RELATIVE STRANGERS—BUT NOT FOR LONG
I am the eldest of twelve children, but my upbringing was so oddball that once I became old enough to leave home, in the interests of retaining my sanity, I did just that. An unfortunate side effect was to create both a physical and emotional distance from my siblings which wasn’t helped by the fact that my mother moved to Spain from Ireland, got re-married and became a countess. Yes, I know that sounds like something out of a novel, but it just happens to be true.
These events have resulted in my seeing most of my siblings only rarely to the point where I now have numerous nieces and nephews whom I have never met at all. That’s sad, I hear you say—and I cannot but agree, and hope to remedy that situation in 2013. Why didn’t that happen earlier? Living 6,000 miles apart hasn’t helped and the sheer pace and complexities of life made another contribution.
My brother Rex’s tragic death by drowning in later 2011 was the catalyst that started to bring me back into the fold and particularly to reintroduce me to my sister Lucy. Lucy is the youngest in the family, certainly the sanest, and may well be the prettiest.
Once she grew up, she married a Ghanaian and produced remarkably gorgeous children. Good genes will out—and her father, my much loved stepfather, Alfred, possessed movie-star good looks.
Two of sister Lucy’s stunning children, my nieces, are pictured above. They are respectively Faith and Victoria—and I am fiercely proud of them—and above all of Lucy, who has proved to be a mother of singular courage and determination.
True grit, indeed.