E is for Evelyn

Evelyn – from ‘The American Wake’

I think Evelyn might be one of my faves.
Maybe it is because hers is the first story in the book and it’s one I’ve read aloud most times. Evelyn like yesterday’s mammy, is a woman who reared her child alone.
The story begins with Evelyn cooking breakfast for her son Peter who is about to emigrate. I kinda based her on memories of my mam when I was moving to the UK and to some degree my sisters when one of their children moved away.
I didn’t write it into the story, but I know in my mam’s case that there was a silent, inner pleading going on. For Evelyn it was along the lines of…
“Don’t go! Stay… stay here; where you’re safe and I know where you are. I don’t care about the state of your room and the amount of shirts you need ironed in a week; just don’t go. You’re only 5… aren’t you?” 
Like my mam, Evelyn would never say that to Peter, because to her it would be selfish to do anything that might stop him from following his dreams. But it was there alright. In this story however, something happens just before Peter goes. It causes even more emotional upheaval for Evelyn and Peter, and makes the goodbye even more difficult.
You’ll find Evelyn in ‘The American Wake’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’
If you click here you can read this story or listen to me read it in an audio clip.

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