The Atlantic Apart and Still Holding Hands




Last year I had a small promotion running on Facebook.  As I’m location based I was only advertising around Cork County thinking there wasn’t much point in advertising elsewhere because of travel and distance etc. So you can imagine my surprise when I got a message from Avril all the way over in Florida!  Avril is originally from Cork but has been living in Florida for several years with her husband and small children.  A friend of hers from Cork had shared my post and lo and behold Avril spotted it.  She explained to me on the text that she would be back in Cork that summer to visit her Mam and the rest of the family and was there any chance I could make a cast of their hands together and have it ready for her to take back to America.  She explained that she is always very lonesome for her Mam when she returns to America and when she say the post thought “that’s a way to keep my Mam close”.   Once I cast the plaster I need to let it cure, more often than not it’s cured within a week but sometimes if the weather is damp or cold it can take longer.  It was going to be tight to have it ready in 10 days!

So the day after she landed I met Avril and her Mam, two lovely women. Friendly and chatty and we had a grand old natter.  It was immediately clear to me how important family and family connections are to both Avril and her Mam.  Avril longes for time back in Cork cathcing up with her brother and sisters, nieces and nephews and of course spending time with her Mam. Her Mam is a mighty woman, she raised a large family on her own and has great pride in her children and how well they all have done for themselves.  I got the mould amde and cast and luckily the weather was on side and the piece was cured and finished and mounted in time for the return flight to Florida.  What an adventure those hands have had.  Avril had it packed safely in her hand luggage, a hard shell wheely case – she was taking no chances!  But airports are busy, especially when you are travelling with young children so at some point Avril noticed her bag was missing. Avril was close to tears and her husband retraced their steps through the airport and luckily found the case.  Then not long after they returned to Florida they received an evacuation notice as storm Irma was about to hit.  First thing packed was the hands!   Soon after she sent me a message “its just a comfort being over 4,000 miles away from my mam and knowing her hand is always in mine, yesterday I was emotional again over my Mam and I just felt her hand and it brought me comfort”.