'Carla is her sisters' hero'
Carla at 26 is big sister to Roisin (15) and Mia (13) and like many siblings all over Ireland, mine miss each other hugely. Carla manages a busy travel agency in Perth and travels widely as a result. Put simply she is her sisters' hero.
Since she left in 2011, the younger two have continued on their journey through the choppy waters of teenage years without her. But they make great use of Skype, Snapchat, Facebook and Whatsapp where they share with her what's happening and she advises them on how to handle all kinds of stuff, including their mother.
Roisin and Mia have shared both of their transitions from junior school into her old alma mater for their secondary education. Carla has tipped them off on various teachers' foibles and other nuggets of school related wisdom.
Carla was with us for Mia's confirmation... via our church's webcam with added Whatsapp test messages. As we tried to embrace the solemnity of the occasion my phone was vibrating with messages such as, "go on Ma, you love the limelight - get up on the altar and give us a wave".
There have been the sad occasions too. We are a family of cat lovers and as our cats all aged, three have died since she has been away, including her own beloved Kitty.
First discos, learning about make up, and even a Junior Cert have all happened without her being here. So there will be lots to catch up on for the next three weeks.
There will be lots of long chats. You know the kind that meander on for hours and are interspersed with lots of slagging. They are the very best part of the homecoming. We cannot wait