My brothers would go hunting and fishing it was their way of contributing to the family meals yeah right more like there way of getting away from doing anything around the home. They always came home with something, even if it was only an eel or two squiggly things water snakes I called them. We loved the meat it was our protein fix for the week money wasn’t easy to earn jobs were few and hard to find. Anyone who was working was privileged to have a job no matter what it was, daddy favourite saying beggars can’t be choosers he was right. Fishing and hunting was a talent that took time to learn. I had no interest until much later on after all I was much too young I would have probably eaten the bait never mind catch anything. The brothers would get up to all sorts but couldn’t do a thing wrong if you know what I mean Irish boys and their mothers were like cheese and crackers. When mammy would say something to them they listened for the fear of god was in them. This didn’t stop them when they chose to go off for a wander down the fields when it took their fancy , I used to think its not fair they get to do what they like I am here not able to go anywhere . Uncle tom looked so much like granddad same build was to have the bald patch later on too pipe would have been a favourite of his too but not at this time .We were to see another side to Tom later on that would devide the family for a time . Auntie Mary, Eliza , Dorrie were characters in themselves Mary been the eldest very lady like I would be compared to her a lot in the future which wouldn’t bother me one bit she was someone to be admired for lots of reasons . Eliza was the quiet gentle caring lady wouldn’t talk too much but loved to work. Dorrie was the auntie I only knew from the pictures we have of her a saint I believe she was the most gentle natured person always a giver never a taker. We always believed god took her because he needed her more than we did I would of loved to of met her how interesting she must have been the storied tell a thousand tales. My sister Laura reminds me of her character wise, gentle, giving, caring always looking after others needs before her own. I was so young when Dorrie passed away maybe I was saved from that heartache. I always like to think she is watching from heaven and guiding us through the right paths in life .
The sadness was to stay in our family tree for sometime as nanny’s death followed a mere three years after auntie Dorries death how our hearts plunged into a deep dark hole once again even tough I was only three I could feel the emptiness and the suffering of others and myself I cried out for her like a baby I suppose. It’s like we know something not quiet right and the gap is just there. TRICKLING tears ran down my face like rain drops on the window after a shower of rain but they were salty like sea water and felt so harsh on my delicate skin its like they were taring away at it like a sculpture does at stone . I felt the emptiness in my bones and so did my mother hers was gone and here was mine trying to be her usual hardened self .We could see the wall building up around her and the fake smile that covered the heartache of her broken mind and body . All the family gathered in the family room clocks were covered time stood still people would come from miles to pay their respects to our family sure they didn’t know what to say would any of us only how sorry they were . The priests stood there sipping tea and consoling everyone with a hanky. But all to no avail sure wasn’t this the saddest day ever for us all we had lost the building block the stone , that kept us all together and them stones were falling one by one in our family . Mammy sat beside nanny brushing her hair and kissing her cheek as did all my aunties in turn no one left her on their own as if she was still breathing. The men were like broken down machines because that’s what men are like they just keep going don’t they no matter what. This day they had less parts nothing was working today or for a while to come. She looked like she was sleeping to me nanny I said wake up I want you to tell me a story but she didn’t hear me not knowing this at a young age but insisted that she open her eyes wondering why they wouldn’t to myself but dare not ask why? For fear of upsetting someone.
So I sat there and swung my legs not in a happy manner but in a slow gentle motion and taught god if I had one wish today I would wish for my nanny to wake up and smile please god I screamed out loud please let her smile wake up nanny I shouted wake up but no one heard and nanny was put in the ground this action astounded me into wondering why we would put her there I shook mammy’s hand and asked “why are they putting here in the ground “? That’s not her bed I insisted, but poor mammy’s red raw face from crying just said don’t worry she is going to see god and Dorrie and help all the angels. Flowers were laid like a garden a floral one. We had to leave now and there was a party after strange having a party I taught when nanny is gone celebrating her dying but too young to know it was the done thing as a mark of respect . We had the food the men had a drink tea for the ladies hankies all round I had my blue dress with the white collar on that day which nanny had made for me she made all my clothes sister Laura would have her fashion eye too later on in life .Everyone would touch me on the head and say all she is so cute and sweet that’s all people would say thinking I couldn’t hear but I had ears small but they actually worked. The day was long it dragged and dragged all I wanted was to go home and settle into my bed to sleep and did after several hours of all the banter and chat I wasn’t one for talking when I was young how I would change ha . The days and weeks to follow would be long and hard on the family but things did eventually get back to normal mammy took it easy for awhile daddy watched her to make sure she would be fine like the parents do .