25 years ago, we were the happiest family in the world.

It was a freewheelin’ feeling’, things were just right.

25 months ago, we had all arrived on Cape Cod.

It was then that we embarked on our Odyssee, with Pádraig at the helm.

Right from the beginning, we were never alone. The crew actually grew over time, and it is still growing.

IMG_5860When we thought, we had lost our boat and were about to sink, his friends started to swim around the entire coast of Ireland, they were true heroes full of energy, enthusiasm, and solidarity. They were carrying our hopes. They met at huge concerts, table quizzes, special events, cake sales and races. They built a Dreamboat that is now carrying all of us along when we are tired and about to drown. They wrote, recited, and recorded poems and songs for Pádraig, we are all singing at the top of our voices as well as in our minds and in our hearts to fight the sirens.

The Odyssee is continuing but we are looking at the last legs of this journey that will bring Pádraig back home to where we started almost two years ago.

Today, Pádraig and his OT had another brilliant day together. She could not believe how well he managed to move individual fingers. – That is what is needed, a contagious enthusiasm that carries everybody along. A belief and an energy where standards don’t matter because standards are just accepted average, text book stuff. What Pádraig has achieved and is doing is way beyond that.

Tuesdays have been travel days for the past few weeks. In the pre-Ryanair age – though who remembers that, honestly? – I would have felt like a jet-setter. There would have been sufficient legroom, some nice drinks, and the most exquisite food, served by stewardesses who would have done their utmost to make this a  real pleasant experience.

Today, flights are more like bus trips in South America: squashed, hot, overcrowded, and affordable. Travelling through the night and arriving when everybody else has been asleep for hours.