In a Word . . . Ruby

 

My brother Seán and his wife Ann have lived in Philadelphia since 1980.They have six children and 19 grandchildren. To date. Yet Seán and Ann celebrate their 11th anniversary today. Go figure, as they say in the US.

You should know that of their six children, five had babies last year. Is this a record?

All babies are girls. Many times recently in the family we have recalled the words of a neighbour many years ago.

His daughter was going out with another brother of mine and he warned her: “Be careful with that fella. All them McGarrys is good for is breeding!” Were proof needed, he had it in spades last year.

One of Seán and Ann’s big babies is Michelle, mother of one sweet daughter of 2015. Recently, she posted this wonderful piece on Facebook:

“I don’t sleep through the night. I haven’t in six years.

“I don’t take long showers & I’m lucky if I wash my hair twice a week.

“Speaking of hair, mine is so grey & the ends so split that it’s a bun day, every day.

“My clothes are over or under sized, stained or out of style. Not sure I own a matching pair of socks without holes in them.

“I rarely sit for a meal, when I do I get up several times. I’ve perfected the art of standing while eating.

“Not sure when I was at the movie theatre last. The days of going out to eat are long gone.

“I keep in touch with friends through text. The close few that I have left, I cherish.

“If someone came to me & told me these things, I’d be extremely sad for them.

“Yet I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Being a mother to four kids under 6 is absolutely insane but I never want it to end. I’m afraid to blink because they say that’s how quickly it will be over. So, for now I will sleep, barely, with one eye open.

“I’ll worry about that hygiene thing some other time & I’ll cherish every.single.moment from here on out. This I promise.”

Gawd, that is so good.

Oh, Seán and Ann got married on February 29th, 1976, a leap year.

Happy 40th (ruby) anniversary guys.

Ruby from medieval Latin rubinus lapis “red stone”, and ancient Latin rubeus, meaning “red”.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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