An old tale from my call centre days (no –not that kind of call centre)
Sometimes in the midst of call centre drudgery, amongst the head sets, the clicking of keyboards, the How May I Help You’s, the rude hang-ups. Sometimes in the middle of all this there is a voice, a single human voice with the need to tell a story that makes it all worthwhile. Today was the day I was told the tragically beautiful story of Aunt Nelly Sullivan. And in the dying tradition of true story telling, I pass her tale onto you:
The year is 1912, in a small village set in the hills of Northern Ireland, a young girl of 16 left her family, her life, her heritage to board a boat to America. She left alone, no kin to join her and on the long voyage over, amid soon to be immigrants all hoping for a second chance, she met the man that would become her husband. They settled in Dover, New Hampshire and the young girl found work at the Mill. She had 18 children. In a time of no television she brought back to life her home of Ireland to the ears and eyes of her 18 kids. The dusty, damp histories of the world and relatives she left behind was lovingly handed down like an heirloom. She told her stories so her children could remember and so she would not forget.
After the woman passed on, only one of her 18 children would make it back to see the homeland her mother had painted for them so many years ago. Her name was Nelly. Every year Nelly would send small gifts and Christmas cards to her relatives in Ireland. Her Irish family was impressed she knew even more about the tiny village than even it’s inhabitants thanks to her mother’s storytelling. The last trip Aunt Nelly took to Ireland she was 87. Within a year Nelly was fatally hit by a drunk driver in the middle of winter in her hometown of Dover as she was crossing the street. When they found her dead in the road her hands were full with Christmas cards all posted to a tiny village in the middle of Ireland.
No rant today. No snarkiness. I’ve wanted to share this story for a while now, and thought I best do it while I have a captive audience.