Saturday 21 September 2019

Losing things is a long-practised habit of mine

Fr Michael Commane - The Way i See It

Have you a propensity to lose things? I'm thinking of items such as keys, bags, books, anything really. Losing things is obviously a long-practised habit of mine.

I remember on one occasion coming home from a working holiday in Germany and my mother commenting how surprised she was that my head was still on my shoulders.

I recall a balmy summer day cycling from Dublin city centre to Cappagh Hospital to visit my father, who had had hip replacement surgery. I arrived home to discover I had lost my keys. I retraced my journey, eventually finding the keys at a roundabout near Cappagh Hospital. And retracing my journey meant cycling the entire way from Dorset Street to Cappagh on the wrong side of the road. Mea culpa.

Fast forward approximately 30 years. Earlier this summer I visited two people in St James's Hospital. My mode of transport this time had been upgraded to a motorbike.

If you have ever been to St James's you will be aware that there is always a large number of people near the main entrance to the hospital.

A month ago while on another visit to the hospital I spotted two men chained to each other, presumably a patient prisoner chained to a prison officer.

I visited the two patients I planned to call on. We chatted, laughed and listened to one another. Two lovely people and for me a privilege to know them.

It was time to leave. Went looking for the key of my motorbike. There are many pockets in the jacket and trousers of motorbike gear. Couldn't find the key. Kept searching, no sign of the key. But I knew it had to be somewhere. It wasn't.

I went down to the shop in the main concourse where I had earlier bought a newspaper. No key had been handed in. Then off to the main reception. Another blank, no key. I retraced my steps back up to the patients, searched the two rooms, crawled around the floor, looked under the beds. No keys. Walking those long corridors in motorbike gear and boots plus helmet is no fun.

I panic easily but for some odd reason on this occasion I was staying calm.

There was one last possibility: had I by any chance left the key in the motorbike?

Out the main entrance. The bike is parked close by and what do I see? The key is in the lock of the pannier at the side of the bike. And so visible for all to see.

I returned to the informaiton desk and told them that I found the key. When they heard my good news they smiled and assured me that somebody was looking affter me. The two receptionists were so kind. I asked them if they would phone one of the patients to let her know that I had found the key. Guess what, they did. I always find hospital receptionists friendly and helpful.

Phew. Lucky man. Or is it that most people are honest?

Of course I am back thinking of my mother and how accurate she was about my ability in losing items.

New Ross Standard