I was home for 3 days last week for Kevin's funeral. He had a really good send off and I suspect would have quite enjoyed the few days. Kevin was my Godfather.
There were 6 children in the Foley's in all, Nellie, Mary, Joan(who I think may have been christened Hannah), Kevin, Bridie and Sheila(mom,who was christened Julia).
My dad's family also had 6, Dad is the eldest, and then Margeret, after that I'm actually a bit vague on the order of Christy, Paddy, Pauline, and Nancy. This is partially because both Paddy and Nancy died in the 1960s well quite young. Auntie Margeret who was my Godmother passed away, jeez, it must 2 1/2 years ago now.
This means that mom, aunties Joan and Bridie are the sole surviving Foleys. And mom and dad are the sole couple of the bunch. Mom is the youngest of the lot. There were twins that didn't make it to term, they were 2 months shy apparently. Perhaps today they would have made it, I'm not sure but they were both boys I think. My maternal grandmother was a Corkery, and we are also kind of related to Diggins, who I think my grandfather Paddy Foley's mother married after my greatgrandfather died shortly after my grandfather was born.
Those would have been quite small, or less than average family size for their time. I'm not sure I could manage 6, there again, my part were be the more straightforward so I guess it wouldn't be for me to say.
Kind of brings it home,
Families are strange organisations when it comes down to it. You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. And it seems to mark out the fact that blood is a thick, murky treacley substance, full of iron for strenght and family can be a lot like that too.
Love is a odd thing, there are all kinds. In particular I was put in mind of the love that siblings have for each other. You grow up together and probably there is a certain amount of looking out for one another. This can lead to all kinds of tensions as one sibling may feel that they know best as regards what another should do with their life and they will express their disappointment or displeasure at decisions the other sibling(s) make. This is even more problematic when it comes to giving advice or opinions involving the spouse or family of the one's siblings. Mother may be the one who knows best, but she will tend to display more tact or cop on than siblings will.
I've been kind of spared this as Biddy isn't likely to start giving me advice and then resenting me for not following it. It is something that people don't quite understand sometimes. I've never considered my sister as someone with a disability, first and foremost, she's my sister. She's been a pain, an annoyance, and she took my dessert sometimes too. And she never took her turn drying and washing the dishes. But all that was done in the manner of what any sister or sibling would do. And as a result I feel responsible for ensuring that she is ok. I suppose it never occurred to me as a reality that I might actually have to choose between doing that and other things in life. And it's not a choice you can really make. Essentially, the type of person you are makes the choice for you. And you can't realistically ask someone to take on that responsiblity with you, it just wouldn't be fair.
It occured to me recently (actually, I was walking along the Rhine) that God made man in his image, when we come to make something in ours, what will it look like?