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GALLERY: Trio of gardens providing hope in face of coronavirus

Kristian honouring the older members of the community

While Donegeal was preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic, irrepressible Inishowen man, Kristian Shortt, shared a “positive story.”

Speaking to Donegal Live, Kristian said he hoped people were keeping well “in these dark times.”

Kristian added: “I have a story, which focuses on our elderly, the people deemed most a risk in this trying time. I would love to share it because I would love to brighten people's day, with my story of hope, creativeness and positivity.

“The whole world has come to a shutdown, and, for many it seems like the end, financially and mentally. The dark powers are spreading panic, which is not OK in my book.

“I think the damage caused by the spread of panic and worry will be worse than the virus itself. However, art and creation should never cease, for it is the medium by which people will find the light in the darkness.

“As older people are most fearful right now, my story very much applies to them and will touch their hearts,” said Kristian.

Kristian, who hails from Redcastle in East Inishowen, has built a trio of “little dedication garden areas” at the home of his mother and father.

Kristian recalled: “I built the final garden over the winter, through the snow and hail storms, whilst corona was brewing in the east. An now, as corona has arrived, the three gardens are finished and look like little pieces of paradise right here in Donegal.

“Even during this shutdown, I believe, God is resting here in the Garden of Eden thinking about the future.

“This final garden area is called 'Bodelle's Well', and it is dedicated to my father's first son who they lost at just 3 years old. His name was Kelly and they nicknamed him Bodelle. The garden has a Well feature and a statue of a little boy.

“The other two other gardens are called Bosco's Way and Apache's Rest. So called because, my mother was known as the Apache by my father as she looked like one when she was older and my father's middle name is Bosco and I am fond of the name,” said Kristian.

Kristian revealed that shortly after his brother's death, his father saw a “bright light beaming from the foot of the bed.”

He added: “My father looked down and saw the serene bright image of his fallen boy Kelly, smiling back at him, reassuring him.

“My Dad turned to wake up my mother, but as she turned to look, the apparition had gone. He holds that image dear to his heart until this day, almost 85 years later. I share that little story because, in this time, I think people need to hear it the most.

“My father Frank is 85 and my mother Sally is 77. They are said to be the vulnerable ones in this crisis, so I find it very fitting at this time to show how my dedication and love for them is displayed in these beautiful garden areas I built for them.

“I think that it helps spread a real sense of community and respect for the elderly in this time where they are under threat, despite their massive sacrifices in the past for our society,” said Kristian.

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