..in Memoriam, Miss Kerr… Born 18 ? ?— Died 1962…

..a wee change of pace from my usual content, and I’ll ask yeez to bear with it, and read it through to the end… when Master Gallacher was all of fourteen years old, most of the non-school hours were spent playing football with my pals on the spare ground close to our home in Glasgow… an open piece of grass on which our pitched jackets served as goalposts, was bounded by tenement buildings… overlooking the area, one of these  buildings was tenanted exclusively by older folks… single, either spinsters or widowed individuals, well beyond even the age that I’m now skirting with… one day I heard a call from a third floor small balcony… a petite, white-haired lady beckoned me to come up… I did so, and met for the first time Ms Kerr… she needed some help and asked if I would be kind enuff to carry her wee terrier dog with her and go on the bus a few stops down the estate to the veterinary surgeon’s office…


…the dog was obviously quite sick… it’s name was Vikki… we wrapped Vikki in an old piece of blanket to keep it warm, and off we went… she talked non-stop with the animal, assuring it that the doctor would make it well again soon… I carried Vikki into the Vet. who was as caring a gentleman as I’ve ever seen… he acknowledged how much the dog meant to Ms Kerr… in as caring a way as humanly possible he tried to explain that her dog was dying, and didn’t have much longer to live… he asked if she would like him to ‘look after it’ in a humane way… Ms Kerr was having none of that… she was firm in that way that old people can be… stubborn, resolved, determined… we brought Vikki back to the one-room apartment in the care building… a few days later while I was playing football again, she reappeared on her balcony and summoned me… this time she wanted me to go for some medicine for her pet… I looked at the dog, which she had wrapped in the same blanket, and tucked into her bed… she had been sleeping beside it… the smell was strong… Vikki was already dead… I tried to tell her that the dog wasn’t gonna make it, but she refused to accept that and said, ‘look, her ears are moving… we just need some medicine for her’… I left and sought out the caretaker, who also came and saw the dog had died… she still wouldn’t listen… we called the R.S.P.C.A. shelter and they arrived about half an hour later…the officer was excellent with Ms Kerr… he appeased her by saying that Vikki was very sick, and he would take her to the hospital to get her well… at the same time, the sanitation people arrived to fumigate the place while we took Ms Kerr to lunch… of course, Vikki was never coming back… Ms Kerr had lost the most important companion in her life… I didn’t hear anything for a week and went back to see how she was doing… my knocking on the door was unanswered, and I sought out the caretaker once more… he shook his head and told me, ‘very sad… Ms Kerr passed away two days ago’


…why am I telling yeez this so long after this event, more than fifty years back?… at any time of year, but particularly at this Season, may I suggest if there are any older people living alone near yeez, p’raps make an excuse to go and just say hello… for Ms Kerr, and for me… it may save a life.. and one day, it may be yer own…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

43 responses to “..in Memoriam, Miss Kerr… Born 18 ? ?— Died 1962…

  1. Thank you for sharing another kind of holiday message that is so timely. But I think Miss Kerr wasn’t quite alone. She had a 14 year old friend to remember her and even her little dog for over fifty years. And I think that young friend was already the very fine man you grew to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a loving and kind piece, Seumas. Bless you for that. There are a great many lonely people in the world and they aren’t all old. It’s especially true in big cities. Here in India people don’t recognize “personal space” and maybe that’s a good thing. I told someone that if I ever got sick and died alone here in India, my body probably wouldn’t lay there for more than an hour, if that long, before it was discovered.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. An arrow to the heart Seamus. 💔

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A lovely, sad and timely story. I think you must have been an exceptional 14 year old who’s turned into a very kind man.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    EVERYONE – Seumas has a timely message for all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very sad but loving, and a reminder to keep an eye on our old folks (which I am approaching at lightning speed).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing this touching memory and for the reminder that we need to look after one another.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Perfect story for this time of year. Perfectly written
    So many of that generation were so strong and self sufficient – “not wanting to be a bother”. You have to really look sometimes to see them. My dad was like that. He had the kindest neighbors fortunately (not so young themselves)
    It’s a kindness never to rush the chatty older man or lady as they check out at the grocery store. It may be their only human contact.
    As you say, best to treat them as we would ask to be treated. We are all getting there at warps speed it seems.
    Thanks for the nudge.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. At fourteen these days, I don’t know what young boys are like. Bless your heart for being a kind and helpful boy. I give you a lot of credit handling the situation around Ms. Kerr’s dead dog, especially well. Thank you for sharing your story and for the reminder to look out for our senior neighbors. Merry Christmas to all the Ms. Kerr’s in our world.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ali Isaac

    Gosh thats a beautiful and amazing story Seumas. What a lovely young man you were to help her and care so much. So sad that her only reason for living was her pet. And of course you make a very valid point… thanks for reminding us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I came to you via Chris the Reading Ape. Wonderful, touching story of yours. What really caught my eye was that Ms. Kerr died in 1962, the year I was born. God bless you for helping out with the dog, and so sorry you have the angst for not checking back on Ms. Kerr. We are all human, that’s for sure. A good message, overall. I wish you a Merry Christmas, take heart in the good in the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on An Author's View and commented:
    A moving post from Seumas, and a timely reminder to take care of the vulnerable folk this Christmas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It touched my hear too. A good boy and an excellent man. Thanks for the reminder. Living alone myself it’s something I think about…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful piece Seumas. Ms. Kerr and Vikki live on through all who were touched by this story. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on olbigjim and commented:
    We, all of us, know someone or maybe several someones living alone. What a grand idea to call on them “just to say hello” and make sure they’re making it alright. Why not take it one step further and invite them to share in your own festivities? Seumas shares a heart-touching tale from the mists of his far distant youth…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think Ms Kerr would be delighted with how you have kept her memory alive and encouraged the rest of us to remember the Ms Kerr’s in our own lives. Thank you Seumas

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I really enjoyed this….thank you:)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.