Sophie Bailey

Stories from Sophie Bailey

The pitter-patter of children’s feet against the cold hardwood floors. The smell of soft-boiled eggs swirling around in the pot, steam collecting all around the brim. The voices of adults melting together as I played aimlessly with my cousins. The feeling of warmth and security filled the house.

Prior to 2008, my family entertained a more than comfortable life. Every summer my family would congregate in the vacation home we owned. It was massive, and was able to house my diverse European family. My Irish grandfather was burly and strong, the type of man who could walk into the room and instantly be intimidating. Most of all, he was smart. He would walk around the house singing old Irish songs and fables. He would sit with me, asking me mathematical riddles and quizzing me about British loyalty. His father was prideful and slightly egotistical. His mother was stubborn and kind. My grandfather adopted the traits of his father, which is likely what caused the eventual downfall for my family. My grandfather overinvested, using his properties and businesses as collateral. He lost millions when the economy changed, and this changed our whole lifestyle.