Jan 31 2020

‘When I was sick…’

Published by at 10:51 am under News

I never liked being sick when I was a little boy, because I had to stay indoors and I couldn’t go out to play with my pals. Sure even now I hate being stuck indoors. All my brothers and sisters would have gone off to school and I was left in bed on my own. There was never a noise outside because my pals as well were all in school. The Ma’ would come up the stairs to check on me and make sure I was comfortable before she headed off to the shops to get her messages. It was only on the rare occasion that a doctor was involved in any of us being sick, the Ma’ would consult with my Granny or our older next door neighbour, as to what to do. And if it was a Friday the Da’ would arrive home from work with a great big bottle of Lucozade for whoever was sick. That was always sure to get us back up on our feet fairly quick and sometimes he’d even bring us home a Comic to read while we were in bed. I used to keep my comic under my pillow. I used to love reading about Dennis the Menace and his dog Gnasher or about Desperate Dan and his Cow Pie with a pair of cow’s horns sticking out of it. The comic was always guaranteed to cheer me up no end. Two of my brothers used to always sleep beside me at night when we had to go to bed but when I was sick they had to sleep at the foot of our bed, down the far end. My brother Noel used to always tell us ghost stories before we’d go to sleep, he used to make them up as he went along but we didn’t know that until years later. I remember him telling us a haunty story about a hand that would come in through the window and crawl into our bed and we’d be roaring in terror until the Da’ would come up and tell us to get to sleep. And even then Noel would be running his hand up and down our legs to frighten us. But if one of us little ones became ill it would do the rounds of the rest of the family. I remember when my sister Anne got the measles and the Da’ says ” I hope it’s not German Measles”. That was the worse thing you could get according to the Da’ because his cousin fought against the German Army during WWII. Sure us kids didn’t know the difference, measles were measles and meant confinement in bed for a few days, a terrible experience altogether. I remember one time when I was nearly better and the Ma’ let me little pal, Willier Kavanagh, come up the stairs to see me. I was delighted of course to see him and he started off telling me about a scrap between two boys in our school yard and how the headmaster broke up the fight with his cane. I was raging at missing all the excitement. Willier was my bestest pal in school and we started off in the convent when we were only four years old and we were holding hands as we walked up our road because we thought we were big boys now. Willier is with Holy God now and I still think of him and all the great times we had as kids playing cowboys on the railway and kicking an oul tin can for a football. Sure I remember the many times him and I would sit at our kitchen table after school and the Ma’ would feed us both. But once I became better from being sick I was like a wild stallion trying to break out of his corral in a cowboy film, I’d be after bursting a gut to get outside and play. The Ma’ would be standing at our hall door watching me climbing over our front gate with a look on her face that said “Whose next”?

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