In this family there was a mother, a father & a firstborn son, & a secondborn daughter. There was a 4 year age difference between the son & the daughter. Times were tough, & both the mother & the father worked. The son was sent off to Kindergarten, & I am not sure where the daughter went, after she was born.
The son was born in 1936, the daughter in 1940. Times were even tougher by the time the daughter was born. World War 2 had broken out. Rationing came into force. Times were indeed tough. The father was not sent overseas during the war, for reasons of health.
The Southern City family lived & survived, with enough food on the table, enough money for clothes & shoes. There were grandparents, & a large wider family on the mother's side. Huge family gatherings with cousins & aunts uncles. As time passed the Grandparents passed away. The son of our story, had always been a favourite child of both his paternal Grandmother & his Maternal Grandmother. When the daughter of the family was born, she was not quite such a favourite with either of the Grandmothers. She didn't have the sunny disposition of her older brother. She was perhaps, not as 'fair of face'.
When the daughter reached her teenage years, she became a somewhat secretive moody girl, as many do. She took up with a somewhat 'wild' young man, who did not meet with her parents approval. And to make things worse, he was from a Catholic family!
He committed some minor & stupid teenaged crime, car stealing I think, & was duly sentenced to serve some jail time. The daughter of our story, decided she would be 'true' to the jailbird, & she insisted she visit him, to her mother's horror, & I suspect many visits were in fact 'sneaked'. That is, her mother never knew she went, thought she was at a friend's place.
The son of the family was busy courting girls of his own, & in fact fell in love with a girl, & married her, in the full traditional church wedding, with all the trimmings. And the bitter little sister was bridesmaid for her brother & new sister-in-law.
Most of the families of both the mother & the father in our story remained in the Southern City. Only one brother of each parent, made a move to the Northern Island.
Now we look at a family who lived in a small town, in the Northern Island. There was a mother, & a father, & a daughter who was born after her father had gone off to fight in the war.
When the father returned from the war, a very changed man, he found a hostile little girl, who didnt seem to particularly like him. He also found a very changed wife, & though they had a son together, things were never the same, & they parted.
The sad mother took her children, & left the sad father. The children were lucky, they had their maternal grandparents to love them, & become a family to them. They had wider family in the form of aunts uncles, cousins. They remained in close contact with their father's family, partly due to the fact that one of the mother's brothers, had married one of the father's sisters.
Time passed & the mother had to work to support the children. The grandparents did the parenting, while the mother worked. The Grandfather died when the daughter was 8 years old. He had not been well for some time, & must have found children an irritation, though he was a mild mannered man.
The daughter of the Northern family grew to be a rebellious bitter tongued unhappy teenager. The mother could not understand where the former 'reasonable' teenager had gone. The daughter could not fully understand herself. The son became a little smart with the Grandmother. He was sent off to live with an Aunt & Uncle. The daughter was boarded out to live with 'strangers', who were friends, for a year. Perhaps it did her good. She returned old enough to work, & fill in her gap year before she could study her chosen career.
Only one of her wider family ventured down to the Southern Island, a single Aunt, her father's sister. Though the father's family had originally all come from that Southern Island to live in the Northern Island.
Years passed, the Son from the Southern family had a child. His marriage faltered & failed.
The Daughter from the Northern family decided her chosen career was not for her after all, & she left it, seeking city lights. Here she met a wonderful friend, & together they travelled to the Southern City.
They contacted the Aunt, in the Southern City.
They met their 'matches', in a manner of speaking.
The Northern daughter, met the Southern son, newly divorced & single.
After rocky roads were travelled they were married, this Northern daughter, to this Southern son.
The Northern daughter's Aunt, became engaged. The Northern daughter, her niece, was her maid of honour, at the wedding- vastly pregnant with her own daughter!
The strange twists in fate were the fact that the Aunt, married the brother of the prior Jailbird boyfriend of the Southern boy's sister. Who was now the SIL of the Northern daughter.
The Aunt became very fond of the former Jailbird, who never sinned again, after his one misdemeanor, & was in fact a very devoted husband, father, & son, & after his brother's death, a kind & caring brother in law.
The sister of the Southern son, married her own Prince
This is a true story & only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
Neil Finn, Last One Standing.