A pleasant Sunday in Horsetalk Valley with winners from David, JD, Leo, Gforce, and Alan - well done. If I've left anyone out, I apologise; please leave a message on this thread and I'll update.
Kevin McNally - November 15th 1960 - July 23rd 2023
I go today with my surviving siblings to lay my brother Kevin to rest beside his mother and father. I know some of you are familiar with Kevin's story from my comment posted last spring in The Guardian; he was in the grip of alcoholism pretty much since he took his first drink. With his 14 siblings in a family with little money, plus the various kicks life deals us all, Kevin had plenty of opportunities to blame his drinking on all sorts of events, but he never did. We've all, his ten brothers and four sisters, at one time or another offered him that get out, that his drinking wa surely down to any number of mental health incidents. And Kevin always shook his blond head and smiled and said, 'No. I just loved it. From the first drink I took I loved it and the feeling never changed.'
But he felt guilty and ashamed at where that infatuation took him and he did try to stop, with periods of up to 5 years sober. But in the past few years he just gave up - he knew it and we knew it. The experts say you must just leave them to it, let them take the responsibity for their actions, but we never did. My sisters especially, but all of us over recent years visited him regularly. It was rare to see him go two days without one of us dropping in to make sure he was all right. He'd been in hospital from February this year and not a day passed without a visitor. Toward the end, Wishaw hospital kindly set aside a day room and night accommodation and we made good use of it. He had at least one at his bedside round the clock. Happily, Kevin reconciled with his three sons too, and his ex-wife. He passed away very peacefully late on Sunday 23rd July, with four of us at his bedside.
He was a happy fella by nature and had loads of friends. They loved him for his kindness and the mischief that was always in his eyes. He did manage to make a living for most of his life as a skilled plasterer in the building trade, although he found plenty of avid drinking buddies there too. He told us of one time four of them were sent to the huge house of a very posh woman who wlecomed them in the morning, said she'd be out all day, but showed them where the kitchen was and encouraged them to help themselves to anything they wanted. The poor soul came back home to find all four rollicking drunk in her bath rowing back and forth laughing and singing, at the tops of their voices 'Oops upside your head.'
Kevin was a good singer and guitarist and would do gigs around our home village of New Stevenston. I'd love to have seen what he could have done if he hadn't fallen so deeply for the booze. Anyway, I wanted to mark Kevin's passing here. Miraculously, he is the first of us to go. The chain was broken that Sunday, but we are healing and reforming, with the link that was Kevin now protected, still, inside the new chain. Here we are - bar our David, who was yet to be born - in 1971. My mother died of cancer 6 years after this was taken. Kevin is bottom left, smiling as ever.
Please, folks, post your naps as usual. I am well and in good spirits and count you all as friends. The routine of tending daily to the site helps me a lot. Good luck today.