Monday 22 January 2018

Eleanor McGrath: Why, in these tough times, it’s even more important to appreciate those beautiful sunsets

MY parents bought the sculpture "Esperanza" five months before my mother died of brain cancer at 48 years old. There was nothing particularly impressive about the sculpture except its weight. It was a simplistic depiction of a young girl, slender leaning possibly from the weight of a water pail hoisted on her shoulder.

They bought it because my mother said she liked it. More importantly having been a Spanish student at university it spoke to her in a language that had brought her and my father together: he never attended Spanish class and asked to borrow her notes (of course he got the A!) and that is how the romance began.

It was a week before Christmas 1988 when I stood at the back of church that Sunday with some of my younger siblings, as the priest spoke solemnly about my mother’s death the day before. I could tell you that it is a blur but that would be a lie as I am more cognizant than ever about that period, about every detail. This year I am just one away from 48.

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