by Sean Paul Curry
The love of a family flows strong and deep.
Family can mean different things to different people, but for me it has made me who I am and given me the best memories of my life.
Growing up for me wasn’t different from any other person but my parents taught me values that are still with me to this very day, like how to admit when I am wrong, the importance of showing kindness and thinking of others.
I am the middle child of three; my sister is older and my brother is younger and like any other children we had our disagreements while growing up. Now we are very close despite the fact they are both married and are living away from home. I know that if I ever need anything they are there.
One of the greatest things about family is its ability to expand; in my case a brother in law, a sister in law and a niece and nephew. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. They bring so much joy and love to my daily life. Through my brother in law, I am now an adopted Derrygonnelly Harp and an extremely proud Godparent.
My grandparents stepped in while my parents went to work in the early years. My grandfather Benny Burns used to collect me from play school which was in Enniskillen Castle in the afternoon and bring me back to the house in Cornagrade. He used to tell my parents when they collected me that I had to be dragged back to the house as I was the slowest walker around.
As a lot of people know the Burns family in Enniskillen is particularly big and when Sunday came the house was always full of cousins, aunts and uncles. This is when cousins became best friends and in our household that always started with a game of Murder in the Dark. We would all gather on the stairs and delegate roles such as detective, victim and of course murderer before all going into a dark room and crawling around until someone let a yelp out of them to let us know they had died and the detectives had to figure out who was responsible.
In my late teens my father, Granda Curry and I would have an annual tradition of going to the bookmakers most mornings of the Cheltenham festival. We would study the field of each race and make our bets in town and after the bets were made we would go to a local bar for the first race. Great memories that I will cherish forever.
Unfortunately there comes a time in every family when we have to say goodbye to the ones we love. This for me is a heart-breaking time but one that is shared with the whole family. I have cousins, aunts and uncles all over the world who will come home to grieve with the rest of us and that is comforting because it’s what family is all about; being there for each other and in some cases putting disagreements to one side so grieving can be done together as a family unit.
You don’t know what you’ve got until you’ve lost it and unfortunately I have lost both my Granny Burns and Granda Burns and my Granda Curry. I am thankful that they have left me and everyone else in our family with wonderful memories that we will all cherish forever.
My Granny Curry is still with us and at the age of 80 will travel to Hong Kong and Australia with myself, my father and my two uncles later this year. She is probably fitter than us all and will not be fazed by it at all. We will create more memories.
Families can open your eyes to things you haven’t considered and make you see things in a different light. My family has made me who I am and have given me experiences and things that I will remember forever and traditions that I will continue whatever life brings me.
But family is not always about blood relatives, it can be someone who treats you like you are one of their own, who loves you unconditionally and brings a smile to your face when you need it most.
Be thankful for the family and friends that you have in your life and make the most of what you have.