He was a man who lived off the land and sea; he took life at face value. My grandfather, Gus O'Brien, worked in the fields, plowing, growing vegetables, mowing, cutting wood, tending animals, maintaining his house, barn, sheds, cellar, fishing and all it entailed. Granda worked hard his whole life to put food on the table and provide for his family.
During fishing season, he woke at four a.m. and had a quick breakfast before he headed to sea for the first time that day. Getting home by nine o'clock, he had his second breakfast before he started his daily routine of endless jobs. Granda did not have a lazy bone in his body.
One beautiful sunny day, Granda was home from fishing, out in the yard on his way to the meadow with the scythe, ready to mow hay. Two middle-aged women came through the gate into the yard and approached him. They were dressed as if to work in an office. They were going door-to-door and Granda greeted them.
"Goo' marnin'," said Granda. "Gran' day."
"Yes, sir. It is a beautiful day. Good morning to you," said one of the women.
"Monnie is in da house if ya wants ta talk ta her," said Granda. My grandmother's name was Monica but she was called Monnie by her family.
"No sir. We can talk to you. The message is for everyone," replied the same woman.
"Wha' message is dat?"
The woman took a pamphlet out of her purse and offered it to Granda. He reached for it and noticed the title on the cover. It said Awake.
"Moy dear. I don't need dis. Oim awake since four dis marnin'," was Granda's reply.
The women both replied , "OK, sir. Have a good day," as they walked out of the yard.