Thursday, March 12, 2009

Birthday Remembrance for Irene.
Pictured above is my mother-in-law Irene Keating who died tragically last year after a car crash. I meant to do this yesterday as it was her birthday but I didn't get the chance with Anna Manahans burial, so here it is today - a day late, as I generally am with birthdays anyway.
Irene was a woman in a million; loving, strong, fun, supportive and great, great craic. It was truly the worst day of mine and all her families lives when she died.
Irene was known by and to, so many people who still genuinely miss her and grieve her loss sorely. I really hate it when, on hearing about her death, some people ask how old she was. You can see them making a value judgement about the tragedy or not of her death based on how old she was and whether they figure that she had a 'good innings'. Well she did not have a good innings insofar as, despite the fact that Irene was in her early 70's, she had more life in her and left in her than many MANY people I know who are years and even decades her junior.
She was such a big personality that her passing has left a big hole in our lives and it has been hard for the family to find a new focus. No-one could ever replace a mother anyway. But nothing could ever replace Irene.
She was - and I know this is often said about people who have died, but in this case it is monumentally true - the life and soul of the party. She had so much joie de vivre. So many people live long and miserable lives but Irene lived (despite her own considerable share of tragedy) a joyous and full life.
At this time I remember the many birthday parties (and any-old-reason parties) that involved Irene. One motto she lived by was 'never go home on the same day you go out!' and by God she lived by it, extracting as much fun and giving as much pleasure as she could out of every minute that she could!
It is hard to believe that this is her first birthday gone from our sight. But not from our minds. Not for a long time yet.
I know that Irene is fondly remembered all over Waterford at this time. I hope that she's having a birthday hooley with her beloved Michael - also taken so tragically and quickly from us not too long before Irene. I know that somewhere she's singing, waving that glass of red wine around and that Michael is probably trying to encourage her to go home! Afterall, it is the day after her birthday!
Happy Birthday Irene. We all miss you and can't believe you are gone.

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