My memories of my birthday are very precious. This was due to the fact that there was no material things bought for any of us five children. Times were poverty-stricken. There were certainly no birthday cards nor any of the materialism the youth of today have come to expect.
My birthday was celebrated by the thoughtful love and care of my grandmother who never failed to cut a slice of the Christmas cake. She kept it hidden in her cupboard until the eighth of January every year since I can recall these memories. Thought and care is the essence of love. This was her way of showing her love for me.
Apparently, I was so tiny and ill when I was born that I was not expect to live. That did not wash with my grandmother. She got a box, filled it with old rags and kept me by the fireside massaging my chest and back. She fed me drops of milk and willed me to live. Her thoughtful care and tenacity brought me through the harshness and traumatic phase of those tough times when even the midwives had given up on me. Later on, I found out that she never left me until the crisis had passed months later.
The moral of the story is this: Medical opinions differ, and little old grannies have different opinions.
Thank you, Granny O'Rourke.
Mary Thorpe is the author of "That's Just How it Was," a personal memoir and tribute to her much loved Granny O'Rourke (nee Nolan). It is an attempt to place the stories she heard and was told into a true and historical context.