Last Friday the phone rang, far too early for it to be good news. I sat bolt upright in the bed, while my husband scrambled his hand around the dresser to answer it. Sadly my Aunty Cherry had passed away, my father's sister. He is the last of the six now.
I flew to Dublin on Sunday. Cherry was surrounded by family, laid out in her sitting room She looked beautiful, aunts, uncles and friends, cousins; once, twice, thrice removed, all in attendance.
After the service in Dublin, we convoyed to County Kildare, an hour below the city. Cherry was buried with her mother in Nurney, close to the family farm in Kildoon, a place she loved.
She was glamourous, petite. Had a penchant for shoes with high heels. She was my favourite aunt. When she took you out, in her Morris Minor, (I think it was pale blue,) she spolied you rotten. I'd promised I'd visit many times. I never made it. I'm cross with myself now.
Although very sad, it is also a time to see lovely relatives you forget you have. Swapping stories is great, but you can't compete with the Irish tales.
These days I only go back to Ireland for the sad times. I'm determined to take our babies to see their cousins..........they know their English heritage, time they knew their Irish breeding.....