Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Easter Snow

Five years ago, in the week following Easter, I sat down at our kitchen table in the Holly Cottage to write a story. I had been enjoying writing my random pieces in the Holly Cottage blogspot – tales of ordinary life, gardening, changing seasons etc. But I had a story rattling around in my head and it wouldn’t let me go. So I sat down, I opened my Mac, and I let it flow.

The story revolves around a nursing home. Not quite rock and roll I hear you say, but it’s certainly a setting in which all phases of life pass through at some point and therefore perfect for this story.

And the inspiration? Well, my godfather – Paddy - suffered a serious stroke back in 2007. The poor man never recovered and spent half a year being cared for in the nursing home local to where I was living at the time. I went to visit him once a week. Sometimes he knew me, sometimes he didn’t. Sometimes I was his sister who died when they were teenagers, sometimes I was a nurse. When I walked in those doors, all carefree and able, I walked into another world. And every week I left knowing my health, youth and freedom and how precious that is.

A few years earlier, the ashes of his sister – Lily - who had emigrated to the USA back in the 1940s were returned. Paddy buried her ashes in the graveyard near their home under the shadow of the Hill of Uisneach. I had met her in New York about ten years previous. She was a doll – pure New Yorker, twang and all - lover of cats and friendly neighbour to all who lived in the crammed-with-tiny-apartments building that she called home. She died on her own and after her leaving sixty years previous, they were never to meet in person.  When he collected the lunchbox that contained her ashes at the airport in Dublin, he stepped right up and he hugged it tight. They are together now, buried with two of their three sisters, and their father and mother.

Both of them were to the fore of my mind writing The Easter Snow. She died penniless, after working in a fashion industry that paid little enough. Though he must have thought she had made it. He died with those few of his family left around him that would hold his hand or wipe his mouth dry, when he drank from the strange plastic cup with built in straw that was filled with milky tea in the nursing home for him.

I guess I needed to re-unite them in a way.

And that’s the story behind the story. Five years later, after a few sincere attempts at getting it published the right way, I decided to just put it out there. I use Createspace. If you feel inspired, here's the link: go find it. And then tell me what you think. Does it make you smile? Does it make you think? That’s all I ask.

The Easter Snow is a tale of love and loss, regret and awakening, and finding ourselves where we are. It’s a simple story. Enjoy.

C xxx 

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