Well, the answer to Bing’s question is a resounding Yes!
Did she kiss The Blarney? Not literally, but if I have any gift for words, for telling a tale, it comes from her.
There were some stories of her youth in Kerry she must have told me a thousand times or more and yet every time they came up fresh and left me asking for more.
Did she dance to the Kerry Pipers?
She sure did – at Duffy’s in her best dress with her hair dressed up pretty.
Now she wasn’t from Killarney but Killorglin just a few miles down the road – a town she never left in her heart and her memory.
She has been dead these twenty years but not a day passes when I don’t think of her with love and profound gratitude.
On her headstone we carved, ‘All we laughed’ as that was the punchline to so many of her stories and thinking of her joyous laughter still bubbles up.
Joan O’ Sullivan (cracked Joanie) cracked because she was so alive to the humour and crazy joy of the world became Joan Hickey and day after day, year after year, transmitted that joy in living wrapped up in unconditional love to Thom and Ger and Julie.
It’s the most precious gift a Mother can give to her children and she gave it to us unstintingly.
And, as we remember her today she still does.
For Joan Hickey.