My sister’s mother-in-law died last weekend and we buried her on Monday. Anne and Bert had been married for more than fifty years and Anne slipped peacefully away on a bed in the living room of the home they shared, the living room in which they held their wedding reception all those years ago. I thought it very fitting that it was the place from where Anne took her leave of us. Of course it is a huge wrench for Bert and for their children, grandchildren, in-laws, extended family and friends and my heart and thoughts go out to them all.
Anne passed away at 9am Saturday morning and within a hour or so had the country screeching with delight when Ireland won their match against Australia. Her son is a huge rugby fan. He’s also a Dub – so Anne sorted them for the All-Ireland too. Good on ye Anne, we knew you’d organise a little luck for us. Anne was a big fan of my writing. When I had my first story published she sent me a lovely letter ( isn’t getting a hand written letter so caring and intimate) complimenting me on the piece and encouraging me to complete the novel I was writing. Writing is such a solitary painfully slow game and every ounce of encouragement is necessary. Anne’s letter will always be cherished by me. The novel was completed and will be published next month.
Anne was a home bird and lived for her husband and her family. Bert and herself were like Darby and Joan, tootling away together fully content with each other after half a decade. I was only in their house twice but on both occasions I felt relaxed the minute I walked in. Their house was warm and comfortable and loving, full of the smells of baking and the sounds of life. Anne idolised all her grandchildren and was a tremendous help to her daughter and her daughters-in-law in caring for their children. Anne believed in the core values of family, home and happiness, good food and laughter. She loved to yap and I was always glad to see her at family functions. She had a way of immediately putting you at your ease. My own dear mother – who sadly died far too young over twenty years ago - and Anne got along like a house on fire. They both loved a bit of style and never went anywhere without a bit of ‘lipper’ and a touch of eye shadow.
Wherever Anne is she is at peace, all toil is over. I know she will look out for all those she had to leave behind and will be cheering on her grandkids at whatever ventures they choose for themselves. We were lucky to have known her.
Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam