March 17, 2005
Last minute I decided to head out to Coleraine and put off going to the other sites until tomorrow. After some help from the tourist info people – with whom, for some reason, I unconsciously used a bit of an accent – I came to the relatively large cemetary on the north side of the town. Thinking it wasn’t going to be the one – I was under the presumption that it was a smaller, church one that I was looking for – my hopes weren’t that high but I thought I’d give it a shot. I had an idea of what the monument looked like so, as I wandered, I stopped and checked each candidate. Thinking I had come to the wrong place and beginning to make my way back towards the gate, I turn a corner, passing a few more headstones on the way. As the map came out of my pocket and I began to unfold it, a gust of wind blew the map closed again causing me to look up to regain my barings and my eyes fell upon it… I stopped dead in my tracks. There it was. There HE was. My trip was fulfilled by this singular moment. [I had found the finaly resting place of my dad’s uncle Tommy who had died in Portrush, NI when he was 9 years old while visting family.] I took some pictures, I made a rubbing, I put back a part of the wall that had fallen down, and for about 45 minutes I just sat there taking in the moment.
I have been all over the world and have seen and walked in amazing places, some famous, some rare, but never in all my travels have I ever had such a moving experience just by being in such a simple place as an ordinary graveyard.
Over the next few days, while I hope to visit a few cool places, it doesn’t matter all that much because the important thing, what’s really truly important, is complete. It was all worth it.