Many years ago, in 1955 and 1960, my father and mother came to this country. They had known each other in the old country. In fact, they had known each other since the age of 12. The old country I speak of is Ireland. The land known for it’s 40 shades of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold. Well, that’s what Americans think of. When I think of Ireland, I think of family, specifically, my family. I am fiercely proud of the family I come from, or rather was adopted into. It is the greatest family I could ever ask for.
My mother came from the midlands of Ireland. Specifically, she was born in Mullingar, County West Meath, Ireland. She was the eldest of 5 siblings, of which there were 2 girls and 3 boys. My mother, who was so full of life, was adventurous, athletic, slim and feisty. She had the hardest time sitting still. In fact, resting never seemed to be part of her vocabulary.
Mom grew up a tomboy, but with 3 younger brothers to keep in line, it’s really no wonder. With her athletic abilities and small stature, she had to be quick, and she was. Did I mention she was also the tiniest of the 5 siblings in her house? Her dad was 6’4″ and her mother was 5’10”, but mom topped out at a mere 5’5.5″ and in her 86 years on this earth, she maintained her height. Good bones. No osteoporosis for her! Man do I wish I shared her genes. We lost my mom to a hemorrhagic stroke 6 months ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her so much. I long to hear her laugh and talk to her just one last time.
Dad grew up in the west of Ireland. Mom’s family moved to the west when she was 12. It was through business of their father’s that my parents met each other. Dad hadn’t noticed mom so much, but mom had already put her sights on him at a young age. Dad was one of 8 siblings and dad was towards the younger of the lot. He’s such a brilliant man and it all started when he was a kid.
Dad was the kid with his nose always in the books, as they say. Always studying, studying, studying. Mom thought “this one is going somewhere”. She also found him extremely cute with his jet black hair and hazel eyes. He was the one wearing glasses in all the photos of long ago. I’ve seen the photos. Such a cutie patootie.
Mom would go out to the Walsh farm for her holidays and was very close to dad’s sisters. It didn’t mean she wasn’t noticing the cutie though. I may be adopted, but let me tell you, the apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree. My husband and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 12. He had jet black hair and still, obviously, has his beautiful hazel eyes. Kind of strange, isn’t it!
So, eventually, when they were of dating age, mom and dad were “courting”. The thing is, education came first for both of them. Mom’s family wasn’t a wealthy family so she went off to England and studied nursing. She eventually studied Midwifery and delivered many babies. I loved listening to those stories so much. Another one of the things I miss so much about mom being gone. Dad, went off in a different direction. He stayed in the west of Ireland and went to university to study medicine at University College Galway.
Okay, my husband, Canadian born, studied medicine at University College Dublin. Yes, another similarity. Also, my husband and my dad are not tall men. They are both Irish, even though my Hubs was born in Newfoundland, so I married a good looking Irish guy. Well, I think he’s gorgeous and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I promise, the 2 really aren’t that similar, but those are things I just happened to notice. I have similar taste to my mom. That was all I was implying. Seriously!
Mom and dad were married much later than one would think. Even though they knew each other for many years, dad made absolutely certain he could afford to marry her and take care of her well before he asked her the magic question. They were married at the tender age of nearly 30. Yes, can you imagine? She was beginning to thing he’d forgotten about her altogether. They did have their happily-ever-after for 55 amazingly wonderful years.
Can you imagine knowing someone for over 70 years and then losing them? That’s what my dad had to go through last November. He did it with grace and peace like he does everything in life. He is the strongest, smartest and most faithful man I know besides my husband. He taught me so many things in my life. It’s because of my parents that I am who I am today. I may not share the same genetic material as them, but as far as I’m concerned, I might as well. I think living with the best parents in the world, although also the toughest, created me. It formed me into a loving, generous, hardworking and faithful woman. I am just a branch, but a strong branch, thanks to my roots.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post hosted by the lovely genius otherwise known as Kristi from www.findingninee.com. We link up and share our work each week to finish one sentence. Go check out the rest of the blogs and find out about our roots this week!