Margaret lived her nursing vocation to its utmost, always caring for others
THE passing of Margaret Teresa Doyle (nee Lawlor) in Lacca, Ballyduff, has left a huge gap in the lives of her family and friends.
Margaret was the youngest in a family of five born to Tim Lawlor and Brid O’Brien of Lacca. She went to primary school in Ballyduff where her mother was the principal, and secondary school in Presentation Convent in Tralee. After her leaving certificate she went to Bristol to become a nurse. Nursing was her vocation, helping those in need, and caring for others became the motif of her life.
After working for a few years in Southmead Hospital, returned to Ireland to nurse her father when he fell ill. When he passed, she chose to stay at home to care for her mother. For many years afterwards, she devoted herself to caring for the sick and dying in her neighbourhood whenever it was needed.
For Margaret, Ballyduff was ever afterwards the centre of her universe. This was where she grew-up, watching her brothers play for Ballyduff, and singing “the Boys” in celebration; feeling the pain as family and friends emigrated, wondering if they would ever come back. This was where she learned how truly special neighbours are and how much they lift each other in times of need. This was where she learned to live, to love and to pray. This was where she married and raised a family.
Although she would travel all over in later years visiting family and friends, Ballyduff was where everything began and ended for her; it was at the heart of all that mattered to her, the three pillars of her life, her faith, her family and her friends.
Everything flowed from her faith. Although named in part for Saint Therese, she was especially devoted to the Sacred Heart.
She lived her faith as best she could, offering understanding and compassion to anyone in need. She was always tolerant and compassionate, she was never judgemental. She was always supportive and understanding. No matter how small the triumph or great the defeat, she was always there with support, encouragement and a cup of tea.
For Margaret, family extended well beyond her husband, her children, their spouses and her beloved grandchildren. It extended beyond the brothers and sisters she adored, Eileen and Maureen, Tim and Patrick and their families. It included not only her beloved Fr. Pat, and Auntie Peg and cousin Betty who lived so close to her, it extended to all her other cousins, nephews and nieces scattered across the globe.
She rejoiced in the far flung family tree of Scanlons, O’ Briens and Lawlors and their descendants, wherever they might be. She loved to hear of all their doings, and was alternately gladdened and saddened, by the news of their lives and losses.
Nothing gave her greater pleasure than when a member of her family, no matter how distant the blood ties might appear to be, showed up at her front door. They were always welcome as long as they were prepared to sit down and have a cup of tea. No matter how you came into her clan, you mattered to her.
If you were a friend, you were part of her family. And you were ever afterwards in her thoughts and her prayers. It was how she ended up with so many loyal friends who were with her in body and spirit to the very end, supporting and consoling her after her husband’s passing and helping her in every way. Even as her sight dimmed and her hearing failed, she took pleasure and comfort in knowing they were there with her.
It might also explain the extraordinary dedication and devotion she enjoyed from all the carers who helped her and Paddy in their declining years and that made it possible for her to continue living to the very end in the house she loved so much.
She is deeply missed by her children Tim, Padraig and Breda, daughters and son in law, Abbey, Paula and Stephen and her beloved grandchildren, Steafán, Cian, Eamon and Ronan.
A months mind Mass for our beloved Margaret will be celebrated on Saturday, October 13 in Ballyduff Church at 6.30pm. May she rest in peace.
The late Margaret Doyle