'A Rose forever blooming in our hearts in Ballyshannon'
ROSE McLaughlin never had much of the world’s wealth but she gave of herself as much as she could.
She had a lovely smile of welcome, disliked gossip and always saw the good in everyone.
She was quiet and reserved by nature but a fount of wisdom in the wonderful home she made in Cloghore near the Donegal/Fermanagh border.
Rose treated all with respect and courtesy and loved all of her children unconditionally.
She never judged, but instead prayed because she really believed that this life was “no lasting city and no abiding stay”.
She was born Rose McGuire in October 1932 in Tullygrevagh, a few miles from Cashel in Co Fermanagh.
Like her father Joe Johnny, she loved learning. She was a little queen of the land of books, a sensitive and sensible child whose world was shattered when she lost her beloved mother Teresa in 1939.
Rose went barefoot to school to Lattoone - she called it the Academy on the hill - but had to forego secondary school to work on the farm.
She loved nature and clearly recalled the US airmen coming to west Fermanagh in the war years, the noise of their planes, the rationing and the smuggling.
In the early 1950s she went to work in the Carlton Hotel in Belleek, where one evening she spotted a man called Willie McLaughlin swinging from a lamp-post at McManus’s Corner.
They married in 1954 in Garrison and had their wedding breakfast in the Melvin in Ballyshannon.
Willie was and is a GAA fanatic, so they spent part of their honeymoon watching Meath beating Kerry in that year's All-Ireland final.
They lived in the Rosses in Donegal until 1960 and Rose had her crosses to bear, suffering two miscarriages as well as the loss of a baby daughter, also Rose.
However, their first son Gerard was born in Meenaleck in 1958, bringing the couple great joy. Liam followed in 1959 in Dungloe, while Catherine (1964), Maurice (1966) and Martin (1970) were all born in Ballyshannon.
Rose was determined that her children would have the education she was denied and took a great interest in all their activities.
Like her mother she was a great cook and could make a little go a long way.
She had a deep and genuine love for small children and animals, for the wounded, the bruised and the broken.
She taught her family that while it was good to be clever it was much better to be kind.
And her family thinks it was no accident that she died exactly one year after another great lady called Rose Gallagher who was one of her finest friends.
They are now two lovely Roses forever blooming in our hearts in Ballyshannon, on the edge of the Atlantic.
Rose McLaughlin died aged 84 on July 20. She is survived and sadly missed by her husband, children, brother John and family circle.