I am in a place of lament. My mum Rachel (Ray) was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in Jan this year and the disease is ravaging her.
It has now spread to her pancreas & stomach.
My second grandchild, her great grandchild, was due on Monday 21st and is now overdue.
I think my mum is bravely hanging in there to hear and see the new born member of our clan.
The circle of life: being born, living and dying – dying actually on a death bed because none of us is getting out of here alive.
Mum was 19 when she gave birth to me.
I was born into that era of recent violence which began in 1966 and led to a civil uprising and armed actions that heaped suffering on many. Indeed until the cessations of 1994 and then 1997 I’d known only violence or a violent way of life.
The “great”, the “good” largely the self righteous, you know the whited sepulchre types, try tell me it was all “our fault” – that we’d a choice, that we didn’t have to defend, attack, kill, maim or cause mayhem in the notion of Nation or Identity or Rights.
As I look back, particularly in conversations with Mum on her death bed, I think conflict was inevitable and that it was intensified, then prolonged through armchair generals, gung-ho machoism & sectarian egotists playing their little low intensity “game” of war.
There are some today who refuse to accept the compromises reached in 1994, 1997 and since. Some itch for a return to violence so they can wallow in their self righteous “we told you so” or the deluded belief that the question mark regarding long term sovereignty here can be achieved through violence: violence cannot solve the issues here.
Yet, all the issues can be resolved.
The template for it all was previously negotiated, agreed and outlined in the Belfast Agreement (the Good Friday Agreement).
Her Majesty’s Government opted for compromise and along with the Irish Government, came to the table to reach an honourable settlement with representatives of the Political Parties here.
Citizens then ratified the settlement and it paved the way for political aspirations to be achieved through the power of persuasion with parity of esteem, and equality for Citizens at it’s core.
It was George Bernard Shaw who wrote “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
We, the people, are the change we seek.
To evolve society and reconcile ourselves it is our ideas, our words, our deeds that can change our small world here. It takes us all to be gracious, to demand politics delivers on quality of life issues and it takes us to ask what legacy shall we create for our grand-children?
Devolution is not dead. Government is essential. The honourable compromise that was the Belfast Agreement will not die!