You never met her Claudia, but oh she was wonderful.
Kind and gentle,
Rosy-cheeked and mischievious,
Always with cold hands – great for making pastry! – but a warm heart,
And a giggle that was infectious.
One in a million.
I was taking you to meet her this weekend,
It was going to be your first time on a plane,
Your first time travelling to Ireland,
To introduce you to a very special person.
We were going today, but instead I’ve had to travel without you.
Making the journey to say goodbye,
When we should have been travelling together – you, me, your big sister Allegra, and Aunty Chrissy
We should have been travelling together to say hello!
Hello to a Granny and Great-Granny who already loved you and your sister immeasurably, even though she had never met you and only met Allegra a handful of times.
I’m so thankful that she met Allegra, but so sad that she never had a cuddle and kiss with you,
My littlest boo.
You would have loved her Claudy, I just know it – babies have a way of figuring out who are the good ones and you would have known that she was just that: one of the good ones.
One of the great ones.
We were lucky to have had her for so long.
You never got to meet her Claudia, but you will know her,
For we will talk about her often,
We will reminisce
We will speak her name and share our memories,
And we will keep her alive in our hearts.
You and your sister, you will know her.
You will know that Great-Granny Walsh was kind and was generous.
She gave to others, even when she didn’t have much to give.
That her faith was so very important to her and I’ve no doubt that she is happy now, to be with God, to be at peace.
I told Allegra that Great- Granny Walsh is now in the sky, with the angels and she is very excited that Great-Granny will have wings and live in the clouds, even though she also said “owwwwww but I want to see her mummy.”
I want to see her too.
I want to see her happy and healthy and full of life, throwing holy-water at me and saying “god bless you.”
I want to see her getting excited over the football or willing a horse to “go on, go on” in the Grand National. She loved the horses.
I want to see her eating her favourite Pringles, or rummaging in her handbag for one of those mints she seemed to have an endless supply of.
I want to see her at the Dogs – picking out which to bet on with a mixture of strategy and sheer luck. She always knew how to back a winner.
13 – that was her lucky number.
Born on the 13th,
She lived at number 13 too.
And guess what?
Guess what gate number my flight departed from as I set out on my journey to say goodbye?
It made me smile.
It brought tears to my eyes too,
But it made me smile.
“Holy Mary Mother of God!” – she’d say,
Or, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!”
“That one’d take the priest off the altar”
“Ah, feck it!”
“Good man yourself”
– her funny little sayings, I can hear her saying them all now.
I’m sad I won’t hear her say them again,
But maybe I’ll adopt a few.
You never met her Claudia, but wow to be even half the woman she was:
Kind-hearted and gentle
Loving, so very very loving.
She could be stubborn,
Boy could she be stubborn!
But she knew her own mind and she was independent, self-sufficient, and remarkable.
A little woman, with a big heart.
You never met her Claudia,
But oh – she was wonderful.
We love you Granny, Great-Granny Walsh.