Miracles that came true
We were just an average family back in the Christmas period of 1997. My mother and father were in their late seventies and both were in poor health. It was to be our last Christmas together as a family, dad passed away on St. Patricks day 1998.
I began to drink heavily. We were a very close family, dad was my best friend, and I adored my Mam as well. My damaged relationship with my wife was under a greater strain than ever, coupled with the decline of my finances and my retail outlet business. The mess that was my life finally unraveled with the death of my dad, and soon I had moved out of the family home back into my mother’s little apartment. I drank to forget and pretty soon I couldn’t remember what it was I was trying to forget. I didn’t keep in touch with my daughters, and the eldest girl fell in with a bad crowd and became a heroin addict. My youngest girl and my wife blamed me and refused to talk to me. I became a recluse, smoking and drinking all day every day, I fell into ill health but refused medical attention despite my mothers pleas. Four times I collapsed and was taken to hospital gravely ill.
My mother could help me no more, and finally, suffering from malnutrition, emphysema, bronchial pneumonia, chronic alcoholic poisoning, prescription drugs addiction, and marijuana’ dependency, I was sent to a rehab in another county, where after several months I left and promptly went back to my old ways. But this time I had no fixed abode, so I began to sleep rough, haunting the places that held old dear memories for me and making my mother deeply ashamed, not to mention all of my extended family. I became a sad pathetic figure on the streets, begging for a cheap bottle of wine or a cheap can of beer. children and adults alike mocked me, but some were kind. I prayed for those that mocked me harder than for those that helped me, I accepted my lot as easily as I had accepted my role as a business man, I bid everyone good morning and blessed them aloud… ‘God bless you Mam,’ ‘Good morning sir.’ I smiled at everyone and in a strange way people responded to my cheerfulness and my positive outlook in due time by giving me clothes, blankets, and money, sometimes too much money.
My mother passed away, no doubt broken hearted, in the spring of 1998. I made a decision to attend the service sober. I spent a while going cold turkey and turned up like the black sheep of the family. I wrote a eulogy about the month of May being the month of our lady Mary, and how my mother whose name was Rose would be the flower in the center of Mary’s crown. A mute congregation listened as I told them of my love for my mother and father, and probably wondered why I didn’t do something to ease her burden when she was alive. They didn’t say it but I knew it. I harboured no ill will to any of them, even though they for the most part ignored me.
After the service at the family gathering I drank soda pop, and sat amongst people who knew the family. My own family shunned me, can’t say I blamed them. I had quite a bit of money put by from my begging in the days before Mam passed away, so I rented a hostel type room and began the slow process of trying to figure things out. I prayed as usual but even more intensely, I thanked god every day, and he made all things possible for me. I had no plan other than to change the way my brain thought about the negative forces of self destruction, and to replace them with positive thoughts.
After only a short while thinking like this my wife invited me to take the back bedroom in the family home on a trial basis. If I fell off the wagon I would have to leave. It was just the beginning. I consolidated my positive attitude by incorporating my desire to help other marginalised people… I joined a homeless charity [the Simon community] and began to focus on helping others as well as helping myself. I returned to school as a mature student to study drama, I began to see the way and the road I wanted to take, I began to write plays for theatre in my spare time, I gave up smoking and won the most inspiring person in Ireland competition in 2001, I won a holiday for two to the Canary Islands – I invited Marie and we went to paradise and re-kindled our relationship. Whilst there I formulated a plan of action for when I returned to Ireland. All of my plans and more came to fruition, and in 2002 I was offered the lead role in a play for the drama college I enrolled in, and took to the stage in trinity college Dublin. I was asked to play a small part in a movie that same year, and appeared on set in Ardmore studios with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore in LAWS OF ATTRACTION. Something was happening to me that was out of the ordinary, I didn’t know what at that time, but it seemed to emanate from my philosophy of encompassing everyone I felt needed help and at the same time helping myself to greater achievements.
It is now Christmas 2007, ten light years since my world exploded into the strata sphere, and what has replaced it is unbelievable. I have fully qualified from drama college with the highest distinction 2003 – I had little in the way of formal education before this. I have been awarded a top award from DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY for literature , I have had THREE plays professionally mounted in the top Irish theaters, I have appeared in many Irish and British TV dramas, featured in four Hollywood movies, I am currently playing the lead role in a movie being directed by Laurence Henson, I have won the equivalent of e150,000 in cash and holidays (one was a cruise of the Mediterranean visiting nine cities and worth approximately ten thousand euros), I have also been asked to direct a movie in the spring of 2008. And I say to myself every day, ‘This is what I deserve, because JESUS says in the Bible, THE LABOURER DESERVES HIS WAGES.’ After a while it becomes a way of life, and then I heard about The Secret on the Oprah Winfrey show, and if i didn’t know already the pieces just fell into place. I attract all that is good because, flawed human being that I am, I have always been a grateful person… grateful to god and to life, even when I was sitting in the mud begging I thanked god for every breath, and then last October god showed me just how precious that breath is, as along with a party of fifty other charity workers I climbed the highest free standing mountain on the face of the earth, so high that its peak which I summited in October 2006 is actually in outer space. There I stood in minus 20 degree blizzard in outer space, thanking my god in his universe from atop the sheer face of KILIMANJARO.
This is just the beginning. Today I bought two copies of The Secret for my sisters, who have many problems in their lives. I have tried to show them and all who I meet a new way to live in a universe where everything is possible and belief is your beacon of hope, but I can only convince those who want to believe. The Secret will show them the way, and god-willing their stories will be the next miracles to come true. Glenn Gannon, December 2007.