Dare to Be Yourself

By Bridie Corrigan

I would like to introduce you to two formidable women each in their own way.
The first, my mother Nell Barrett R.I.P. and the second my Aunt Kate Brennan
R.I.P. They are both on their way to visit a brother in England. I was tagging
along as general factotum (which means running around doing everything).

My mother a country woman, a worrier, shy, kind caring gentle person, Kate
on the other hand was very confident highly shrewd, tinged with a slight
meanness, crafty person, but a lovable rogue.

Having flown to Manchester and before we boarded a train to visit their sick
brother who was in hospital, we had a meal. As we paid for it my aunt Kate
spotted a jar of lollipops, never one to miss an opportunity to get something
for nothing in her sophisticated tone she asked the lady “Excuse me how much
are the lollipops ?” knowing very well they were free and most likely for

Armed with the lollipops we boarded the train, Kate and Nell sat opposite each
other at the same table while I sat at a table a few seats away on the opposite
side but with a full view of both. After sometime I noticed mother taking out
her lollypop and really enjoyed sucking it to her hearts content oblivious to all
around her, while Kate cringed with mortification, yet dribbling at the mouth
at the longing for a taste. When she could no longer resist the temptation she
secretly took a lollipop out of her handbag. She then proceeded to hide it
under the table while trying to remove the stick from it so she could enjoy
eating it like a sweet rather than the childlike way (mum) Nell was enjoyinghers. I was highly entertained and the longer Kate struggled to remove the
stick the more I realized that Nell had the right idea.

We arrived safely at the hospital their brother was in, only to discover that he
was been transferred to another hospital for the day to have some scans and
tests done. I decided that I would accompany him in the ambulance, however
the next challenge was how to get my mum and aunt Nell back to their
accommodation safely. I repeated the direction three times to ensure they
were clear for them. I called for a taxi, gave them the keys of accommodation
and told them I would be back with them in a few hours, and to cook a meal
for themselves while I was away.

Hours later exhausted and hungry I arrived at the door of the apartment and
rang the doorbell, no response, I rang it again and again, I was about to give up
when it entered my head to throw a stone up to the window, finally, Aunt Katelooked out the window and at last opened the door for me. They proceeded to
tell me they thought it was the telephone ringing each time. Now no meal on
the table and when I asked why, and they began to tell me about their eventful
journey home from the hospital. They had asked the taxi driver to drop them
to a restaurant and planned to eat and walk back from there to the apartment.
While walking home Kate needed to go to the toilet, so discretely as possible
she found she found some necessary shelter in the garden of some person’s
home while she had Nell on the watch out. Suddenly Nell saw a man
approaching and sent out an urgent warning signal to Kate. Kate held on to a
stone wall to help herself up, but unfortunately she grasped a loose stone and
fell. Luckily she wasn’t injured and she scrambled upright her trousers undone,
Kate in her sophisticated voice asked the man for directions to the apartment.
The gentleman kindly showed Kate and Nell the way back. Safely at the
apartment door, Kate took out the keys and tried every possible way but the
door just wouldn’t open. They settled themselves on the door step until a
tenant arrived and let them in 20 mins before I arrived.

I’ve often pondered on the escapades and looked deeper at the meaning
behind them. Mum wasn’t trying to be anything but herself, while on the other
hand Kate was trying to portray herself as a refined sophisticated lady and
couldn’t be herself.

The moral of the story is “Be Yourself”.

Bridie Corrigan

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