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The Last Christmas

Triona’s last Christmas was a tough one for her, she was beginning to get really sick and she was feeling pretty low.  She and I spent a lot of time together that Christmas, shopping, helping mum prepare for the dinner, wrapping presents, watching TV, talking – just like every Christmas time.  It was during one of our CSI marathons that we had a conversation about how we never see anyone at Christmas anymore, everyone is so busy with their own families and there are so many party nights it was nigh on impossible to get a good catch up or night out with all our friends and family.  

So it was right there and then that we hatched a plan for The Big Reunion for the following year. It was to take place on Boxing Night and we booked our local DJ’s to do an Old Skool Disco for us too.  We weren’t taking any chances that people would make other plans for that night either so we gave them a full years notice and sent out invites via Facebook on Boxing Day that year.

Make Time for People

Less than 8 weeks later she was dead, she would never get to spend one more Christmas with her friends or her family.  Please heed this, you just never know what’s around the corner, or what day might be the last, so please, make time for your friends always, but especially over Christmas. Yes, it’s a time for family but it can be lonely for people too, even when you are surrounded by family.  Not being asked to go out or invited out for dinner with friends that you have spent the best part of your life with feels pretty shitty.  So don’t do that, don’t be thoughtless and for gods sake don’t ever forget your friends, especially the ones that would never forget you.

The Big Reunion

Anyhow, we decided to go ahead with the Big Reunion and try to get all Triona’s friends and family into our local hall for a good night’s craic and a proper catch up, just like the good old days.  It was to be a night about friendship and memories and the music that we all grew up dancing and singing to, mainly in Sally’s or The Point Bar. It was so important to us as Triona’s family that so many made the effort and joined us as we celebrated Triona’s life and highlighted what ultimately is most important in life and that is love and human connection.  We had a ball and we raised a deadly sum of money, £2000 for our local soccer club, Tummery Athletic FC, who were just starting a youth programme for the first time in the Club’s history and £1000 for NSPCC, a children’s charity that Triona supported every month.

Triona Rose McNabb

Some months previous to the Reunion our incredible friend Colm had a jersey designed with a little rose crest which bore Triona’s name and the words “croi mór maith agus gorm go smior.” Which means “a heart of gold and a true blue” as she literally would have done anything for anyone and she played football in the blue and white jersey for Dromore Ladies GFC for many years.

Gone But Not Forgotten

With the money raised for Tummery FC, the club commissioned a new set of jerseys for one of their youth teams and included the Triona crest on them.  Our nephew Fionn was the very proud captain in their debut game wearing the special jerseys.  Our ladies gaelic club, that our niece Caela now plays for, also print the same crest on all of their jerseys as a tribute to our darling girl.  She would be so proud because she loved both clubs and she loved our kids so she would be delighted that money raised by us and her class cousin Conor when he ran the New York Marathon would be used in ways that would benefit them so much.

I will look forward to match days’ post covid when I see our nieces and nephews proudly playing the game they love with the auntie they loved right there next to their hearts!

“We knew her, we loved her and we won’t forget her.”

Our brilliant community loved the jerseys too and hundreds of people ordered one.  We have had to do a couple of orders so far and my sister Cathy tells me people are already asking for us to do another order soon. It is such an amazing feeling when you meet someone wearing a ‘Triona Jersey’, to us it says, “we knew her, we loved her and we don’t want to forget her.” It really is such a support to the family.  We offer special thanks to Colm (Donks) Donnelly, MFC who design and make the jersey’s, Stephen McCullagh & Tummery Athletic, Dromore Ladies GFC and all the people of Dromore and further afield who wear the Triona Jersey with such pride. You do our hearts the power of good.

As always thank you for reading!

Grief is Love 💜

Maeveen x

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