Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Three Weddings and a Funeral

May 26, 2022

February of this year was heart-breaking for the whole family as Liam, Dee’s older brother passed away very unexpectedly from an illness that we all expected him to fully recover from. You can just imagine the deep shock and sorrow experienced by everyone in the family as well as by his friends and colleagues.

As I sat with the family in the church in Tralee for the funeral mass it was so comforting to see friends and family paying their respects and I was very surprised to see my buddy, Fr. John Aherne on the altar with the local priest.

Fr. John had agreed to marry Rachel (Liam’s daughter) and Michael that year and he popped along to support and offer some comfort – he’s not from the parish and went out of his way to be there, despite having his own obligations that morning. This kind gesture meant so much to us and the family.

Despite the family not being very religious or regular churchgoers, I was really impressed how the local priest officiated the funeral mass, this incredibly sad occasion, and how well he had prepared with so much information about Liam and the legacy he left behind. He brought him to life in a special way and helped everyone on this tough day.

Sadly I found myself in Dungarvan for another funeral a month later. My uncle Noel passed away while mountain climbing with friends and it was clear from the sheer number of attendees how he touched so many lives with his work as a teacher and the general work that he did in the community, in particular for those with special needs.

Noel, wasn’t “a believer”, he wasn’t a regular churchgoer and yet again I was so impressed by the expertise of the priest who officiated the funeral mass and how he brought Noel to life in conjunction with the family and their beautiful eulogies.

And less than a month later I was at yet another funeral. My cousin Christopher, a young man who lost his battle with cancer. I witnessed yet another priest expertly officiating the funeral mass and honouring his life and legacy.

Three different priests and my friend, Fr.John, all incredible professionals operating at the top of their game, performing the most delicate of tasks for people when they are at their most vulnerable.

There is such a balance between holding the hand of those family members that are in deep sorrow and at the same time celebrating the life of the beloved person that we have lost.

A few weeks later and I’m back in church again but this time it is for a wedding!

It’s the wedding of Rachel and Michael, a happy occasion but also a very sad and emotionally raw one because Liam wasn’t there and it was still so close after he had passed.

We met Fr.John the night before for dinner and I asked him about how he was going to approach this special occasion because it did carry that huge weight of sadness – there was no getting away from it.

He didn’t go into any detail but he said he had it covered.

Rachel and Michael came to the altar with the best man, Robert and the bridesmaids at the beginning of the ceremony.

You could feel the huge weight of sadness in the church as well as the sense of celebration.

..and Fr. John began

“I’d like to welcome you all here for the wedding of Rachel and Robert

Rachel gave Fr. John a look, whispered loudly “It’s Michael” and the whole church spontaneously burst into laughter.

The tension was broken, we were allowed to laugh and while the sorrow never left us we were able to celebrate the special and very happy occasion.

Fr.John spoke about Liam throughout and reassured us that he was there with us celebrating.

When I spoke to him after about his huge “gaffe” he promised me that this had never happened to him before but he told me that “God works in mysterious ways” – he is right!

We never (at least I hadn’t) really consider the special role of our priests in these happy and sad occasions, and like all of the jobs that we do every day, this is their profession.

In a strange way on these huge occasions they are like the event organiser and the MC all rolled into one and what I witnessed was four different priests in different locations who each are experts at what they do.

I’m not very religious. I don’t go to mass but I do see and value the very special work that these special men do for all us.

Thank you Fr. John Aherne.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Principal of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

The day little Hazel comes home…

March 22, 2022

Today is a really special day in my life.

We have many of those special days throughout our lives including personal life moments, great gigs, famous Liverpool wins and even that day I scored the winner in a final of a school match where we were the total underdogs (I am probably the only one who remembers that match!).

Today is going to be another very special day because my granddaughter who I have never seen in person before comes home to Ireland from New Zealand where she was born last October.

The day Hazel was born was very special – we were at a John Spillane gig at the wonderful venue upstairs at The White Horse when the news came through on the 7th October that she was born, and while becoming a “granddad” waves in the beginning of another stage of life it was quiet overwhelming in a way that was different to everything else that came before.

There was that sense of relief that baby and mum were doing good and the elation that knowing another part of you has joined us in the crazy world of ours (and at such a crazy time).

The time since she was born has been quite strange as we have had to experience her through a mix of photos and videos online and in a way, sadly this has become the norm and five months later sometimes it’s hard to believe that I do actually have a granddaughter when they are so far away.

It must be so hard for anyone who has family and friends, who for whatever reason have decided to choose a life in a different country – quite simply I think the personal cost is too much.

I decided to write this piece today to capture my thoughts before Brendan and Ayla come home and I see little Hazel for the first time because I know that life won’t quite be the same once I see her!

Little Hazel…welcome home.

Greg

Greg Canty 

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

Gratitude..

March 14, 2022

I was 57 last Friday and I was determined to do a few very simple things on the day.

I walked the dogs first thing as I always do with Dee – they love getting out!

The intention was to not work at all but I was busy with some client commitments, but I like what I do so that was more than ok.

I met mum for lunch – nothing fancy but it was great to see her.

Ellen my daughter popped by to say hello, which was great.

I popped in next store to say hello to our fantastic neighbours and their two kids – such special people.

And we popped down to the local, The White Horse with friends for dinner and drinks and while I was there Brendan, my son rang and we chatted briefly and I got to see little Hazel, my granddaughter over WhatsApp – they will be back from New Zealand in the next two weeks.

After dinner we came back to the house for a night cap – everyone was tired so it was just the one.

Before going to bed I checked my phone and returned the many messages with birthday wishes from friends and family.

That was it, another birthday spent with Dee and some of the other special people in my life and the two dogs of course.

While it is easy to get a little bit down with each passing year (and those numbers getting bigger!!) all I could feel this year was huge gratitude for being around to see another one and for spending it in a relatively safe country.

(God love the poor woman pictured above as she left her home and belongings in Mariupol in Ukraine – it makes no sense)

Thank you….

Greg

Greg Canty 

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

Love and sadness

February 14, 2022

It doesn’t feel like a very romantic day with all of that love in the air.

Dee’s brother Liam, a very special man passed this day last week after an illness which cruelly took his life at the young age of 64.

She adored her brother who she says at times was like a dad to them when they were growing up, the person they would call if they were sad, scared, upset or when they fell down.

The sadness is heavy, really heavy not just for Dee but for all of the family – it’s awful watching heart’s breaking and there is really nothing you can do but just be there.

So today doesn’t feel like the day for cards, roses and gestures but then again is that the whole point of love?

I always say that the best of fun is the worst of tears – the deep sadness ultimately comes from that deep love and at some point those two will travel together.

So while I’m not making a great case for cards, roses, romantic gestures and candlelit dinners on this special day, I do want to make a case for the love that does not necessarily go with those things but is just as important. I could see that real love from friends and family over the last few really hard weeks.

So today tell your friends, your family, your neighbours, your pets and anyone who plays a special part in your life that you love them and say a prayer or raise a glass to those who aren’t physically here anymore but live on in our hearts.

It doesn’t have to be a candlelit dinner to be love (…if it is treasure it!)

RIP Liam Waldron.

Greg Canty 

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

It’s all over…but it will be stressful!

January 23, 2022

So that’s it?

This weekend we read the headlines in the newspapers after the speech on Friday night by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin more or less declaring that “the Covid pandemic is over” and that pretty much all restrictions will be lifted except for the mask wearing indoors and on public transport.

Even though case numbers are still high in the country the ultra conservative and very cautious NPHET (that caution probably saved many lives) have recommended this course of action so they must believe that the current version of what is infecting people is relatively harmless and we are all quite protected against it through either the vaccination programme or actually contracting the virus – we have herd immunity!

While this is a huge relief you would wonder how easy will it be for society to walk back all of our learned cautious behaviour from nearly two years of strangeness and how much of what life was like before will return?

I had a pint in a local as I waited for my takeaway last night (didn’t home eating escalate to enormous proportions in the last two years?) and it was interesting watching the different people and the behaviours – the general atmosphere was upbeat but there was definitely a divide between the cautious and the not so cautious. One of the bar staff was wearing no mask and another was wearing one and the same applied to customers as they came into the pub.

I asked the barman what the new rules were about mask wearing and he was quite sure that this was up to each individual to decide – that’s not my understanding of what I heard but there you go! This decompressing and roll back time will cause it’s own confusion and stress.

How will we respond to these changed circumstances?

Where will all the mask/anti mask and the vax/anti vax anger move to?

Will a cohort of society continue to wear masks even when this is done?

Will we forever stand back from those we meet with caution or will we go back to shaking hands and dare I say it…. can we hug again?!!

What happens when I’m asked to come back to working from the office because I have no intention of commuting two hours a day ever again!

How much damage has all of the “un”socialising and home working really done to us as individuals and to our collective psyche?

It will be stressful, there will be unforeseen and unexpected problems and at times it will feel upsetting as we do now have to unlearn and return to being normal people again making our way in the world.

To make the most of this very positive time we do need is to appreciate that this is another change and with change comes stress and as much as we can, let’s be tolerant of each other as we all have different lived experiences and changes will be processed at different speeds.

While I write this I am thinking back to the regrettable shouting match that I had with a woman on a bus at the beginning of the pandemic who was insulted that my friends were uncomfortable when she sat right behind them and then accused me of not wearing my mask properly!

I have no idea who she was but we both let ourselves down badly and yes it was really upsetting.

Let’s be tolerant and empathetic as this is a good time for all of and let’s work hard to make sure it is great.

Greg Canty 

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

And how was your day?

November 11, 2021

I was casually chatting with my daughter Ellen today and as part of our usual chit chat I asked her how her week was going.

A bit sad dad, one of the kids in the school passed away this week” she said to me.

While this is a conversation that would floor any of us, in Ellen’s world it is sadly one that gets repeated with an unbearable frequency.

Ellen works as a special needs assistant in a school in Cork, whereby they look after very special kids with all sorts of disabilities.

A very sad fact of life is that often they suffer from poor health and they don’t get to enjoy the full life that all of our kids have and on occasion their lives come to an end when they are still in that school going age.

Ellen says this boy was a loveable rogue and quite the character and was well known and loved by everyone in the school.

They put up a tribute wall for him with photos of him since his time in the school and while it is heart breaking hopefully he can feel their love as he makes his way to his mum who passed away a number of years before. (Ellen tells me he always asked people about how their mum was)

Those lucky enough who are blessed with health and healthy children might stop for a moment and think about these special children, their families and the people who devote their hearts and careers to minding them.

Rest in peace, the honorary Garda Sean Tyrell and thoughts and prayers for his family, friends, teachers and carers.

And thank you my daughter for that huge kind heart of yours – the world needs more of you.

Greg

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

The very special Natasha Lynch

February 22, 2021

Natasha Lynch

At the end of a long work day we could be found trudging from the office weighed down by the usual stresses, challenges and issues, on the way to retrieving the car from the car park and heading home.

And there she would be, and regardless of the day that you have had it immediately would get better.

She was beautiful, inside and out.

When you would bump into Natasha at anytime you were 100% guaranteed to get a warm, friendly greeting, full of enthusiasm and positivity and she would always leave you with a hug and a feeling like your whole world had brightened up, at least for a while.

Of course she was a great business woman and of course she was a really lovely person, but that gift of making everyone that she met feel immediately better was really special and something that will be a huge loss.

Natasha, you were loved by many and will be missed by so many more and a sincere thanks for making me feel so good every time that we met.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Wayne, her two boys, her dad Tony and the many friends, colleagues and students who all had the benefit of some of her precious time on this earth. Her greatest legacy is that her kindness and brightness will no doubt live on in all those she interacted with, even if just for a moment.

Natasha, they will be lucky to have you up there

Greg Canty 

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

 

Saying “let’s do it” when most of us just wouldn’t dare!

February 18, 2021

Ciara O'Toole - Going Solo on Lake Como

I’m sure we have all been away on holidays in a special place and you pass an auctioneers window and gaze at the houses for sale and think “what if“?

While it’s a nice dream, quickly after 60 seconds you rationalise and the dream is gone.

For me that place would definitely be Siena in Italy, and while I have had this idea for a while I can think quickly for a bunch of very logical and rational reasons why it just couldn’t work …maybe when I retire (isn’t that the easy way of dodging the thought? )

If Covid has taught us anything, it is that you can get your work done from anywhere, hasn’t it? Of course, there are other reasons why I can’t and it doesn’t take me long to list them in my head.

Ciara O’Toole, our very special friend and her husband gazed at that window in Lake Como and decided “lets do it“!!

She was just married, without a word of Italian, a house in Dublin with a big mortgage and a great career as a marketer…crazy idea Ciara!

What I love about her is her adventurous spirit, that ability to “go for it” without a strong safety net and hey, let’s see what happens!

In Ciara’s case lots happened, including a few nasty bumps and wonderful experiences but it has been and continues to be a great adventure!

Did I tell you she learnt how to fly a sea plane and wrote a book about the experience?

If you get a chance at all you might read her book “Going Solo on Lake Como” and maybe tune into the episode of the Win Happy podcast with this intelligent, funny, adventurer, marketeer, entrepreneur, author and pilot who tells her incredible story that is full of many twists and turns!

Let’s celebrate those who say “Let’s do it”, and maybe think about that being you next time you look at that window. 

Check out Ciara’s website by clicking on this link

Greg Canty 

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

Thank you friend..

January 20, 2021

Men's friendship

Maybe it was something that I specifically said in my email about a bad nights sleep or maybe there was just a hint in the some of my other content, that I was under a little bit of a cloud yesterday?

Whatever it was, like all good friends he sensed that my mood wasn’t quite what it should be.

Within minutes my phone rang and it was him.

We chatted about work, about football about Covid and about families and of course he did ask me why I was a bit off colour and not sleeping. He did get it out of me that this was getting close to Dad’s anniversary, and at this time three years ago we were watching him gradually fade away, day after day and the sad memories were weighing heavily on me.

As always, a problem shared is a problem halved and we also got the chance to talk about how he was feeling – his dad sadly passed towards the end of last year.

I am so grateful to my friend for taking time out of his busy day to reach out – it took away the cloud.

So today, and all days, pay close attention to those you love and your colleagues to what they are saying and how they are saying it, and if you can make the time, reach out.

Thank you Roger..

Greg Canty 

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

 

Sorry Michael..

October 6, 2020

Inniscarra Bar, Cork

Friday evening, after doing our grocery shopping we decided we would get a quick drink in our local before settling down for the night at home.

This beautiful little pub, the Inniscarra Bar is just outside Ballincollig – it’s your traditional “old mans” pub where there are a bunch of regulars and a few like us who pop in for one every now and then.

We were determined to pop in as the place had just opened that Monday after a cruel six months of “lockdown” to enjoy a drink, to say hello to the lovely owner Kay and to soak up some of the  much missed atmosphere.

All of the Covid signs were up, Kay and her fellow barmaid had their masks on and were busy cleaning the tables every few minutes and making sure that everyone was maintaining a safe distance. The old codgers who were normally perched at the bar on their favourite chairs weren’t for obvious reasons which was sad – there would have been even more opportunities to distance if that was possible, but there you go.

All of the usual faces were there and it was lovely to hear the banter, which pretty much was telling jokes about Covid and who looked funny wearing their mask, to make light of this shite situation and to “pretend” it was somehow a normal night, at least for a while.

We sat near Michael, a lovely, kind, welcoming regular, well known for his jokes who we were told was 88 the previous week – I told him we could now call him “two fat ladies” but he didn’t get it. He obviously never played bingo!

Michael was perched near the fire as always, and after he got a few jokes out of his system he started to tell us how lonely he had been since the lockdown. He lives alone.

With tears in his eyes he told us how he dreaded 6pm each night as that was the time that he would make his way to the pub – the nights were long and lonely and he was fed up of playing chess on the computer.

Someone needs to tell Michael that tonight will be his last night with friends for a while again..

Covid has been cruel, but if we are to shut down and inflict all types of hardship on so many people, we better make it a good shutdown, short and sharp with no cherry picking of different groups of society and no stupid messing around with borders.

We must get to Zero Covid and we absolutely can because what we are living through now just isn’t living.

Sorry Michael…

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland