It was with sadness and a sense of loss that the news filtered through of the passing of a good neighbour, Chrissy Morrissey of Collins Park, Callan.
I have lived directly across from the Morrissey family for close on 10 years now, which I must say I always found enjoyable. There are times that my own health may not be up to scratch, and as much as I can do at times is to sit outside my front door, maybe playing a few tunes, maybe not, watching the children play on the green in front of my house.
I could be sitting outside my door, and Chrissy would sit in the sunshine, on her bench, or chair whichever, smoking her cigarette with a smile and a good word for everyone who passed her way. A big woman, who reared a big family, and who had a big, big heart.
I used to love to sit and watch as school ended for Chrissy’s grandchildren, then on they would come, one or two at a time, as their school bags were launched from their backs like scud missiles, before running to Nanny for a big cuddle, from a big hearted mother and grandmother. Chrissy used to like to hear me play a few tunes from time to time, and it was always a pleasure for me to do so for her.
John and Chrissy’s house is one of the last houses left around where the door is always on the latch and the kettle on the boil. It brings me back to when I was a chap growing up in the 1960s, watching and listening to the children laugh and play, running in and out, across and back, as children should – not stuck in front of a computer all evening as many children do nowadays.
I was blessed – yes, blessed, meaning most fortunate – to be invited by John and his family to sit with Chrissy as she patiently sat, or lay, and waited in the departure lounge of life, with great courage belief and acceptance, as she waited to be called home, to rest peacefully in the love and care of the dead generations of her people who were waiting to take Chrissy into God’s care.
Life moves on as it does, we grow older and things around us change, yes the two certainties in life, death and change. I am a man who is glad to have witnessed the last of the relic of old decency within the folds of the Morrissey family.
I don’t need to conclude by saying, the light of heaven to you Chrissy, or something like ‘may heaven be your bed tonight’. No, there is no need for me to say anything like that, for believe me, God had Chrissy in the palm of his hand long before Chrissy drew her last breath.
I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Chrissy’s husband John, to Chrissy’s children who were by her side right down to the end, and of course Chrissy’s grandchildren and great grandchildren, ‘the jewel in her crown’.
Thank you for being you Chrissy, we will drink tea again Chrissy, play some tunes, smoke a few cigarettes and watch the children play again.
Thanking you Chrissy, respectfully yours,
Frank and Zoë Murphy, Callan