Last Saturday we had a day of Summer. In the midst of all this rain, it was balmy, we lunched in the garden and even Mme Pounce was feeling benign towards the baby Blue Tits. She waved a lazy paw at them as they swooped past her on their way to the new bird feeders.
The good weather was obviously having an effect on Himself and he chose right between the second cup of tea and a dish of home grown strawberries to mention a trip to Galway. Having had a peek at the week to come weather wise, Atlantic gales followed by rain, rain and more rain on Wednesday and Thursday, I issued an ultimatum. Don't mention Galway unless you have thoroughly checked the forthcoming weather forecast. We're off to Navan tomorrow instead. By car. In comfort. Dry. There is an antique store up there that I have a passion to explore. I need a new desk. Investigation day in Auctioneer/Antique store #1234,5678,999 coming up.
I'm not looking for something ridiculously expensive. If it has a couple of homely dents in it, so much the better. When Mme Pounce decides to use it as a sharpening post behind my back, I promise her fan club faithfully I shall not assassinate the hussy for the damage. I might get forgetful about cuddles though.
One of my elderly cousins died last week. She celebrated 92 years last October, and was hale and hearty living her own independent life until fifteen months ago. An early breakfast accompanied by cover to cover reading of The Irish Times every morning, followed by daily Mass in the local church, home after a coffee with one or other of the millions of friends she had, and a phone around to all the children [Mondays] grand-children [Tuesdays] and great-grand-children [Wednesdays. Thursday morning was grocery shopping in the local small supermarket; delivered by "that young lad Seamús" that afternoon. Seamus was 62 and was in the same swimming club as I was when we were children, but at 92...62 is a baby.
Friday was Day Trip day with the Ladies Club and Saturday was housework day. Sundays were organised around the two children [57 and 63 respectively] living locally and the second and fourth Sundays were Mass at 10 a.m., lunch with newspapers in a local pub and an examination of each issue in the paper with friends. Evenings spent playing the piano. In fact, she often made it clear that family life got in the way of book reading, piano playing and setting the world to rights.
Fifteen months ago she took a bad fall, broke her hip and spent six months in hospital. This lady who, up to her fall, talked two miles to my home village every afternoon and took the bus back to her own village, hail, rain or snow, was disgusted that following the fall, she had to use a walker and the two mile trip was a thing of the past. One thing followed another and she began to suffer stomach pains, a thing unheard of in someone with the constitution of an ox. A tumour developed and was rampant and inoperable before you could say ~Atisshoo~, and on the 19th of this month, she stole away peacefully in the night to join her husband, her closest friend and cousin my Mum, and all the generations of a family of whom she was extremely proud.
I shall miss her dreadfully. She was my last link to my Mum. They were almost identical in looks, being cousins and best friends and close as children and adults, listening to her was like hearing Mum's soft gentle voice again. Edwina [Edie] was wonderful when Mum passed on. A tower of strength. Many's the night we talked about their childhood here, where I live.
Thirty years and some months separated us in age, and, in keeping with family tradition she was the archivist of her branch of the family. Mum was our archivist. None of Edie's children ever had the same interest, and I am the last archivist of the family left who actually met a lot of the "older generation". I have told my girls our history. YD is the one most likely to continue the tradition, ED will have the written version.
Edie's Grandfather was my Grandfather's favourite brother. Most alike in looks, mine was the younger, a bachelor until his late 40's, he helped support his brother's ever increasing family financially. I remember Edie's Grandfather, he used to give me an old 3d on a Sunday "to buy sweeties"; the image of my Grandfather, he is the reason I have a picture in my head of my Grandfather who died in '32 when Mum was three.
Just for to-day Lord
I ask you to stay,
Help me and guide me
on my lifetimes way,
And when the hour comes Lord
at the end of my day,
I'll go with you Lord
wherever you say.
A prayer Edie taught me as a child.