In our family, Mam was my guiding light. She set the example of what a good wife, mother and friend should be
She always did her best to be patient with all of her children, and there were eight of us, so that was no easy feat.
She tried to carve out some quality time with each of us, and believe me, we were all jealous when it was someone else’s turn. However, that just shows you how much we all loved her and wanted that one-on-one time with Mam. When it was your turn, you found out that she hadn’t really missed out on anything that was going on in your life, she just hadn’t talked with you about it yet.
Mam was also a fantastic friend. She always saw the good in people, and if she saw the bad, she certainly didn’t gossip about it. If you needed her, she was there and asking what she could do to help. Mam was there for all the highs and lows of her friends lives, and I think the size of the gathering here is a testament to how much they all loved her. She was also a great cook and the smell of Apple Tarts cooking in her kitchen was her speciality and have drawn people from near and far and am sure that many people here have tasted at one time or another.
As much as I’d like to think I was Mam’s favourite child, I know she truly didn’t have one. We were all her favourite in one way or another. She always used to talk about what wonderful carpenters our brothers Michael and Eddie are. Our eldest brother Pat was her dependable child. She said God had, “built Pat solid”, and she was thankful she could lean upon him if she needed to. She adored our brother Tommy’s sense of humour since it was so like her own. They shared many a private laugh together about things that went over the rest of our heads. Mary and Josie were her ‘quiet ones’. Mam said that whenever Mary and Josie were especially quiet, that meant they was thinking up a storm on the inside. She was always very proud of Annette and how as a hairdresser she was so good at doing her hair with a beautiful smile.
Mam had a great deal of faith and rarely missed Sunday Mass. One hymn was her particular favourite and I remember how she used to light up whenever ’Be Not Afraid’ was sung at Mass. She truly believed that she could, ‘pass through raging waters in the sea and not drown’, because God was with her the entire time. I know that’s how she felt about her battle with cancer. She knew that even if the cancer won, God would be there with her to carry her safely to Heaven in honour of her faith and her life, a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and above all a great friend. I guess people are right when they say God only takes the best, because we all know now that you’re peacefully at rest Liz.