The sad effects of recession

Monday, 11 December 2017

The daughter who had to leave home

 This a a story about my Mother who lost a daughter and grandchildren  to emigration six years ago.

It was the saddest day of all when my sister had to depart in the Fall of 2011,

She was one of six daughters to Marie

And Christy who sadly passed away a few short years before,

Mam loved her close family unit and when her fourteen grandchildren came along,

as close as her own brood,

She was never happier than to see them altogether

squabbling and laughing

Just like her own

Mam never had much in life

Raising her own children right slap bang in the middle of the 70’s recession

Her husband took to the drink and lost his job

He was angry and sad

My Mam was like a trojan then

What a wonderful woman who stood by her man with grace and humility

She made wonderful dinners from little

and loved and lived for her children

She was never angry or blaming

And had great faith in God!

An amazing gift she had through all of those years

Was to open the hall door on our arrival from a tough day at school,

hungry from the cold and a long wintry day,

Was to greet us always with a smile

And a bowl of stew

Our house was poor with holes in the walls from my poor Dad’s depression

And window’s were often broken

But it was always clean

And when Christmas came along there was no-one like my Dad who was in full festive cheer

He helped all the neighbours bone and roll their Turkey’s and Hams

Happily accepting a glass of Whiskey for his trouble…

He played his Christmas music on the record player for all to here

And he brought the funniest shaped Christmas tree home one year!

We all said he must have cut it down himself from some where……

But we sat around that tree and sang Christmas Carols….

And Santa brought us presents too!

But Christmas was a sad time for us too

Because of his Depression

My sister Elle was the fifth daughter for Mam

She had a beautiful soul

Never a trouble

Never bold

Kind and gentle

Adoring of her two children

I’ll never forget my mam’s face of sadness and bravery all mixed up in one,

when her beautiful child told her that she to leave her homeland for a better future for her kids….

In true mammy style

She kept her sadness to herself

Encouraging of her daughter’s new life

And silently broken as she wondered would she ever see her again…

It was tough for my sister’s husband through this last recession

With the mortgage to pay and and a family to feed

He had to travel to Dublin for over an hour in the car each day

for any little work

And the diesel was huge money!

The stress in their life was great

And when they made the decision for a life where work was plenty

I’m sure she battled with it well

So, it was on the furthest western coast of Canada

Where the winters were harsh

And there would be no Mammy’s stew…..

She knew Mammy would be too scared to fly all that way too….

But sure wouldn’t they be able to get home often enough?

But not when life and work and school gets in the way

And ever increasing airfare

Well, she did get home when Mammy had an aneurysm removed from her brain a couple of years back

Just by herself

And she went back to her new home with a heavy heart

knowing Mam was getting on….

Mam’s siblings are passing each year

One of which a best friend

who’s heart she held dear

Her memory had almost but forgot who my Mam was

And in my mammy’s mind, she is wondering

will this soon be her…..

So she’s throwing a feast this Christmas Day

with all the trimmings and Christmas Music to play

She wants all her brood there

to mind them and love them and feed them

and here them laughing

So that she can hold on to that memory

lest next Christmas might be different…..

I know with no doubt

that my Mam’s wish for Christmas is to bring Eleanor home

to be with her sisters

And not be alone

There in the vast country of Canada

With Hugo her husband

And Sean and Grace

To be with all their cousins

In One Happy Place!

I miss my sister and the others do too!

I would be so happy if my Mam’s wish came true!

xxx

Jean

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