Ashley Morrison's Blog

June 17, 2022

Farewell my young friend.

Filed under: Family,Work Rest & Play. — Ashley Morrison @ 8:30 am
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Almost nine years to the day I took this picture out in garden just after we got back from County Westmeath…

.. where Royal Princess was born, as you can see on her Registration Certificate… 

.. but we decided to call her Venus instead.

My parents always loved Dobermanns, and always had at least one for as long as I can remember – trained them, showed them and breed them too – so this was mums latest one which I helped her bring home that day.

One month later…

.. one year later…

.. there was never any doubt, she was a princess.

I would have called around most evening to see my mum after my father passed away – and Venus would have always greeted me at the back door, plus it seems she would have also stood at the window each night waiting for me to arrive. So yes, even though she wasn’t actually my dog, she always made me feel very welcome – like I was part of ‘her family’.

Nevertheless, she was very much my mother’s dog and would have rarely left her side – up until mum went into hospital around this time last year.

Naturally, at first, I assumed mum would be back – but in the meantime I knew Venus needed looking after. So I put her red collar on once again and took her down to the beach…

.. and then that’s what I had to do every morning after that – because she clearly loved it – as you can see from these images that I took of her over the next few months…

.. which I would have shown to mum each time I visited her.

Anyway, after mum said “good-bye” I basically stopped taking pictures for a while – of Venus, that is, because… well, that was like the end of a chapter.

Naturally I continued to walk her every day, but it wasn’t until February of this year that I started to take pictures of her again, at home enjoying the good life – as this was now her house…

.. and so I basically let her sit and lie where ever she liked – which naturally included on the sofa…

.. which obviously she loved…

.. and in the meantime Holly & I started painting everything white…

.. while she watched with great interest.

Happy

.. happy

.. happy” – as we tried to match her black & tan look throughout 🙂

Life was good…

.. but then about a month ago, around the time I took this picture of her on my father’s chair…

.. she started acting a little strange – lying more on the floor and then among the bushes outside…

.. in the garden where I took that first picture of her – which isn’t a good sign, I have been told.

Anyway, on Monday of this week I took this picture of her lying in the back of the Land Rover outside Claire Ferris Veterinary Practice

.. again, much like the first picture I took of her – with my arm around her – expect unfortunately this was to be the last time 😦

According to Claire, “Dobermanns don’t like growing old” – the problem it seems was her heart – which now leaves me with a broken one.

Farewell my young friend…

.. I’m lucky to have known how hard it was to say goodbye – to you, my Royal Princess.

October 1, 2021

Mum said “good-bye” this morning.

She will be greatly missed by all the family – especially by her three sons, Terence, Nicholas and me.
Mary Morrison

According to the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages document, which she kept in the safe…

Mary Isabella Gallagher's Registration of Birth.

.. Mum was born on the 31st of May 1932 in the District of Fannett, in the Irish County of Donegal – and they called her Mary Isabella.

Under her bed my daughter, Chloe, found a large box that was full of pictures – many of which none of us had ever seen before – like this one of her Mum & Dad,  Kathleen McKemey (18) and Daniel Gallagher (33)…

Catherine McKemey and Daniel Gallagher on their wedding day.

.. which, according to what she wrote on the back, was taken in October 1924 on their wedding day.
And so it’s some of those pictures that I would now like to use here, to help me tell this story about this amazing person that I was always so proud to call my Mum

She was the eldest girl in a family of eleven, eight boys and three girls.

One of the earliest pictures that I found, was this one of her when she was 14, with her two sisters, Sadie (10) and Ann (7), taken in 1946 outside their family home in Moross…

Sadie, Mary and Ann Gallagher

.. with a note beside it saying the “summer after mum died”.
So yes, she lost her Mum when she was only 13 – which is hard to imagine.
Anyway, on the 8th of April 1953, she began her training at Ards Hospital in Northern Ireland – and on the 30th of May 1956, according to framed certificate that I found, she “passed the examinations held to test her proficiency, and has preformed her nursing duties to our satisfaction.”
So she, along with her two sisters who followed her led, became a State Registered Nurse…

Mary Isabella Gallagher

.. and it was around that time it seems, that she met John Morrison (a young farmer from the Ards Peninsula) at a dance in Regent House.
And on the 19th of September 1957, she became known as Mary Isobel Morrison from that day on – as seen here with her brothers (Dan, John, Robert, Tommie, Charlie, Jim and Alfred) and sisters (Sadie and Ann) on her wedding day…

The Gallagher family in 1957.

.. along with Dan’s wife, Joan – and John Morrison…

John and Mary Morrison on their wedding day.

.. who a few years later became my Dad

Swimming was a big part of our lives when I young – and she, as seen here at the back on the far left of this picture of INST swimming club…

Inst swimming team

.. was very much into it as well.
She even flew out to Australia to watch me compete in the 1982 Commonwealth Games – to my surprise – because she never mentioned she was going before I left, the week before the Opening Ceremony…

Opening Ceremony at the 1982 Commonwealth Games

.. which she clearly enjoyed, as she took loads of pictures of that.
So yes, one of the nicest memories that I have of her was at the start of my first event, looking up into the spectator gallery as they announced my name and seeing her with her sister, Sadie, waving their arms and cheering.

I couldn’t believe it – but that was my mum

She loved to travel – and as did my father – seen here together at Thousand Islands on their way to Kingston in 1995…

Mary and John Morrison at Thousand Islands

.. with a note on the back saying: USA on the far side.
So there are lots of pictures of the both of them in various part of the world – as well as lots of pictures of herself with her two sisters, Sadie…

Mary and Sadie

.. who lives in Sydney – and Ann…

Ann and Mary in New York.

.. who lives in New York City.

Many of which I had never seen before.

The picture that I use at the start, by the way, I took of her in a kitchen we were shooting that was featured in the October/November 2005 issue of 25 Beautiful Kitchens magazine…

October/November 2005 issue of 25 Beautiful Kitchens magazine.

.. which she kept in her bedside table – where she stood-in as the homeowner.
So that was definitely one of my favourite images of her, as well as this one…

Mary Morrison's 71st Birthday party.

.. which I took at her 71st birthday party

One thing is for sure, I will miss her and she will be greatly missed by all the family – including her six grandchildren, Ross, Ryan, Amber, Chloe, Holly and Ella – and her dog, Venus…

Venus

.. which the people of Ballywalter knew was always by her side.

The end of a chapter, Mum – but not the story  – as you live on in each of us

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