We have all heard it said that, "your past can catch up with you", and sometimes that is a situation you prefer not to happen. Well on St. Patrick’s Day I experienced that and I must say it was a very pleasant experience.
Forty years ago I was still in school with a girl called Rebecca Nolan and in truth I don’t think I have spoken to her since we left school. Recently I was told that her son, who is in a band, was travelling to Zambia this month. My brain went into overdrive and I thought ah St. Patrick’s Day – a band usually arrives from Ireland for the party in the Ambassador’s residence and they play in other places also prior to the day. Maybe, just maybe there is a connection. I left it like that.
On Thursday of last week I got a phone call from a friend here in Lusaka and after the usual greetings and catching up she mentioned that a young man in a band called Skippers’ Alley had asked her if she knew a Sr. Marianne Doherty and she said that she did. This young man, Patrick Cummins, had instructions from his mother (who seemed to know more about me and what I have been doing for the last forty years than I know about her) to make sure that he found me and greeted me for her. He did not believe that it could happen – miracles do happen sometimes, it often depends on who you speak to. He wanted to say hello and hoped that there would be an opportunity.
I was in Chikuni and was planning to return to Lusaka for the “shin dig” in the residence on the feastday so I would definitely have to be there, so that Paddy could do what his mammy had asked him to do. We met and it was a very pleasant encounter. He laughed and said maybe he had earned some brownie points with his mother now and she would cook his dinner for him when he came in from work. To prove that we did in fact meet we had a photograph taken and he said that it would make her day.
Little things mean a lot to some people and even for Paddy meeting someone who knows his mother over a long period of time (even if we have not been in touch with each other) makes our world more like a global village.