"Today is my sister Eileen's birthday. I have always believed that having a sister is God's way of making sure you never have to walk alone. I am the eldest of seven siblings and Eileen is the third in family line. Each sibling has different traits and character strengths and without a shadow of doubt, a few stand out more than all others with my sister Eileen.
Eileen is first and foremost the most sensible family member in the seven of us. She is probably the most accessible one and is the wisest counsellor as she is the listener of the family.
Whereas the rest of us, whenever we hold a family conversation at a social gathering, nobody can get a word in if one waits for too long a pause between sentences. I suspect that when one is brought up in a large family and there is only food enough for five at breakfast time, but there are seven children descending the stairs, one soon learns to push and shove and raise one's voice in the stakes for survival. Another family hearing us in a pub would guess there to be a heated argument in progress instead of a good old family discussion. Indeed, a stranger observing Eileen being the only one listening, might think her to be a friendly neighbour instead of one of the rowdy Forde family.
Another strong character trait about Eileen is that 'she is a stayer.' Whatever the situation, she seems to possess the capacity to sit it out and see it through. She is a person whom once she has started reading a book, will read it to the end before deciding its merits. Eileen displays a patience that puts lesser mortals to shame. She has never once bought what she couldn't afford to buy because she has the patience to wait until she can pay for it. It is perhaps no surprise that she and her husband John, the steadiest and most reliable of men, have been married for over fifty years.
God forgive, but should ever any of my three sisters die before me, I could never think them not being there with me, as they are part of me. I loved you yesterday and I love you still; I'll love you tomorrow, Eileen and I always will. Happy birthday, sister. Your big brother Billy x" William Forde: June 19th, 2016.
The picture was taken a number of years ago when me and Eileen visited Jersey for a week.