The Ghost of Christmasses Past

This afternoon, I stood in my late mother’s house in the front room
looking at the fireplace and then peering up Trimleston Park towards
Woodbine Avenue. All I could feel was the ghost of Christmases past,
my brothers and the Old Dear and the coal fire in the hearth at
Christmas. Even Millie Cole across the green died last month aged 98 a
truly magnificent woman. I thought of all the good people who lived in
my neighbourhood. Life as a kid was full of other kids. Crowds of
kids. Nice guys, ordinary Joes, smart guys, sly guys, bullies and
there were those, criminal types and there were those. Blackrock,
Oatlands, Marian, Sion Hill, Muckross Park and Gonzaga. We were lucky
in the midst of emigration and poverty. Life, after all, is about
people not things. My cousin Sally, same age as me, died from colon
cancer last month. John Dillon is dead a few years now. That’s it now
– We must share what we have because the greedy bastards are all as
rich or poor as each other in the grave.