It was a phone call out of the blue. A friend is leaving Ireland for work, a young woman I've known since she was very young. I've read plenty of articles about sons and daughters leaving, but this time it's very close to home. Next summer I could be saying goodbye to my eldest daughter, as she leaves College to shape her own future. It's unsettling. I've waved good-bye to Angel before as she left for adventures in Africa and Rhode Island. But she always came back.
I have always told her that I don't want to hold her back, I never want her to feel that she has to stay at home to help me with her brother and sister. She can never be replaced, but I can find other help, I've done it before and I can do it again. I resolve not to be sad if it happens, I hope to celebrate her spreading her wings. Give her lots of love and presents and a party to remember. If she doesn't want that, I'll organise something else, but there would have to be something to mark her leaving. I'd need that, and I'd hope that she would like it too. I would hate her to board the boat with just me waving from the dockside. I would want her to know that she is loved and will be missed by so many people.
And so it is with my friend.
I need to organise something quickly. But what? I hunted for the perfect gift on-line, only to find that the last thing you want when you're leaving the country is yet more stuff to pack or store.
Some of the ideas I found include:
...To remind you of the good times.
A memory book
...Everyone contributes photos and tokens and memories. Lovely idea, but I'd say someone has already organised that.
...such as a signed T-shirt.
A hamper from home
...You know what I'm going to say: Tayto crisps, Barry's teabags, a bottle of Guinness, maybe even some frozen Superquinn sausages...
...To improve those essential Skype calls home.
An Irish keyring
...And there's a shop for that and 1000 other Irish souvenirs.
Anything from Boots
...I missed Boots terribly when I first moved to Ireland, so I'd say that this one is spot on!
A painting of your home
...Sadly I can't paint
A book for the plane
...I like this idea, but I'd want to get it right!
What would you do? Because if I can't decide, I could end up giving her a gift that will (hopefully) be gone before she goes. Something like this...
Reasons to be Cheerful - Happy Mothering Sunday #R2BC - Lucky me, the girls made me breakfast in bed Happy Thursday friends, How are you doing? I'm having a funny old week. there is nothing particularity wrong...