Christmas Day this year was really special as our gang hadn’t been together for a long time and it was possible this year because my brother Colin came back from the U.S. to Cork with his wife Lisa and their two kids Alex and Ciara.
We had dinner in my mum and dad’s, my sis Laura was there with her husband Coley and their boys and I was there with Dee and my special two, Brendan and Ellen.
Mum surprised us all with a CD recording of our Gran Ellen who passed away on the 30th July, 2010 at the fine age of 99!
The recording was made at a New Year’s eve party in 1994 at my aunt’s house. Someone obviously got a present of a tape recorder and they decided to make a recording that night. What probably seemed like quite a naff idea at the time was the perfect Christmas gift as it brought Gran Ellen to the dinner table with us.
My cousin’s daughter, Fiona (just 7 at the time) was the skilled interviewer and as a result we heard Gran Ellen (Ellen Burke) talking about her brothers and sisters (there were nine children in the family) and also about her own children. She spoke about how her two eldest daughters went to the States (Renie and my mum, Ann) and how my mum returned after six years. She went on to say that three years later she had a lovely baby boy – me!!
My Gran loved a drop of whiskey and on that New Year’s Eve night she must have had a few as she was in flying form as we heard her sing a few old songs, which we all listened to desperately struggling to hold back the tears!
I sat in the middle of my fabulous family, young and old and I stared at the CD player listening to Gran’s voice as clear as day – she was there with us on this very special Christmas day.
We miss you Gran Ellen x