*County Awards for St Brigid's Park!* Congratulations to the residents of St Brigid's Park, Ballymore Eustace - the estate won first prize in the Small Estate Section of Kildare County Council's Pride of Place, 2009 See here Martine Rigney and Celine Lipsett at the awards night in Áras Cill Dara. Billy Lennon recieved a Highly Commended Award for his garden in the Best Garden Category. The competition was judged in June of this year and the judges were very complimentary about the estate. Well Done!
Sitting in the lonely cottage of my late Nan’s appeared surreal, performing the same task that I had just organized twelve weeks to the day, for my late uncle Pat. The purpose was to find a suitable photograph that would represent her, so that when family members, neighbours and friends paid their respects in the local church, they could also be reminded of how they liked to remember her.
As I searched through many albums I couldn’t help but find myself drifting away into the past memories as each photograph portrayed a picture to me, giving me a sense of what kind of joyful events that she had participated in throughout her life.
I noticed only some of the albums appeared in sequence, so I assumed Nan had most of the photos randomly situated to her taste. Weddings, dances, local field days and family portraits dating from the 1930s to recent years, presented themselves constantly to me.
I studied the body languages, and the never-ending, long-ago smiles from people I recognised and some I didn’t The photos almost became real to me, I could hear the old record player belting out favourite céili songs that she loved so much, and how she would waltz me around the kitchen floor. By the time I was seven, Nanny introduced me to Irish dancing, she bought me my first dancing costume which still hangs in her wardrobe.
Never a lonely woman, she had so many good friends visiting her regularly. Nobody was allowed to leave her home without a cup of tea with a choice of biscuits or cakes, her cupboard was always full of goodies, extra bags of sweets hidden in her bedroom for the unexpected visits of children.
Suddenly the most suitable photograph popped up at me.
Nanny in the garden with a beaming smile, sitting on her chair smoking a cigarette.
Her scarf and handbag were also items I couldn’t forget to bring along as a mark of
her commemoration, along with one of the many silver cups she won for waltzing.
It was time to go, I looked around at all the pictures on the wall, the overcrowded glass cabinet of dolls, ornaments on the mantle and the remainder of my sweet memories, now only in the company of the lonely tick of the clock.
I couldn’t say goodbye, because Nan has only moved on to a place where I will one day reunite with her.
Deborah Reynolds Hameed.
We accompany Mammy on her
final journey today.
Tom, Sheila, Martin and I must
Now live with our memories of her.
We think of Mam with love today,
But that is nothing new.
We thought about her yesterday
And days before that, too.
We think of her in silence,
We often speak her name.
Now all we have are memories,
And her picture in a frame.
Mam’ s memory is our keepsake,
With which we’ll never part.
God has her in his keeping-
We have Mammy in our hearts.
Elizabeth (Betty) Hassler nee Nugent
September 24th 2009
You’re Home Now
It’s fair to say today marks the end of an era. Mary Nugent – better known as Mona - was loved and respected by family members, neighbours, and friends. Today her family and the local community of Ballymore Eustace say our goodbyes to one of the original pillars in the village.
Hardened by the tough paths in her life that she mostly walked alone, after losing her husband Paddy at an early stage, she might have at times appeared tough. But the people who knew her well, noticed Mona always favoured the vulnerable who needed a helping hand - and therefore was respected in the community of a village she kept close to her heart.
Being a hard worker most of her life, she found time to enjoy herself too, as she loved to waltz to her favourite music - a dance she taught many others in her time. Some of us would say she was made strong hut then many would say she had no choice, as life was hard in her early days but yet she managed to accomplish a lot.
Winning achievements from dancing to running in the married women’s race in Quinn’s field where she was once awarded a prize from the famous Ronnie Delaney she also won trophies, medals and prizes from other events that she so proudly displayed in her home. Mona’s love for prizes led her to bingo halls and the local field days and if she didn’t win, God help the person who awarded the prize to someone else!
Mona’s love and respect for Ballymore remained in her heart till her dying day, her memories will stay with us forever but her respect in Ballymore will be eternal
Today is a sad day but we know she’s with her husband, Paddy; her sons, William and recently deceased, Pat.
Nanny, you’re home now.
And may you dance with the angels forever.
We all love you.