week which in my opinion is powerful. Whilst I know they have had a great mental health awareness training programme in place for quite some time, but this is something I’ve always pushed for and dreamt I’d hear one day! This has been my hope since 2013!! No doubt My Beauties in Heaven are Smiling!
It may not be done because of us but I honestly believe Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady are a ‘tiny’ bit involved and that our tragic crash on July 6th 2012 has been an influence.
Whether we’ve had an influence or not who knows, but what matters is the training is now there and Please God many lives will be saved and not damaged, be they suicidal, innocent victims, police officers, family liaison officers or control room staff!
Of course I will continue to push that this training will be included in all Police training both here at home, in the UK and across Europe and that not only new recruits, and control room staff be trained but that all serving Police Officers get the opportunity to avail of it also. Afterall this is something that has no downside, it will help everyone from the suicidal person on how they are approached, to the Police Officer having the confidence and skills on how to approach them, to the control room staff in having the ability and training to guide the poor Police Officer on possibilities of approach in a calming manner!!
I believe suicide awareness training is integral to Police and Garda Training. Afterall Life is truly Precious and nobody wants their loved ones Gone Too Soon!!
Project EDWARD is a marvellous Road Safety Awareness initiative which ultimately holds all our dreams!
On September 26th Project EDWARD is aiming at a European Day Without A Road Death through marvellous podcasts, Tweets etc but as James so eloquently explains:
” We want Every Day Without A Road Death – how can anyone support anything else?”
But There’s so much going on wrong!
It’s the Speeding
It’s the Bloody Mobile Phones while driving
It’s the silly No Seatbelts?
It’s the Drink and Drug Driving!
One begs to ask the question why? and why when you’re behind the wheel?
Distracted driving means you’re not in control of what could become a weapon!
Personally this drives me more than bonkers!! ( rather angry to be truthful!!!)
Because for anyone who has known or loved someone who’s lost their life because of a Road Traffic Accident, you’ll know only too well the carnage that occurs!
IT’S THE CRASH
IT’S THE NO WARNING
IT’S THE NO TIME TO TELL YOUR DARLINGS HOW MUCH THEY MEAN
IT’S THE NO TIME FOR HUGS & CUDDLES
IT’S THE NO TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
IT’S THE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING!!!
IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS YOU KNOW IT,
DREAMS SHATTERED AND
THE BEGINNING OF A LIVING NIGHTMARE!!!
Whilst I was teaching before our crash on July 6th 2012, I used to teach the kids Road Safety, like every other teacher does.
Although I truly believed in this I suppose I never thought I’d attempt to become a road safety advocate. But as the Scéal goes, Life Made Me One!
Words will never be able to express for me the impact of our crash on me myself, on my parents and family, Con’s family, our friends etc.
Whilst I didn’t witness the horrific experience of An Garda Siochána calling to my darling Mom and Dad, to tell them, about our tragic crash, I know only too well it’s something they will always carry!
For my darling sister Norma, she was abroad on holidays with her family, when she got the dreaded call and had to try to get home asap. As for my poor brother Tomás, he was playing a football match and was ushered off the field to be told of our tragedy!
For me personally, I was told in Derriford hospital after waking from coma sleep. Although I was there and visited my darling Con, and air-ambulanced back to Cork University Hospital, I honestly think the first Real Reality Hit when I went in our front door in Meelin the following November when I was bringing Baba Oisín and Little Lady home.
I knew Con was very seriously injured, I was with him every day. I knew Baba Oisín and Little Lady were gone and I’d obviously cried beyond words. But the stark reality of walking into your own home for the first time since we’d left, as happy bunnies on June 29th was a horror movie in reality!
I will honestly until the day that I die ever forget the emptiness, now I’d my Mom and Dad with me, but it was needless to mention horrifying for poor mom and dad as well as me!
As I walked from room to room, there were undisturbed moments from our last day together at home, a cup here, a dodo there, Baba Oisín’s toys almost everywhere and one of Con’s shirts on a chair. We left for ten days not forever, or so we thought!
I moved back to our home the day after Con left for Heaven, why? I had to be there, it was our home but I kept everything as was for a very long time. Did I explain to anyone why there was a playpen in my kitchen? A cot beside my bed? Con’s clothes in our wardrobe? NO!
But did I Cry at the empty baby chair? Where my beautiful little man used to munch his breakfast, YES!
And our empty Playroom,? YES
Did I cry at Baba Oisín’s empty cot beside our bed? YES
Did I cry at our empty bed, just me? No Con? YES!
And 7 years on, Do I still cry for all of our missed adventures, our missed boring times, our missed normal times, our missed everytimes!!!
Of course I do! 7 years on doesn’t make it any easier. It’s 7 years since I chatted to my best friend, 7 years since I held him and possibly nagged poor Con about something silly!
7 years since I held my Precious Baba Oisín!
7 years since we had candles and sang Happy Birthday, instead now I visit our grave and light a candle there!
7 years since I dreamt of meeting our Precious Little Lady!
But along with our crash obviously affecting all of us, it also goes beyond both families and effected many people!
Friends and neighbours
The Police who were involved
Our Family Liaison Officers – Gary and Sarah who were just amazing
The Emergency Services who tried so desperately to save us
All the doctors, nurses and hospital staff both in Derriford and in Cork
Our local undertaker, who couldn’t have been more compassionate
Our local priests
Both Coroners who really never wanted to have to meet us
So how could I not support Project EDWARD, something which is trying so so hard to prevent our kind of story being somebody else’s!
PROJECT EDWARD: ‘However we use the roads – as drivers, riders, cyclists, pedestrians – we are all more vulnerable than we think!’
Remember, there’s only one of any of us,
Nobody is REPLACEABLE,
And most crashes are PREVENTABLE!
If you do nothing else in 2019 with regard to promises, I strongly urge you to PLEASE SUPPORT @ProjectEDWARD and maybe together We’ll All Help Save A Life! https://projectedward.eu/pledge-3/
July 6th will always be the Blackest Day in our calendar year for obvious reasons!
I’m sure prior to our family tragedy on July 6th 2012, I looked at the year from January to December, as in how many days to Christmas, Summer holidays etc. but since 2012 life revolves pretty much around July 6th. I suppose in a word it’s grief!
Yesterday 7 years ago Con, Baba Oisín and I had the most magical morning introducing Oisín to the swimming pool! (and I’m pretty sure Little Lady loved it too, from what I can recall) We had real fun, Our Beautiful Precious Little Man was utterly fascinated that a bath could be so big, it was hilarious, in a beautiful way. While I remember him being a tad scared initially in the baby pool, hanging onto Mom, within minutes he was quite independent. And minutes later with the comfort of armbands and his adoring dad he was ‘swimming’ in the big pool, proud out! It was and is a picture embedded in my heart, truly special.
After our pool adventure we returned to our apartment for silly me to have a quick shower to take the chlorine out of my then ‘blonde’ hair. Whilst I was silly showering Con took the most amazing photos of Baba, which to me are ‘My Lotto’.
Then we headed downstairs to have our lunch in the restaurant before heading to the indoor playcentre for Baba Oisín. As you all probably know, tragically we never got there!
This year as always the week’s anniversary leading up to our tragic crash is one which is ‘bitter sweet’ reliving our last moments together as a family.
July 6th for me has and possibly will be always a ‘shut down’ day for me where some might call ‘I wallow in self pity, for all the what if’s and maybe if’s. It’s a day I dread all year as it means that My Beauties are gone so much longer!
Yesterday I woke, (needless to mention after slight sleep, but terribly grateful for what I got) I woke to many thoughtful messages from dear friends who remembered the Black Day that it is for us.
I spent time with my wonderful family before heading for self time to our grave and obviously crying loads more there while reminiscing and saying a few Prayers. Strangely while I hadn’t planned on it but my Rosary was just finishing at the horror 2.47pm! After which I drove to Kerry to walk the beach. As I was leaving Blennerville I pulled into a service station to get a sandwich. When I pulled up there were wonderful alerts on our @TwomeyWeekend Twitter from our great pals Paudie & Ger
and Brendan, our Twomey Family Remorial cycle safety officer
All of whom were doing the staggering Ring of Kerry Cycle, Needless to mention, they did bring a smile to me!
After I went to exit the service station, there was lots of traffic and then a bike. I paused to look nosily at his cycle jersey to discover it wasn’t a jersey I recognised but that he was wearing our Twomey Family Remorial buff 🙂 – A Message From Heaven
I had the most peaceful walk on Derrymore Strand, it’s a hidden treasure in Kerry.
When I returned to the car, there were lovely messages from dear friends remembering the significant day it is, which means a lot needless to mention!
After my walk I headed to Mass in Castleisland on my route home. I wanted to go to Mass on the day it was but just didn’t fancy the normal chit chat at home. Interestingly enough at the end of Mass before the final Blessing, the priest Prayed for all who’ve been affected by Road traffic Crashes and ‘in particular for all families who’ve lost Loved Ones’ because of road crashes. – To me, A Message From Heaven
I called to see my beautiful Mom and Dad on the way home, it’s a tragic day for them too and I wanted them to see I was ‘ok’
When I returned back home I took a look on Twitter to find a beautiful tribute to Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady from a dear lady, Chief Inspector Newman at UK Home Office
Another Message from Heaven 🙂
This morning was our Beautiful Man’s Mass in the Rock, it’s as emotional as the first for obvious reasons, afterall if life were normal he should be going to mine in time!
After Mass family and close friends headed to Mom and Dad’s for lunch as has become the norm. Fantastic parents beyond words! Not just today, but my goodness everyday since and before July 6th 2012! So very blessed to have them!
7 years later, I’m here, My Beauties are in Heaven and I Hope Please God one day I’ll get there too! But in the meantime I’ll continue to annoy lots, cry lots and remember lots that Please God because Con, Baba Oisín and Little lady were here and left before their time that lives will be saved because of them.
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. Along with this, Con’s friend Nigel has held a Twomey Family Remorial run in Kilkenny, for the last 3 years , which really is magical!
To-date Twomey Family Remorial has raised over €150,000 for various charities.
I never aspired to running a campaign, 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 everbody in your immediate home.
Would I change things? Yes a million and 1, the obvious one being July 6th! Jeepers this year my beautiful little Baba Oisín should be receiving his 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!
But sadly we don’t have an input in this, so instead we plough on with the campaign and our Twomey Family Remorial and 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!