YET it was not to be. A storm rose upon the armada’s arrival to Briton that would, in later times be called the storm of the century. The seas boiled, the mighty wind blew and the once fierce Spanish armada was utterly destroyed as it was dashed against the rocky British coastline.
There were, however…survivors.
Boatless Spanish sailors swam the rough seas finding their way to Briton, Scotland, and as far away as Ireland and in some cases France. It was in Ireland, which was already Catholic, where they received the warmest welcome. They settled there bringing with them their Latin food, dances and music, language and customs. They merged it all with Irish farming, fishing and country folk tales with their legends of elves, the Fey and gold and Leprechauns molding stories and converging histories into a new experience.
When it came time for these sailors to marry Irish daughters they gave in celebration to them blessing them to be fruitful and multiply and offering huge dowry’s of land, cattle, sheep and much gold.
eyes of blue or green and swarthy skin and freckles or else fair skin with raven black hair and dark eyes. A beauty out of the legend of the Fey.
After this the nobles amongst the remaining Spanish sailors began to yearn for the hills of Spain and the comforts of the Basque country. Many among them were still named back home by Phillip with titles and lands with coat of arms. So it was the surviving sailors boarded Irish ships packing up their wives, children and sheep and sailed home to Spain.
In this familial tradition we come forward to 1985. Descendant to the lords of Spain Eduardo O’Flannery was principle stock holder and chief CEO of multinational O’Flannery International , a very successful company.
Eduardo’s lovely wife, Maria, who was herself a descendant of those surviving royouls, had birthed Eduardo three gorgeous, perfect daughters. All three were raised in the European debutant
Helena, Mary and Consuela were the pride of Eduardo’s life. They shone for him. HE loved them each with his whole heart and yet something…Eduardo longed for an heir to his family name, company and billion dollar fortune. And so it was Maria conceived for him not one boy, but two. Identical twins born in 1985.
For his sons Eduardo chose the names Miguel Patrick and Gabriel Sean O’Flannery. Both boys showed from an early age that they were extremely gifted of mind. By age one they were both walking. By the age of two Miguel was teaching Gabriel to speak. By three Gabriel was teaching Miguel to read and write. The boys spoke both English and Spanish. Maria thought she would home school the young boys but early on they became competitive, even cut-throat. Father Eduardo took notice of this behavior. They competed for Maria’s approval and Eduardo’s notice. Fighting to shine while sabotaging the other.
In desperation Eduardo made a tough decision. He went to Maria saying, “Amore, they will murder each other. So long as one does well the other will be consumed with rage. They will come to hate one another. I know, let me send one of them to Mi Hermana Betty in America. She can raise him for us there to become his own success. This way they can both shine.” Tearfully Maria Agreed.
Betty O’Flannery Cooper was consumed with grief. She was dying of a broken heart. Recently widowed at the young age of 28 by the death of her husband, the equally young legal ingénue Dexter Cooper of Long Island, New York. He died in a commuter plane crash over Grand Cayman Island while traveling for his law firm where he had recently been made their youngest partner.
Betty was in a black void of depression. No counselor could relieve her grief, no priest could give absolution to her suffering. She had dropped completely off the social scene. She no longer attended events, parties or socials. She had vanished into her depression when Dexter had died, consumed so by sadness.
But there was hope. Her big brother Eduardo was bringing her a baby boy! Someone to love and cherish. To spoil, certainly, and love unconditionally. OH! This could be just what she needed. A special little boy to dote upon and spend all her time with. She was saved! Her heart revived and beat anew.
Early on she tried to home school Miguel but he took the master lesson book and completed the semester in an afternoon. She phoned Eduardo only to discover Gabriel had done exactly the same thing. But Eduardo had an intuition, “Let me call you back Betty.” He said. He had his research staff hunt for schools and academy’s for the gifted. He discovered one such school in Canada just across the border from Betty’s home in New York. They agreed to test Miguel for admission. There was only one problem. Miguel was too young to live at the school like the other students. So Eduardo decided, “Betty take the boy for the tests. If he does well I can buy you a little house off campus and you can walk Miguel to classes. “
It would be one thing to say Miguel did well on the tests. It would be more accurate to say he BLEW THE DOORS OFF! No one had ever cored as high as Miguel had. He was 4 doing figures from fifth grade math. He was reading, both English and Spanish, at ninth grade level. He had a natural aptitude and curiosity for the sciences and was constantly seeking new knowledge. The academy cheerfully accepted him on the terms Eduardo had negotiated with Miguel living off campus with Betty. He was four years old in the third grade and he wasn’t just keeping up, he was excelling! Learning at an exponential rate learning all the school for the gifted had to offer.
By age six the boys were in fifth grade. By age nine they were in their last year of Junior high school.
At ten Betty took Miguel back to New York where he entered high school at a newly opened school for the advanced. A university prep and advanced placement school.
Across the pond Gabriel was showing strengths in finance, money, geography, history, communications and languages. Eduardo enrolled him in the French academy for the gifted where he enrolled in beginning business courses in an advanced placement and university prep school. Meanwhile Miguel took to the sciences and biology. He entered service to his school by contributing to their sports medicine program then finally joined the track team. In addition to being brilliant Miguel proved to be athletic as well. He received a letter his first year out.
By age eleven the boys had advanced to their junior year of high school. Miguel was president of the biology club and the science club. He was a member of the computer club and the chess club all while maintaining a 4.13 GPA. He was also growing into a very particular and advanced charisma. Miguel was wildly popular. The girls in school adored him. Thy flirted and fawned over him ceaselessly. Miguel didn’t understand this so he largely ignored them. SO popular was Miguel that his fellow students decided to run him for class president. Miguel simply didn’t want to BE president however. He fetched around for a plan to upset his friend’s designs hopefully without hurting anyone’s feelings. He decided on a course of action and made his way to the home of his next closest competitor Tom Anderson, another gifted boy at school on scholarship.
Tom lived I a very nice upper middle class neighborhood. The house was newer and looked comfortable to Miguel. He walked up and knocked on the door. It was answered by a very pleasant woman in her late 20’s,
“Hello. Can I help you?”
“”HI! I’m looking for Tom. Is he home by chance?”
The woman smiled and stepped back raising her voice,
“TOM! You have a visitor!”
From the back of the house came a young voice,
“MOM, who is it?” and Tom walked out of the back hall.
“Well I don’t know Tom. This very nice young man is asking for you.”
When Tom got a look at his visitor he stopped, stunned,
“What are YOU doing here?”
“HI Tom. Can I come in?”
Tom turned and led Miguel into the living room,
“Ok, so, what do you want?”
“Listen Tom, You got me all wrong. I never asked to be nominated for president. My other friends have done this. I need a way out so I’ve come to help you.”
“Help me why?”
“So that YOU can become president and I won’t have to. You’d be much better at it I figure since you actually want to BE president. So what do you say? Let me give you a hand?”
“Well what did you have in mind?”
“Maybe I could help you advertise. Do you have a flyer?”
Tom went to a table and picked up a piece of paper which he handed to Miguel. The flyer was hand lettered and badly photo copied ,
“You wouldn’t mind if I worked on this a little would you?”
“Be my guest.”
Miguel folded the flyer and put it in his pocket,
“Ok, so I’m getting an idea. I have a plan for you. Will you be here tomorrow afternoon?”
“Sure. What are you gonna do?”
He smiled, “I’m gonna do the best I can. Trust me. I’ll bring everything here before anyone sees it so you can best decide what you want to put out there, ok? Trust me. I WANT you to be president. I have to go. I’ll see you here tomorrow ok?”
“Ok Miguel. “
And Miguel left.
True to his word the next afternoon Miguel rang the doorbell . When Tom answered he found Miguel smiling from behind a hand truck loaded with boxes.
“HEY! Let’s go inside.”
Miguel wheeled the boxes into the living room and had tom sit,
“Ok, first off we have Flyers…”
He opened the top box to reveal hundreds of flyers all in fluorescent colors,
“I did the type setting myself. I hope it’s ok…”
“We also have…Posters!”
He opened a tube to show these,
“Next up we have…BUTTONS!”
He opened another box full of different colored button with different, witty sayings on them. “Tom for president” and “Vote for Anderson.”
“And lastly we have…T-Shirts!”
The last box was completely full of different sizes of screen printed Tees.
Tom got to his feet excited and hugged Miguel fiercely. Miguel didn’t quite know how to respond so he froze then patted To on the bac,
“Sshhh…Sshhh…It’s ok Tom. It’s ok.”
He let Miguel go and stood back,
“I’m sure to win now!”
“Now listen Tom…This is all the help I can give you. You’ll have to pass this stuff out on your own. I can’t be seen to help you. I don’t wanna hurt anyone else’s feelings.”
“I understand. Thank You.”
When Miguel arrived home he sat heavily in a kitchen chair and put his head in his hands.
“What’s the matter Mijo?” Betty asked.
“Tia Betty this thing I did seems like it was for giving and helping reasons but really I think I was just being selfish.”
“Well will this boy benefit from your help?”
Mijo helping others does not always have to exclude the self. Sometimes when we can serve others AND ourselves we get a double blessing. Doing the good, right thing does not mean we always have to sacrifice some part of ourselves.”
“Tia Betty I ALWAYS want to do the good right thing.”
“Oh MIJO! Your papa will be SO proud to hear you’ve said this! “ and she hugged him, kissing him on the forehead.