In a Word... Family

Not only are we McGarrys multiplying apace but we have longevity, too. Be nice to us

 

My family has had particular devotion to at least one biblical injunction; that to “increase and multiply, and fill the Earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth”.

Maybe not all of it. The emphasis would be on the “increase and multiply” bit. In this pandemic year we have welcomed four new family members, Connor in Sydney, Declan in Philadelphia, Benjamin in Brussels, Isla in Tipperary.

Yes, we are filling the Earth even if subduing it, its fishes, its fowl, and all living creatures, may take a little longer.

These recent four are our 92-year-old mother’s latest great-grandchildren. They are proof, were it needed, that my family will not be put off from doing divine bidding even by a worldwide plague.

All down to character, of course.

It is remarkable to think that our mother is responsible for the existence of 59 people on this planet (to date!), not that she would necessarily see that as a unique personal achievement. We just hope she lives long enough to meet her three new great-grandsons, even if dementia may blunt the emotion. It has also granted her the small mercy of being oblivious to the pandemic.

As well as being responsible for seven of us, 20 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren (so far!), she is a twin, with her brother – our uncle Pat – now living with his daughter and her family in upstate Pennsylvania.

So, not alone are we increasing and multiplying apace but we have longevity on our side, too, to fill and subdue the Earth, as well as rule over its fishes, its fowl and all living creatures. Be nice to us.

However, it also bears out, somewhat, the view of a Ballaghaderreen man many years ago who warned his daughter, then going out with a brother of mine, “watch that fella. All them McGarrys is good for is breedin’.” Certainly we have well-exercised skills in the area.

That man had a family of daughters and one son (RIP), who also had a daughter. The name has died out. Decent people, we take no pleasure in that, even if he might have seen our growth as yet another example of the devil looking after his own.

Family, from Latin familia.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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