Monday, February 04, 2013
And Then There Were Three............
As I've said in some blog post years ago, my mum was one of twelve; yes good guess, a Catholic family ! As far as I know, the photo above is the only one of the lot of them together and by my reckoning, was taken in the mid 1930's.
I say this because my mum was born in 1922 and she is the one 3rd from the left holding the youngest, Kevin.
As of today, Kevin is the only male still alive as his brother, Edmund, died last night. It seems he had cancer but swore Kevin to secrecy and he kept that secret. Edmund and Kevin left the ancestral farm in N. Ireland while I was still at school there and moved to England. They lived about 85 miles apart since then and visited each other regularly.
Over the years, death has reduced the 12 until now only 3 remain, 2 aunts still in N. Ireland and Kevin in England. The irony is that I'd been planning on visiting Edmund for some weeks now and kept putting it off. I've all the time in the world and he lived in a delightfully picturesque English village called Chaddersley Corbett near Kidderminster in the Midlands so it's a nice drive and a lovely destination.
Sadly that came into my thinking as I decided I wanted good weather for the 300 mile return trip and even thought about getting a Travelodge or something nearby to spread the visit over 2 days. Then, as I've thoughts about visiting Devon this summer, I thought about visiting Edmund on the way down there as my route would take me only a few miles from him.
Now it's too late. He's gone.
We rarely know what the future holds although to some extent, Edmund did. I can't say that hiding his cancer from everyone robbed me of getting to see him as he had it for a relatively long time and I've had more than enough time to go and visit him......I just kept putting it off. My fault.
The 12 were always very close. When I was growing up, the aunts and uncles were always visiting each other and rarely a day passed without one or another dropping in for a cup of tea and a 'bite to eat.' It was that generation - no mobile phones, no internet. If you wanted to chat, you visited.
I found out about Edmund's death via a Skype call from a relative in Manchester.
We may have moved on enormously in terms of communication options but somehow I feel we've lost something along the way.