Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Birthday Memories

Most years I write a post on my mother's birthday. Today would have been her 95th. These are some of the memories I've posted since her death ten years ago.

Martha Martha

Today is my mother's birthday. She would have been 86 years old.

Matty would have been 87 years old today. I would have been visiting her with my card and present. Still miss her every day.

This is one of my favourite pictures of her, cradling her great-grandchild and namesake, Martha. She loved that child with all her heart. I wish she could have met Martha's sister, Evie, for she would have been just as adored.

Birthday Memories, July 2014

Matty would have been 88 years old today. I'd always thought she'd live to her nineties for there is a saying around here,

a creaking gate hangs longest.

She had a great concern for her health and was always worrying about something. The odd thing was when she did become seriously ill she barely complained at all.

It's a strange one today. I always think about Mum on her birthday but today I am also thinking about Pearlie who died eight days ago at the age of 88.

During the lead up to the funeral, a great many things were, as we say in Ireland,

put on the long finger. 

These included the vegetable garden, the bees and, of course, the laundry. After the funeral, I washed all of Pearlie's things intending to recycle most of them and today was the first day in many years that I put on a wash that included nothing of hers. It was strange and, to be honest, a bit of a relief.

I mentioned that the bees and the garden were neglected. On the day of Pearlie's funeral, there was a swarm of honey bees hanging from an apple tree. No one had time to deal with it and they flew away. During the wake, the birds finished off the currants but that did not matter too much as I already had pounds and pounds stashed away in the freezer. The vegetables in the polytunnel were unharvested and it all turned into a jungle. I just about managed to keep on top of the watering which was just as well as we had a heatwave.

So here we are - remembering Matty which is poignant and sweet and missing Pearlie Blue which is strange and new.

A photograph of Matty and Pearlie took nine years ago when they were both fit and well. 

28th July 2015

There are only 365.25 days in a year so it's not that great a coincidence when folk share birthdays, anniversaries and so on. Even so,  at 20 years old, I was quite taken that my new boyfriend and my mother shared the same birth date.

Forty-two years later my mum has gone, the new boyfriend is an ex-husband and still a friend. We have between us, three daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson. Today is Mick and Matty's birthday. For the first time in decades, he is here in Northern Ireland and staying with us for a couple of days. He's had a lovely day and said as much on Facebook. Today he went to Belfast Zoo with his partner Linda, his two lovely daughters, his two lovely granddaughters and Fergus. Zoe made him a cake. Tonight he and Linda are here with me and we're watching TV and generally having a nice time.

Matty would be delighted. She was very fond of Mick. Last night, I sorted out a few things and came across her handbag, the handbag she used for the last year of her life, and a gift from me. We got it in an outlet centre in Antrim. For some reason, it ended up here and it was a couple of years before I could even open it. It contains a purse full of euros, all her various cards and this photograph. It was taken not long before she died. It's not even a proper photograph, just a sample from some Photobox pictures that Zoe ordered.

Martha Amy is in the foreground, the only one of her great-grandchildren she ever got to meet, and she is wearing a crazy hat that Matty knitted, And that would be one of the last things Matty ever made. I wonder where it is now? Some one of us will be treasuring it I'm sure, just as I treasure her handbag which is in the picture, sitting at her right hand.

Ah Matty. Missing you still. Happy birthday Mum.

Mick's birthday card

The following is part of a post written in 2018. 

Today was our mother's birthday. She would have been 92 years old. I always thought she'd make it to her nineties but she didn't. And although I don't believe in an afterlife I wish I did because then I'd know she'd be looking out for a special person (1) that she never got to meet but if she had, she'd have loved her very much.

This is from last year

The road, by Sinead

Today was my mother's birthday and it gained another layer of meaning (2).

(1) The special person I was referring to was Ava, Mum's second-born great-grandchild. Ava was very seriously ill in July 2018
(2) Ava died in September 2019. The first person in our immediate family since Matty.

Ava, picture by her Auntie Naoise



London Sister said...

Lovely review Nelly, so pleased to read it and view the pictures

Nelly said...

Thanks, LS. Despite being mostly cut and paste, it took ages to write. Lost in the moment.

Mage said...

I am so very touched.

Nelly said...

Mage, I really appreciate you saying that. I find when I write these sort of remembering posts that I get quite emotional. Hope that you and your good man are well.