My mom grew up in a tiny village in County Mayo, Ireland on a farm with no running water or telephone. They milked the cows, churned the butter, cut the turf from the bog to burn for heat, and fed the chickens who gave them eggs. They didn’t have a lot of money but they had a dictionary and lots of love. My grandma valued education although she didn’t get the chance herself, and she rode her bike six miles to a convent school in another town to register my mom to attend classes there after she graduated from the local school house. My mom’s brothers sent money home while working in England for my mom to go to that school. I am in awe of my grandma for knowing to do this and for making it happen. Continue reading
This week we celebrated my mother’s 74th birthday. She is someone who has many friends and no enemies. She taught me to believe in myself beyond reason, always do my best, and never burn bridges. She left Ireland at 18 to train as a nurse in England and then went on to study midwifery in Scotland. When she started that journey she had never seen a telephone and knew very little about the world outside her small village. A story she told me about something that happened years later has reminded me that we can always make a difference.