|Marie Ross 26/08/46 - 19/04/10
||[Apr. 29th, 2010|09:26 pm]
She wore no jewels, nor costly diamonds, |
No paint or powder, no, none at all.
Born to Peter and Mary Kelly on 26/8/1946 my mum grew up at the "pre-fabs" in Stane Place, Shotts before moving to 120 Tulloch Road, Springhill in 1961
An only child she lived there with her parents and her Uncle John Brown and for a little while her Auntie Peggy. Her mother’s sister Kate Gill, her husband Wullie and son William lived nearby and were an ever present part of her life.
She grew up in a mining family, in a mining community, she inherited from her parents and family a firm sense of right and wrong and a deep seated intolerance of injustice. Her father Peter's life had three firm foundations, the Catholic Church, Glasgow Celtic and the NUM, Marie inherited all of these and did her best to carry them on to her children and grandchildren.
She went to Saint Patrick's Primary School, passed her 11 plus and attended Holy Cross in Hamilton with her friends Maureen Cusick, Margaret Hill, Cathy McBirney, Cathy Connor and Patricia-May Hughes. She always regretted spending more time in the Carlton Cafe in Hamilton than studying. When she wasn’t in the Carlton, she’d be off to Galbraith’s to pick up fresh butter for her mum.
Summers were sometimes spent with the Cusick's at Drumlish, County Longford. We were all often regaled by tales of travel on the cattle boat leaving the Broomielaw and the privations that went with this.. It was around this time that Marie made a pilgrimage to Lough Derg, sadly, not all of us have followed in these footsteps of hers yet!
On leaving school she got a job as a computer operator at Glasgow City Council then found a position at Honeywells, following in her fathers footsteps she became a shop steward there with the AEU
Around this time she met Pat as they travelled to Parkhead with the Shotts Celtic Supporters Club.
They fell in love and got engaged to be married, the ceremony taking place at St Pats on 05/10/68. To celebrate their engagement Pat took Marie to the pictures to see Guess Who's Coming to Dinner at the Odeon in Glasgow. Pat had just finished a nightshift and slept throughout the film, presumably he didn't snore then the way he snores now or the whole thing might have been called off.
The wedding might have been earlier but for the expense of Pat going to the European Cup Final in Lisbon, but he did take with him the green and white tammy she had knitted for him, maybe it even brought the team a little Shotts luck.
They were blessed on 1st of August 1969 with the birth of their first child Michael, the first of 6, Peter, Stephen, Marie, Gemma and Gary following over the next 13 years.
Bringing up a family in the 70's was not an easy task, but with the help of her ever present parents, she was able to bring up her children and support her husband as Pat tried a number of careers, including Insurance Sales and running a mobile shop, before finding his feet in the licensed trade and moving to Motherwell. She even worked for a short while at the famous Timpo Toys factory in Torbothie, but never brought home enough soldiers or cowboys for Michael and Peter.
She was very protective of her children, fearing the corrosive influence of Punk Rock and Top of the Pops, she took Michael and Peter to Thursday Night devotions at St Pat's for almost two years, unfortunately looking at the way all six of us have developed our musical tastes over the years I'm afraid it didn't quite work. Eventually she came to accept, if not always appreciate the music we played in the house. As a huge fan of the Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners she was, at least, able to share our fondness for the Sawdoctors and the Pogues even joining us on occasion at Barrowlands for gigs.
Marie was the disciplinarian in the house as Pat spent so much time working, in the pubs and earlier jobs, every one of the children felt the wrath of her slipper across their backside, but rarely more than once.
She regretted not getting as much out of school as she could have but she was determined to make up for this later, going to night school to get her higher English in the 70's and joining Peter and Michael at OLHS to do O grade Spanish in the 80's
When Pat took over the Railway Tavern she tried to keep the family in Shotts, a place that always held a special place in her heart, but the anti social hours Pat was keeping made a move to Motherwell inevitable and the family left Shotts in the winter of 1983. But Shotts came with her, her parents and aunt and uncle came down almost every day to help out with things needing done in the house and garden and helping her to care for her family. They’d get off the bus outside the library in Hamilton Road every morning around 10Am, and during school holidays would find themselves besieged by a horde of weans demanding sweets.
The family home became a place of refuge and comfort for generations of young people, from Motherwell and beyond. Friends of her children, from all over the town and wider afield would gather round the dining room table for tea sympathy and pieces. Aside from the six of us, the 12 grandweans and 10's of neices and nephews there were at least a couple of dozen school and Uni friends, many of them who joined us at her requiem mass, who knew her as Auntie or Mammy, or Auntie Mairead. She helped all of these through family bereavements, relationship breakdowns or countless crises big and small.
The family didn't stop at 6 however, with Michael marrying Judith, Peter marrying Angela, Marie marrying Bobby, Stephen marrying Leighanne and Gary marrying Joanne. With that came the grandchildren, 12 to date and one more on the way. All of these additions were welcomed and cherished and all felt her warmth and love.
She lost her father in 1993 and eventually as her mother became increasingly frail she came to live with her and Pat in Motherwell, caring for her mother took a terrible toll on Marie, but she took the task on with bravery and compassion until Granny Kelly passed away in 2006.
Her last few years had given her so much joy, spending time with her grandchildren and enjoying the house she and Pat had bought in Spain. It was this new found sense of happiness that made the diagnosis of cancer seem such a cruel and bitter blow, she fought it hard and fought it bravely, but this last fight, in the end was too much for her. Thankfully Pat, the children and their husbands and wives were with her at the end and we know she will be with us for ever.
She did not die an unlived life.
She did not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
She chose to inhabit her days,
to allow her living to open her,
to make her less afraid,
to loosen her heart
until it became a wing,
a torch, a promise.
She chose to risk her significance;
to live so that which came to her as seed
went to the next as blossom
and that which came to her as blossom,
went on as fruit.
(with apologies to dawna markova)