My Auntie Kathy was born in 1926 and passed away at the age of 93 last Monday at around half five in the evening.
My auld maw's first memory was of standing under a banner in Mossend during the General Strike and that's the year that Kathy was born. I thought I'd relate some of the things she told me when I visited her nearly every Thursday I could since she stayed in a place called Corson Court on the Liberty Road in Bellshill. She stayed there for about seven years, moving in right after my maw passed on.
She remembered when she was a kid going to watch the procession of kids going round the church after taking their first communion. She said the No Surrender Unthank Boys started throwing bricks and my maw grabbed her and her brother Dan and rushed them away. She said she worked in a pub called Bigginses in Mossend. I knew some of the pubs up that way, but don't remember that one. It was near what was known as Stevie's corner where demobbed me gathered and they used to buy ten woodbine between them. She told me Peter Manuel, the notorious serial killer, used to help pick up the bins. One day she said he came in and he was very handsome and well dressed. She said he was twirling one of these watches you get on a chain, a fob. The pub was empty. She said he asked if she was on her own and she said Mr Biggins was in the office. But he wasn't.
She often liked telling about going to Northern Ireland on holiday with one of her orange neighbours. She stayed in a village with no catholics in it, but she said the folk were great and the doctor offered to take her to Sunday mass. On th way back to Bellshill, she walked behind an orange band that was coming to Scotland and which her pal was involved with.
She worked in a picture hall called the Alhambra in Bellshill. She seems to have enjoyed working in the Maternity Hospital in Bellshill and in Kirklands which seemed to be for folk with learning difficulties. I'm sure she was very kind to people there. Did sound like it from the stories.
She was fine till about two weeks before she passed away. I saw that she had had a wee shock when I saw her a couple of weeks ago and she was in hospital for a week or so, and then back to Corson Court for a week or so, and then back to Wishaw Hospital.
I was in chalet in Kettle, Fife, when she passed away. I was so pleased that my nephew Kevin went to the hospital and sat with her. The time I spoke to her when she'd had the shock she reminded me of my father telling her she would always have a place with us when her father died. I did like that.
I'm surprised at how affected I've been by her passing. I did visit her nearly every Thursday over the past seven years, but she was ninety three, the same age as my maw passed, and she just ran out of road.
That's Auntie Kathy, Malk and Fiona all in about a year. Talk about intimations of mortality. I really would like a avoid rebirth. I want to meditate more.