Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Last of the O'Sullivan Sisters. Part 2 of 2.

See Part 1 here.

Strange that. How lives that can be so remarkable in hindsight are so very unremarkable when they are actually happening. My Auntie Kit's life was such. She had six children. She took care of her rather nasty mother-in-law (one of those who would drag you by the ear while screeching in weird laughter). When visiting my aunt I remember hiding in a wardrobe to escape the fun and games of Granny M. as they always involved pain of some kind or "teasing" now reclassified under 'abuse'. How her own grandchildren survived her is beyond me.

Auntie Kit joined her husband in his garage business, school bus runs and taxi service. She was one of the first female commercial drivers (I would say) in County Cork. On her Cork City runs she would always drop in for a cuppa and update my mother on life in their village of birth. Driving taxis and buses she would pick up all the news. Her husband, in the meantime, continued at night with his musical life as a band pianist, accordionist and banjo player. There were always sessions taking place in their parlour and as the children grew, they joined him in public appearances.

Her husband died young, reasonably young. Like his mother before him, he didn't believe in doctors so had undiagnosed diabetes. When he died, she reinvented herself as a golfer, bridge player and held Scrabble matches every Sunday night in her house. My father, himself a widower, would never miss a Sunday night at Kit's and when I was home on holidays, myself and my now older children would join the crowd of Scrabblers and munch on her wonderful baking and endless cups of tea. It was always a teetotal house.

She was featured in the paper quite a few years before her death (see above), having turned 90, still playing golf and bridge and driving herself around.

I will remember her as her own remarkable woman - an inspiration and a driving force. As were all the O'Sullivan sisters.


  1. I love reading about your family.
    Many stories this one has shared in the past :)
    Just finished reading
    Anna Quindlen's
    "Still Life With Bread Crumbs"
    for some reason I think you would
    like it.
    Take care
    and surely Spring has to be near
    since I saw a Blue Bird :)

  2. I do love Anna Quindlens's writing. I've read a couple of her others so thanks for the recommendation, Ernestine.

    I love your bluebird pic today :)


  3. It's too bad that in families, so many stories get scattered. I know a lot, but I am sure that if I sat down with my cousins, I'd find out a lot more. I have to make sure I pass things on to my daughter too. Thanks for telling your stories.

  4. Sounds like Auntie Kit was a stoutly independent character who refused to be daunted by anything in life and just soldiered on regardless. Still playing golf and bridge and driving at the age of 90 is pretty good going!

  5. We should all have such longevity and take lessons from Aunt Kit.

    You've honored her dearly in these posts.

  6. You are blessed for having such strong family as well as other ties and also your ability to articulate your feelings about them. I enjoy reading about these people in your life.

  7. WWW, a story well told over two episodes and I loved the photos. You come from a line of strong women. It is always difficult when the last link goes, in my case it was my mother who was also a 1914 baby.

    I'm sitting precariously on the top shelf with all my siblings, none of us want to be the one to break the circle.


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