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16 October 2014

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Letter to a Twin

By Seamus Buckley
July 2006, Haverfordwest
A digital story from Capture Wales

Loss and Love

A special greeting to Mr Charlie Buckley in Cork, from his young brother Seamus in Pembrokeshire.

"Dear Charlie,

You and I were born on August 26th 1946.

You, as you often reminded me, were born at 5.45pm and I followed at 6.30 - you've never been bloody early since!

We had a wonderful childhood. Town and country were our playground. We had freedom. We loved sports and played on many teams together. We are different characters and always had separate friends, but I knew you were never too far away.

At 18, we separated and I moved away. You stayed in Cork. Once, I asked you why you rarely came to London. You said, "Seamus, you're the one who moved away, you come home."

So I visit every year. I miss Ireland with a passion, but I'm a stranger in my own land now, longer away than at home.

When we were 50 I flew to Cork to surprise you. You surprised me... you'd told the world you were only 46.

So we got drunk in your pub and fell asleep like five year olds - together.

Charlie, on August 26th this year, come to beautiful Pembrokeshire, we'll go to the pub at six, have the craic, raise a glass and then turn to you and softly say, "Right now Charlie, you're 60 and for the next half hour I'm 59!"

Missing Ireland with a passion? Maybe it's not Ireland. Because each time I leave Cork I leave you - my brother, my twin, my best man and my best friend.

Happy Birthday Charlie."

Seamus Buckley

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a retired schoolteacher. Lived in London for 18 years and now Pembrokeshire, Wales for 16 years. I love stories.

What is your story about?
It's about a sense of loss and a sense of love, hopefully told with humour. I chose this story as the only photographs I had were ones of us as twins and I wanted to give him a special present at 60!

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
As an avoider/coward of computers I learnt how they can enhance your stories. I loved every minute.

Your comments

"I found this story really moving - probably because it is my father's and I have never heard him talk of his brother in these terms. I think I forget that he is away from the place he grew up and instead see him as UK born and bred like the rest of our family. I thank the BBC for giving my father this opportunity and hope that his story has touched others as it has done me." Mairead, London, May 2008

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