Monthly Archives: February 2014

Families need to stay in touch

My late mother, Kitty
My late mother, Kitty

My mother is dead four years today. It is hard to believe that life would ever get back to normal after her death. Everything reverted around her. At that time it seemed as if we would never recover from the void her death left in our lives. Her home was the headquarters of our family. It was the stopover en route to Dublin. A lively fire blazed from the fireplace and the kettle was always hot. A warm welcome emanated from the hallway when she pulled the door open. She was always thrilled to see me, particularly when it was an unannounced visit. Her excitement was very vivid like a child opening a parcel. She was a lonely woman after my father’s passing eight years previously. She lived for her children. You felt a deep love while in her presence and it is something that will never fade away from my memory.

 ” Families need to stay close during the challenging times.”

After exchanging our news and views she would focus her attention on the needs of all family members. She worried about us and wanted each one of us to be healthy and happy. If I was working in Dublin she would remind me to visit my sister there. She would enquire about when was I speaking to my brother last. Or had I remembered to send a birthday card to my eldest sister in America. And when they visited her she did the same. We were brought up as a close family. She always maintained that family was the greatest resource of all in our times of worry. When we gathered around her table for Christmas dinner we witnessed that bond not merely through our physical presence but through a bond that ran deeper. She nurtured this interdependency over the decades.

My mother and I at my graduation at University of Ulster
My mother and I at my graduation at University of Ulster

“Even after our parents move on to the next world our families still exist and need to be nurtured.”

Family is a great resource and a gift. We often take the people closest to us for granted. Now that the home house is empty and the headquarters is no more, my family need to make a bigger effort to ensure that our relationships do not drift – that we remain close to each other. We need to make that special effort to plan for reunions and always visit each other when passing by. I often wonder how many families even sit around the table anymore and connect with each other in a real and meaningful way. Even in restaurants I see people texting or reading their ipads at what is essentially a special occasion that is passing them by. This is a precious life and we need each other. While I will always feel a profound sadness when I think of mother’s passing, I take comfort from knowing that even without my parents being present, we still remain a family. My mother would be thrilled if she was looking down on us today.

People need people. Social events energise us. We should never detach ourselves from our families.
People need people. Social events energise us. We should never detach ourselves from our families.