Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Staying bright in a dark world – Eleanor O’Kelly Lynch

May 12, 2018

Eleanor O'Kelly Lynch with her daughter Lauren, CdLS awareness day

When you meet Eleanor you just have to be struck by the “brightness” around her.

Every time she walks into a room, every time you bump into her on the street you notice the bright clothes that she wears, the warm smile and the positive, happy glow that will always leave you feeling a little better about yourself.

Eleanor O’Kelly Lynch runs a successful company called Golden Apple Training, which specialises in Sales and Customer Service training.

I met her for coffee one day, prompted by something really nice that she had commented on a blog post that I had written about my dad who passed away in January of this year.

Other than the “brightness” and the training company I knew very little about Eleanor and this quick coffee turned into the most revealing of conversations.

I learnt about a fantastic, proactive career but I was also staggered to hear about a rare, debilitating and very cruel disease that her daughter, Lauren has called CdLS. (about 40 people suffer from this in Ireland)

I’ll be honest with you and admit that I fought back the tears hearing about the life struggle that Eleanor has had in coping with Lauren, who she adores.

I wondered how could you cope a single day with this life challenge and how could you cope for 25 years and still manage to have the brightest disposition ever?

We (Fuzion Communications) were more than happy to give Eleanor and the CdLS organisation in Ireland a small hand promoting their National CdLS Awareness Day (12th May) but I also asked her to sit down with me to do a podcast.

I wanted to figure out the secret to being so bright and positive when life is just unbelievably cruel and challenging each and every single day.

Listen to the latest episode of the Fuzion Win Happy podcast to discover her secret….

Fuzion Win Happy PodcastGreg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Nice dreams and bad jokes..

April 19, 2018

Dad and me

We were sitting at the dinner table and the conversation was flowing.

Mum had told us about some friend of hers who was suffering badly with arthritis.

When I hear that word I just can’t help it, and I cracked one of my woeful jokes ….

That fella Arthur should get a life and leave people alone

Dad just cracked up at my poor joke and was in convulsions..

I looked over at him, grabbed him and gave him the biggest hug and told him that I loved him.

Then, I woke up and realised it was just a dream, a nice dream – He was there, for just a beautiful moment.

Miss you Pops … 

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Why Cheltenham?

March 19, 2018

Cheltenham

I was standing in the queue at the Spar on Mount Street in Dublin waiting to order a coffee to get me in shape for the day’s work in the office.

I spotted Dave, a buddy of mine from the drinks industry who I hadn’t seen for a few months collecting his coffee and he nodded across to me.

He made his way over and as jovial as ever he explained that he was exhausted after a few days at Cheltenham: “Jesus, I’m getting too old for this crack and I have a mountain of work to catch up on“.

When we both worked in the drinks industry these “junkets” were part and parcel of the job and while fantastic fun they invariably involved lots of travelling, late nights with more than a drink or two!

Dave is still working in the industry “The recovery time seems to be much longer these days” he told me.

The conversation went on and he asked that question: “How’s your dad doing?

He obviously hadn’t heard.

This is always tough because the answer always leads to some awkwardness and invariably warrants a much bigger conversation.

Dad, sadly passed away at the end of January” I replied and I started to give him some of the details including how he passed, how everyone was coping and both of us stood there holding our takeaway cups and we spoke about mortality and our different experiences.

Life is short” he said “and we never quite know how short it will be“.

We both stood there nodding and contemplating in silence.

That’s why we have to go to Cheltenham” he said and we both went on with our respective days.

He is right..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

Sorry for your loss…

February 12, 2018

Sorry for your loss

Another phone call, another person reaching out.

I haven’t spoken to her in a long time but I can guess why she is calling.

The thing is, my dad sadly passed away two weeks ago and I am still receiving calls, texts, emails and cards from many people offering their condolences. As well as this, people are still stopping me on the street or pulling me aside at meetings and having a private word.

The condolences vary from a simple “sorry for your loss” to people who knew dad and will share their own memory of him, to others who want to share their own personal experiences with grief and loss.

In many cases I can end up having the most personal conversations with people, who up until this moment I would have only had a professional relationship.

On one occasion (there have been so many), just last week, I stood in the corridor listening to one man telling me fond stories about his own father who passed away over 10 years ago. I got a sense that he just loved the opportunity of talking about his dad – my relationship with this man has changed forever.

A part of me feels that in reaching out it allows everyone to be a little human and share something that is normally private and precious to them. I get the feeling that people want to connect, they want to reach out at a level that is beyond the every day superficial interactions, and death in a very strange away provides this opportunity.

The reaching out by people, has been so incredibly welcomed – I always wondered, if it would feel like a nuisance and a little tiresome to the person on the receiving end of the barrage of condolences, but it is so much the opposite.

I also get that very often people are very uncomfortable about what to say to the person who has suffered a loss – just shake their hand, give them a hug and let them know you are thinking of them.

Each and every interaction is a valued support.

So, please, whatever is going on in your busy life, reach out to that colleague, that neighbour, that old acquaintance when they have suffered a loss.

It’s worth everything to them.

Greg Canty

Michael Canty – No Ordinary Man

January 30, 2018

Michael Canty - US ArmyDelivering a Eulogy at the funeral of your dad, one of the most precious men in your life, is a huge privilege and an opportunity to show people who this great man is (I prefer that word to ‘was’).

I’d like to share this with you:

My cousin Tommy, who was like another son to dad, sent me a gorgeous text about him, which goes some way to explaining why he is so special.

He was just an ordinary man with no airs or graces. What you saw was what you got and everyone loved him

While we all have our own memories and stories about Michael Canty, over the last few days we have all got to know him a little better by sharing some of these with each other.

We heard about his buddy in Primary School, Joe Kenny who told us that no one messed with Michael Canty, because he was the one who took on the bullies who were mocking a poor lad with a hunchback.

We heard about the young Michael Canty who was shouldered back to his house after playing a key role in a school final.

Michael Canty - In the armyWe saw the fantastic adventure that he had in the US Army through the brilliant photos that he used send to mum with lovely messages to her. “To my beloved wife“.

They both wrote to each other each day so each day they would receive a letter.

We heard about the footballer who played in America with the Newark Portugese.

We read about the fantastic footballer and the cup winning captain who was a great teammate. He captained the first Cork team to win the Oscar Traynor Cup, in 1966.

Michael Canty - Oscar Traynor Cup winner 1966We heard about the two young girls that he saved from drowning at a beach in Cork. I am guessing my fear of water might come from witnessing that incident as a young kid.

We even heard from the young adults in the neighbourhood who remember fondly kicking ball with him on the green. They used knock on his door to see if he would come out to play!

We heard about the man who knocked on the door about two years ago, enquiring about Michael. He hadn’t seen him at the gym in a while and he was checking to see if he was ok.

Everyone did love him, even our dogs who knew he was a very special man!

One of the most fantastic things about Michael Canty was his sense of humour and his talent for putting others at ease.

Even in his darkest days at the beginning of this month the very sick Michael Canty leaned over to me in hospital and whispered “where in the name of god did the doctor get his pink trousers“.

We would tease him that he was getting loads of attention, to be told “Aren’t I worth it

While January 2018 will always be remembered as a terrible, very sad month in some respects it was a very special month when friends, neighbours and family rallied around to help in any way and to support each other. In the middle of all of this sorrow there was love, kindness and laughter, and plenty of it as we shared some of these special stories.

It’s very clear that the very special Michael, and all of his special characteristics have been passed on to those around him – he lives on, in all of us.

It’s only right that we leave the last word to him.

If we described him as being an “ordinary man” he might have an issue with it.

With a cheeky grin he would say…. “I’m not ordinary, I’m outstanding in my own field!

You certainly are Pops…..

Michael Canty - RIPMichael Canty, my beloved dad, my buddy, Rest in Peace, you will always be with us.

Greg Canty

Dad passed away peacefully at Marymount University Hospital and Hospice on January, 25th 2018, at 9:45 pm.

We were by his side.

 

 

 

 

Crushed Ice

January 21, 2018

Crushed ice

It’s dark, I open the fridge door and there it is glistening in the light.

A full beaker, crushed ice crystals of all shapes and sizes looking back at me.

This isn’t for an exotic cocktail, not for a delicious Mojito with the best of rum, fresh lime juice, mint leaves and sparkling soda water.

No, this is our saviour, this beaker of crushed ice, this will get us through this long night, it will carry us through till morning, it will take us peacefully to the next day.

I just need small pieces but these pieces in the beaker want to stay together.

The spoon I’m using to search for small pieces is just too awkward, the rummaging is making too much noise and causing its own problems.

A small plastic cup is the answer. Grab the pieces from the beaker without discrimination and let’s break them up quietly in the forgiving plastic cup.

This is working, I now have small pieces and we can get through this long night together, me, him and the crushed ice.

Small bits of crushed ice on the spoon, into the grateful mouth, sucking relief from these magical crystals as they gradually turn into water and relieve this awful thirst.

The hand gesture, more crystals on the spoon and into the grateful mouth.

I watch him, this powerful man that I adore, this superstar sucking on these crystals, extracting huge relief.

I watch, another spoonful is ready of this wonderful, magical crushed ice that is our saviour. I make sure the pieces aren’t too big for that grateful mouth.

Another spoonful of small crystals into the mouth of this giant of a man, more sucking, more relief.

Are you alright pops, are you doing ok?

I hold his hand and rub his head and he closes his eyes and finds some peace from these magical crystals for another small while at least.

We’ll make it through this night, me, my dad and the crushed ice.

Greg Canty 

Love and Kindness

January 16, 2018

Caring

My poor Dad is in the wars and as a result has been in hospital for the last few weeks.

It’s awful, it’s crap, it’s miserable and any other words you would like to think of.

While this is an incredibly hard time for him and for everyone concerned I am truly staggered and overwhelmed by the abundance of love and kindness that I am witnessing each and every day.

There is an incredible wife and mother, fantastic children, loving grandchildren and the most supportive group of relatives and friends you could ever wish for.

To add to this, we are seeing the most caring, kind, and often good humoured nurses and care assistants who are busy and tenderly looking after the patient and the rest of us.

It’s probably unfair to mention anyone in particular, but  I watched Petra, a care assistant in St.Bernadettes ward in the Bon Secours in Cork, tenderly, gently and respectfully look after my dad – she is a very special angel whose treasured version of kindness is worth its weight in gold.

While we need the best of equipment and technology, modern facilities, and highly skilled professionals in our care system, kindness and caring are probably the most valuable of attributes.

To Petra and all of the fantastic carers and givers of kindness who work in these challenging  #roles – thank you !

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Pink Trousers 

December 31, 2017

Pink Trousers

It wasn’t any of our ideas being in a hospital room on New Years Eve but what can you do.

I was visiting my dad as he hasn’t been well and as we were chatting the doctor popped in with the nurse as he was doing his rounds.

He picked up dad’s chart and had a discussion with my mum about the medicines dad was being prescribed.

He moved from us to the man in the next cubicle and my dad leaned over and whispered to me and gestured his head in the direction of the doctor.

I wonder where did he get his pink trousers from?” and he started chuckling

That’s my dad for you – always a joke to lighten darker moments and it’s something we have got used to down through the years with him.

When the nurses come to check on him he jokes with them “You take any excuse to see me”, he tells them “I’m outstanding in my own field” and he’ll even recite that verse from his favorite song ‘Sixteen Tonnes’ : “If you see me coming you better step aside

And his classic “The only problem with hospitals is that they are full of sick people

On exceptional occasions a dance might even be suggested “I’m a great dancer, you know”!!

In his own special way he has taught all of us about the special role of using humour at times to lighten serious situations.

He is so right …

Thanks Pops, our very own comic legend!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Home..

December 23, 2017

Homeless in Dublin

That’s it ….all the bags are in, and all that’s needed is to put the shopping away and settle in for a great Christmas.

There is no better feeling than this.

The Christmas tree lights are on, the fire is on, the house is decorated beautifully (thanks Dee!), Honey and Bert are scampering around and it’s time to put on some lunch and settle in and watch a Christmas movie or two!

I’m a real home bird at Christmas, and I love nothing better than enjoying this special time, when you can literally holiday at in your own home.

We will have family and friends over, we will have a few nights out (not too many I hope) and we will eat, drink and be merry in between a few snoozes, opening of Christmas pressies, lazy mornings and walking the dogs in the park.

All in all, total bliss!

We are the very lucky ones …

Spare a thought for the homeless, this Christmas and the rest of the year and do what you can do to help.

Note: this pic was taken along the canal in Dublin near Portobello – the resident of the tent has obviously been very good to these swans who are waiting for them to wake up!

Greg Canty 
 Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Thank you Glen Campbell for the precious memories

August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell

Me and my sis, Laura would sit in the back of mum and dad’s car on our Sunday drives.

We would go to see Uncle Dinny and Aunty Mary in their farmhouse outside Fermoy (that was my all time favourite destination), we would see another uncle near Bunny’s in Myrtleville on a sunny day or we would head to Kinsale, Garretstown or Inchydoney beach.

One time it was me and Laura in the car as dad was driving us to Shannon Airport as we were flying out to the United States for the summer – that was some trip to be taking in 1971!

The one thing that all of these car rides had in common was music – mum and dad always had music playing and we sang along to  Perry Como, Johnny Mathis. Johnny Cash, Jose Feliciano (I adore him) and my favourite from that time, Glen Campbell.

We even went to see Glen Campbell in concert in Dublin and to this day mum still talks about the woman in the crowd who heckled Glen in a heavy Dublin accent: “I love yer boots, Glen“.

Glen sadly passed away yesterday at the fine age of 81, after a right battle with Alzheimer’s – there is a fantastic and touching documentary about this on Sky Arts called “I’ll be me” if you get a chance to see it. It gives a great insight into his personality, his talent, the support of his loving family and also the corrosive effect of this cruel disease.

Glen Campbell - I;ll be Me

Glen will be remembered for his catalogue of beautiful songs including the huge hit Rhinestone Cowboy, which are a fine legacy that will no doubt, be timeless.

I’ll remember him for the shiny cowboy boots, the Sunday drives and the most beautiful and quite unusual love song ‘Wichita Lineman‘ .

Glen, thank you for the precious memories and Rest in Peace

 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland