It is Christmas eve already in Ireland and I have been thinking Christmas eve gone by in Ireland which always meant a visit with my Dad to our family friend Mary Keating who had a Christmas Eve birthday. Here is a post I wrote about her on Dec 24, 2007.

In loving memory and Happy Birthday

I was a very lucky little girl and had not only two Grandmother but I had another Grandmother like figure in my life. She was also called my Dad’s girlfriend and Gwen knew all about her and approved. Dad visited her every Tuesday night without fail and god forbid if he was late or Gwen got a phone call to say ” Is he on his way?”

I talked about Mary and her husband Dick on another post about Lee Rowing Club.   Here is what I wrote:


“Mary Keating was like my third grandmother. Dick her husband died many years ago and since then every Tuesday night my Dad had a date with her and was know to everyone as my Dad’s girlfriend. Mary’s birthday was Christmas eve and we visited her always on this day. Her home was also a place to visit on family occasions such as College graduation etc. My fondest last memory of Mary was dancing with her at Brian’s wedding. I last spoke to her on Christmas Eve 2005 and she told me she had her maxi dress all ready to dance at my wedding the following September. Unfortunately she died a few weeks later and never made it to my wedding but we did light a candle for her on the altar that day! My memories of my childhood are filed with Mary and Dick at the club.”
Dad has already had a visit to St. Joseph’s cemetery in Cork and left some flowers for me and here in California we are lighting the candle we had on the alter on our wedding day for her:

It says:

In Loving Memory
Mary Keating
This light shines
as a symbol 
of a 
Where every  I was I either called to her house or on the phone on Christmas Eve and without even saying hello, I said ” How many candles are on the cake this year?” and I was politely told to mind my own business. Of course I always knew the answer to the question but we loved the banter we had with each other. She always told me how beautiful I was and how proud she was of me and about 10 times I heard how wonderful her favorite “son” was. This was my dad who was not her son but she saw him as if he was and told him that all the time.
Here are some photos I found on my back up harddisk:

Mary with her favorite son at Brian’s wedding

At Len’s 60th birthday with my friend Alison

What two beautiful similes!

Mary I hope you are up above and you are in your maxi dress dancing and watching a good game of football!

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