Personal reflections on my cousin Raymond Wickham from Sligo (RIP 3-9-19)
Raymond was a gentleman, son of Brendan and Ruby (nee Bradley). A man of deep and constant prayer and warm hearted caring. He had a lovely gentle sense of West of Ireland humour. Soft. A great crowd came to his funeral and everyone said what a lovely man he was. Popular in the town. He really loved music and played professionally in America. His own cd is worth listening to.
He bore all his illnesses well and with great patience and dignity. When he got Guillane Barre nerve/muscle paralysis syndrome in about 2010 he could no longer play the guitar well and had to stop gigging. It weakened him a lot. I think he left his weekly prayer group at this stage too and his job in Dunne’s Stores. He had serious knee problems and severe pain too with that. Still he kept going. He got a minor yet very debilitating and isolating TIA last Christmas 2018 also prior to his final illness in August 2019 when he got a massive stroke. Everyone said Raymond was really ‘harmless’. He never really hurt anyone, I would say. Or, at least, never meant to.
A real genuinely humble, if slightly eccentric, soul.
He never married though he had a girlfriend in America. When she left him he returned heartbroken to Sligo town. He loved God and Our Lady. He was a lovely singer and had a lovely voice. Moving and powerful. He knew and liked Country Music with it’s depth of emotion and real-lifeness.
He looked after his late mother Ruby very well and with great kindness and faithfulness when she was in St John’s Home. I think he visited her there daily until she died in 2008.
Ruby always said wryly, when she was asked how Raymond was, that Raymond “was Raymond”. He was himself.
“Misericordia Domini, in Eternum cantabo”