On my travels, I get to visit some amazing places and meet some incredible people where we get to share our stories and Dublin was no exception.
I had been on the Ray Darcy show on the Saturday night and was moving to my next accommodation out near the airport for my last night in Ireland. I had booked a taxi on the Monday lunchtime (late checkout) to take me to my next destination. I had been waiting at reception when a taxi pulled up and the driver came in to see who the fare was for. I approached him with my luggage and said “that would be me”.
As he put my luggage in the boot of the car, he started chatting away. Once we were both in the taxi, he told me that he had just dropped off someone at the hotel and was heading out when this job came in. He said “it must have meant to be” I left it at that, but towards the end of the journey, I knew that we were definitely meant to meet.
The taxi drivers name was Noel and he had this lovely broad Irish accent, complete with Irish profanities and was full of life and stories. We talked about the current issue of Brexit which was all over the media and had a huge impact on Ireland. Everyone had an opinion on Brexit and the UK wanting to leave the European Union and Noel was no different, although his attitude towards the UK was not pleasant by any means. After coming to the conclusion that Brexit would be a long drawn out affair, we moved onto other topics.
Noel eventually asked why I was visiting Ireland as he had picked up on my Australian accent. I told him I had some media commitments in Dublin as I travelled around the world with a cardboard cut-out of my late husband Paul. He turned around and said “I know you, I heard about you on the radio yesterday, you were on the Ray Darcy TV show” and I said “yes I was”. He told me how brave and courageous I was and loved the idea.
Noel then told me the story of a lady that had hailed his taxi and when she got into the car, she asked about the white feather that was sitting on his dashboard and he told her the story behind it. She went on to tell him, that she had lost her mother recently and prior to getting into his taxi, she asked her mother to show her a sign that she was with her. The white feather was the sign, a promise prior to her death that every time she saw a white feather, she knew her mother was with her. The lady went onto tell Noel that it was amazing how many white feathers she does see out of the blue and this was just another occasion and confirmation that her mother was close by and bought her great comfort.
Noel then asked me if I still talk to Paul and I said “yes all the time” and he asked whether he talks back? and I said “yes of course, most of the time” I went onto tell Noel that my sign from Paul was the mini cooper motor vehicles and how amazing it is that I see them all the time, especially when I am travelling.
This is when Noel opened up and told me the story behind the white feather. His daughter aged 12 committed suicide due to being bullied at school and her brother found her and had to cut her down and then tell his mother of what happened. Eight years (8) later he was still grieving, upset and angry because of what happened. We both had tears in our eyes and I said “I am saddened to hear you lost your little girl in such a devastating way”. I also asked him does he talk to her and he said “yes of course” and then I asked does she talk back and he said “yes, sometimes” The white feather is a reminder that his daughter is an angel.
Noel then told me the story about his son losing his mobile phone at their property, which just happened to be on 45 acres with knee high grass. They had been searching for some time and Noel asked his son had he rung it and he said yes but the battery was now flat. Noel then asked him had he asked his sister for help? and he said no. After walking around for some time, Noel called his son over to where he was standing and said look down. The phone was laying at Noel’s feet because he asked his daughter to help find the phone and she led him to exactly where it would be. I was getting full on body tingles. I said to Noel how amazing and you just cannot make this stuff up and he agreed.
We went on chatting some more, especially around people who don’t know what to say in these situations and how people say “I know how you are feeling” and he becomes very angry and says “no, unless you have walked a mile in my shoes, you have no idea how I am feeling”. And I totally agreed with him. We also went onto discuss all the special occasions and the anniversaries that they would miss. His daughters anniversary was only a few weeks away, so the emotional build up was evident. I also told Noel, that Paul would miss out walking our daughter down the aisle although she has three (3) brothers to do that, but it wouldn’t be the same, but I know that he will definitely be there in spirit. To say that it was an extremely emotional moment is an understatement.
I finally arrived at my hotel and as Noel pulled my luggage from the boot, we stood in front of each other and gave the biggest hug and wished each other well.
At that time, in that place, I was meant to be sitting in that taxi meeting Noel and he the same. It was meant to be…………