She made lived to be exactly 91 years and one day, before taking her last breath and running through the gates of heaven into the arms of her beloved Paul. Whenever I’m asked to describe the Murphy side of my family, for some reason I always tell people how notoriously loud we are at funerals. We laugh, we drink, we cry, we hug, they talk railroad, we sometimes listen, sometimes find an excuse to NOT listen. We hold babies, we play games, we confuse people when they hear we’re gathered for a funeral…because we are much too happy.
We all make the pilgrimage to Paintsville, Kentucky. Hallowed ground for the Murphy clan. With it’s rolling hills and climate that mimic our great-great grandmother and grandfather’s home of Ireland, there’s something magic in those hollers.
The cinderblock house that seven of the ten children grew up in is still there, just a ways down from the family plot where generations of family have lined up behind headstones and smiled through tears, because…we still have each other and life is good.
From a burst of laughter at the start of her funeral to clutching each others’ shoulders as the tears fell during “Amazing Grace”, we all said goodbye first in the same church where a lifetime before Paul Murphy and Emma Grace Dalton promise before God to love each other until death parted them…then we trudged up that familiar hill to say “Until we meet again”.
Ten kids, over 60 grand and great-grandkids…Granny – thank you isn’t enough for how blessed I am to be a part of the greatest family unit in the world. To them, I’m Rachy Bea, and in their arms I’m perpetually nine years old and safe. Every aunt, uncle and cousin has a little bit of you and PawPaw in us, so we don’t have to look far when we’re longing to see you.