No matter how I walked, Mam was still unsure.
“Ye’ll be fine on the ferry, Biddy, it’s being allowed on that big ship I’m afraid of.”
I tried to tell her that I’d be right, but she wasn’t having it. Even Susie, her favourite, couldn’t convince her.
Round and round the table I walked, then, to keep her happy, up the lane a way. Mam first folded her arms and then smoothed her apron, as she was wont to do when worried.
“Mam, Susie will be with me – she’ll stand in front of me.” Though even I was having doubts now.
Our cousin was in charge at Southampton. Susie said he’d see us right and make sure I could board. Mam was still muttering. It had been six years since I fell off the haystack and I was as good as ever, almost.
At least I didn’t have time to worry about how much I’d miss everyone. Mam was still trying to fit more into my bag. “It’s alright, lassie, just a few shamrocks to put on Jack’s grave, ’tis the least you can do.”
“Away with ye now, ye Dad has Paddy Maloney’s pony and trap, he’ll get ye to the ferry. Mind how ye go.”
No last hugs, no tears from Mam, after all, we weren’t the first to leave in these hard times.
Trying not to limp, I bade Mam goodbye, knowing t’would be the last time. My aching heart felt far worse than my foot.