AS THE BOMBS FELL A CHILD IS BORN. A TRUE STORY BY JUDE KYRIE
The night I was born the air was filled with the acrid odors of cordite and fire. Even the charred blossoms of the out of place cherry tree in the dark inner city gadens lost their sweet fragrance, It was 1942 the war raged on like the four horsemen wanted it too. Bombers of the Luftwaffe decided to obliterate our home at that moment. Manchester was on fire and my first breaths were made of its deadly acrid smoke. Inside the small row house beneath its humble living quarters we were sheltered under the cellar stairs. My heavily pregnant mother and three older sisters clung to each other tightly as the roar of hate and violence crescendoed above the small house. Somehow even in the darkened days of hopeless war I had been conceived in defiance of all the hate a small flickering candle of love burning brightly in the darkness. Missing from the house were my six older brothers who were away fighting in distant lands in the royal marines. Also missing , my father who had served his country in the first world war. Now he walked in the darkened blackout of a Manchester on fire. His job to watch for injured people he was now too old to serve in any other way. The bomb whistled as It fell from the sky its whining harbinger of death and destruction a precursor to its death knell of explosion a few moments later. A cat oblivious to war and destruction watched the scene from beneath a stoop. The fires from the detonated TNT reflected in its wide green eyes. The sound of our best friend the very air that we breathe to live being compressed into a weapon that would try to destroy us. the blast wall of compression hit the structure of our house causing the supporting walls to fall inward and slowly to bury us alive in our cellar refuge,
My father at that very moment stood in front of the old catholic church of which he was a member with nine children as proof and soon to be ten. The nave was on fire even gods house was not spared this night.
Father O'Brien appeared at the door of his beloved church in his arms in a long white smock was his altar boy he did not move nor would he ever again. Tears flowed down the face of the old Irish priest. God has forsaken us Frank he cried to my father.
And together they walked in the mayhem of war. As they reached our street my father saw his house destroyed and His heart sank the priest last lament ringing in his ears. A crowd of neighbours were pulling at the rubble. Mixed with plaster bricks a broken dish, a picture, a *** now so dented almost unrecognizable. For hours they pulled and worked to reach the cellar.then finally they got there. Under the cellar steps inside the gloom of blackened night we were all there covered in dirt and grime. Yet alive in defiance of the grim reaper increased by one more, my mother held me to her breast to nurture her new child her seventh son.
My father wept as we were lifted out one by one. He held me close to his heart covering me with his coat. My mother kissed him and said Oh Frank we have lost everything. He touched her hair softly and said. That's not true Mary love, I just found everything I ever wanted.
across the yard a cat sat watching the fires in its eyes extinguished and the scene of a happy reunion reflected in its place with the promise of happier times to come.