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
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!