Do you ever read something that touches you and even although you’ve never met the person, you feel for them and their situation?
I came across the following post this morning on the blog http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk which I read most days.
The post below had tears in my eyes even although I’m sitting in an office surrounded by hundreds of people.
For background, Gold Coast Tom lives in Oz, but was back in Glasgow last month for a few weeks to spend time with his brother Gerry who was seriously ill with cancer.
He posted at the time that he had enjoyed spending time with Gerry and was so sad heading home as he knew that it would be the last time that he saw Gerry alive.
Sadly, Gerry passed away the other day and Tom wrote this tribute before heading home for the funeral.
As the eldest of my brothers, sometime this will happen to us and I can empathise with him and his love of his brother.
Tonight, the 2 most successful teams in Glasgow, Celtic and Partick Thistle, play each other in The Scottish Premier League.
My football team, Celtic, will more than likely win the league for the third time in a row, a feat to be celebrated but hardly the same challenge since that other Glasgow team went out of business a few years ago.
· Gold Coast Tom
05:34 on 26 March, 2014
My Brother Gerry had it very tough in life, but he never grumbled, and was always there to lend support and advice to younger members of the family. My two sons, and Gerry’s various nieces, thought the world of their big uncle. He always had time for his extended family and many’s the occasion he got out of bed after midnight to drive into town to rescue a stranded niece or nephew, and even brother.
In early 1989, Gerry and his wife Dianne were very happy as they awaited the birth of twins. They already had a boy, Christopher, who was 5 and grew up to become a great friend of CQN’s very own Summa of Sammi.
On Holy Thursday 1989, Dianne duly gave birth to healthy boys – Martin and Michael – in Bellshill Maternity. Gerry was absolutely thrilled and I have never seen such a proud parent as he held those beautiful babies in his arms while an exhausted Dianne looked on with her own beaming smile.
On Good Friday afternoon, Dianne collapsed beside her hospital bed. She was unconscious and was rushed away for emergency treatment. About 20 minutes later, Gerry arrived with a big bunch of flowers, only to find an empty bed and no sign of the babies. Gerry was taken into a room to be told that his beautiful wife, the mother of his 3 children, had suffered an aneurism and was now on a life support machine in Monklands Hospital in Airdrie.
Before long, both Gerry’s and Dianne’s family were at Monklands, anxiously waiting for news. Gerry was devastated. A broken man. A lot of tears were being shed by a lot of people as we took it in turns to sit by Dianne’s bed and talk to her. She just looked like she was asleep and we all expected her to open her eyes at any time and in her customary way, ask what all the fuss is about. Dianne never opened her eyes.
On Saturday evening we were told that she was brain-dead and that there was no hope of any form of recovery. Only the machine was keeping her breathing. It was explained that by law, they were required to perform a number of standard tests on two occasions, 12 hours apart. The second test would take place at noon on Easter Sunday. At 1pm on the Sunday, the immediate family of both Gerry and Dianne were taken into the room and we watched helplessly as the machine was switched off. The doctor explained everything every step of the way.
Gerry held his wife as she slipped away. It was truly heartbreaking to watch.
On Easter Monday, the Daily Record called at Gerry’s door. I had taken it upon myself to answer the door to all visitors as Gerry sat in the house, surrounded by family, trying to come to terms with what had happened. They explained that they got the nod from the hospital and wanted to write a story about the tragic events. I told them I would speak to Gerry and that they should call back later. I spoke to Gerry and he agreed to speak to them later that evening. I told him he didn’t have to, but he said they had a job to do, just like everyone else.
The reporters arrived and they were very tactful and sympathetic to Gerry, it has to be said. Gerry said he was determined to bring his babies up in a manner befitting Dianne. He said he would not let her down and would make her proud. The reporters took away a couple of photographs of Dianne.
Gerry told them he did not want them writing a story that would frighten any women out there who are expecting twins. In the midst of all that had happened to him, my brother actually had the time to think about other people and didn’t want other expectant mothers worrying. That is the measure of the man and at that moment, I was so very proud of him and I remain proud of him to this very day. On Easter Monday the Record ran the story on the front page, basically a news feature about what had happened. They came back on Monday night and took pictures of Gerry at home with his new twins and Christopher. On Tuesday it was again front page with a big picture and the headline, I’ll bring my boys up the way Dianne would have wanted
Gerry never married again.
On Sunday last, the twins celebrated their 25th birthday. At 15 minutes past midnight on Monday, their father passed away peacefully. He saw in their birthday. He also fulfilled his promise to Dianne. His 3 boys are absolute gentlemen and have made both their parents very proud.
On Saturday in Bellshill, Gerry will be buried beside his beloved Dianne. They will be together again. I know she will be as proud of him as we all are.
Again, thanks for listening.