I was born on the the 8th of January in 1945 -- the year the war ended in Europe.  By chance, I also share  a birthday with Elvis Presley.  He would have been 80 years old on the 8th of January, 2015.  

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.

Views: 4877

Tags: Family, Literature, Living History

Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on January 3, 2015 at 9:52am

Thank you Ryan O'Rourke for your support in my Wilde Geese adventures 

Comment by Gerry Regan on January 3, 2015 at 10:40am

Mary, go raibh maith agat for sharing this inspiring and poignant personal saga. I'd love to learn more more about your relationship with your granny in the years that followed. And what role, if any, did her faith play in her generosity of spirit and her commitment to her family?

Comment by Fran Reddy on January 3, 2015 at 5:56pm

Thank God for little old Irish granny's! A heartwarming wee tale Mary!

Comment by Jim Gregory on January 6, 2015 at 11:24am

Absolutely beautiful.

Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on January 6, 2015 at 11:55am

There's  lots more where that came from ; in the follow up to my book - That's Juut How It was == my grandmother plays and pivitol role in our lives . Not sure what to call it as yet / 

That's Just How It  Was -- Volum 2 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by John Mc Donaggh on January 7, 2015 at 3:32pm

Hi Mary I would love to know where the picture was taken

Regards John

Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on January 8, 2015 at 5:49am

Hi John 

The picture is curtsy of Ryan O'Rourke + Gerry Regan - as I could not find a picture to go with the story .

Comment by Tom O'Connor on January 20, 2015 at 9:05pm

Hi Mary, would Ryan O'Rourke or Gerry Regan know the location featured in the colour photograph on Facebook, of the men going to and coming from the creamery, as it has aroused a good deal of curiosity?




Heritage Partner
Comment by That's Just How It Was on January 21, 2015 at 5:37am

John - Yes indeed it has aroused a great deal of interest and curiosity ; If I could ask you to contact Ryan O'Rourke - as it was him who contacted me about 'a picture' . I did not have one ; so when I looked at my blog ; the picture that has interested a lot of people - was up with my blog ..

Your first port of call I would advise is -Ryan O'Rourke  


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