Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

Irish in my heart

I’m fortunate as I grew up knowing and learning about my Irish heritage. I loved listening to the stories of my ancestors from my Gram and her sisters. Four of my Gram’s siblings came off the boat with their parents, for dreams of a better life. After the devastation of the Great Potato famine of 1845-1849 my Great Great Grandparents and their kin, survived and without them I wouldn’t be here today to tell this story.

Michael and Elizabeth left Scotland at the age of nineteen and traveled by ship to South Hampton, England. At the time, they had three daughters and a son in tow. With competition for jobs, financial security, and food being scarce with the population boom, they made their way to Canada and settled in British Columbia.

My Great Grandparents *image courtesy of my cousin*

My Great Grandfather Michael found work in the mines and was there for twenty-nine years. They hadn’t lived there in the community long when devastation ravaged the town with floods from 1848, to 1947, the mining disaster in May of 1908 that killed one hundred and three miners, and the Great Fire of August. 1 st of 1908 that destroyed the town.

My Great Grandma Elizabeth was pregnant with my Grandma Margaret and due to give birth that hot summer. There were ten lives lost and thousands of homes burnt to the ground. There was a lot of hardship and sadness that my ancestors had to encounter in the new land. I’m happy to report my Gram made it safely into the world as the hospital and the church were the few buildings that were left.

Time passed on with my Gram and her siblings growing up and their parents had added on to their family with four more daughters. More hardship would come to the family as the mine would be closed in order to investigate the fire of 1908. My Great Grandpa Michael had to find work elsewhere. All the daughters worked as well or helped look after the youngest children.

My Great aunts such lovely lasses. *image courtesy of my cousin*

That was the life back then, everyone had a strong work ethic and supported one another. I remember my sweet Gram Margaret telling me stories of her housekeeping days, collecting oranges at the train yard, and working as a caddy at the golf course. The sisters all went on to marry and have families of their own. They still remained close as they raised their children and visited each other when they were Grandparents.

My Gram and 3 of her 5 sisters *image courtesy of my cousin*

A tragic accident in 1917, took the life of the youngest family member Josephine and she died at the age of two, with severe burns to the chest and abdomen. Poor baby girl lighting up the world with her beauty and smile, and for her life to be snuffed out like a candle is so sad. Peter, the only son of nine children returned home from World War 1 and fell ill as well. He succumbed to cerebral meningitis at the age of twenty-six on March. 17th 1922.

He was to sing in the St. Patrick’s day concert that evening for the Knights of Columbus, and he sat up in bed and sang then died. The song that he sang was Danny Boy, a beautiful Irish melody that is dear to my heart to this day.

My Great uncle *image courtesy of my cousin*

After the youngest daughter and only son had passed just 5 years my Great Grandma Elizabeth became ill. My Grandparents were set to get married in the summer month of July and Elizabeth passed 9 days before the wedding. Instead of the church wedding that was planned they quietly got married in the priests rectory of the Holy Family Catholic Church.

My parents got married there as well and my middle sister followed suit and my husband and I proudly married there after. As a devout Irish Catholic family that attended mass every Sunday and invited the priest over for dinner after one of my Great aunts went into the sisterhood. She took the name Sister Michael and lived out her young life devoting herself in service to God.

She passed tragically in a car accident when I was a little girl and my Gram would tell me stories about her love of the family and of the church. There was always tears and hugs given when she spoke of her siblings that had passed on.

My Great aunt Elizabeth and her Father Michael *image courtesy of my cousin*

I celebrate my dearly departed loved ones memories and I carry on the namesake of my Great Grandma, my Great aunt, and my Mom. My Great Grandpa Michael lived on to see his daughters marry and meet his Grandchildren. My Mom had a special relationship with him and would speak of him with joy on her heart. He passed on well into his 80’s to be reunited with his lovely wife and daughters and son.

My Gram and my Mom *image courtesy of my cousin*

My Gram and Mom always said I had the gift of my Great uncle’s vocal talent. To this day when I sing the song of my ancestors homeland Oh Danny Boy I feel uplifted on their angel wings. St. Patrick’s day is celebrated in our family household as much as the joy of birthdays. Wishing you all Irish blessings and may the luck and love of the Irish be with you always. 💚☘️

An adapted version of this story originally appeared on The Wellness Universe titled Irish heritage.

*Special thanks to my cousin Maureen for the use of her family pictures. The late night chats of our family’s story helped me feel closer to my Irish clan.*

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The Tear

What is it about the passage of time? I’ve heard that time heals all wounds, time passes on and time is short. It’s that tear in the fabric of time that intrigues me the most. Where you can be another version of yourself-someone who is stronger and makes better decisions and takes a different path in life.

Like the actress Gweneth Paltrow played in the movie Sliding doors her character was on the subway platform deciding if she should or shouldn’t get on the train. The director portrayed what would happen with her life if she stepped on the subway and who she was and who she interacted with.

It really fascinated me with the twists and turns within the plot of the movie. It showed me that you do have to be careful what you wish for. As I’m watching this the character in my favourite TV show #Thisisus is replaying the memory track of what his life was like before when he was a high school football star and adored by everyone. Kevin had colleges scouting him, a girlfriend who loved him and a close relationship with his family. Then it all came to a crashing end when he was tackled in the big game and suffered a broken leg.

He still had the beautiful girlfriend (who he would later go on to marry and divorce), a strong bond with his fraternal twin sister Kate, an emerging relationship with his adopted brother Randall, and his parents Jack and Rebecca that were there to love and support him to this jagged tear to his football dreams. Yet Kevin can’t see past any of that as he sinks into a depression that goes on to shadow his life in his current phase.

What would’ve his life been like if he avoided that devastating hit that changed his path forever? Would he have gone on to football stardom and become the proud recipient of the Heisman trophy, married the girlfriend and lived happily ever after? Even though he’s a television character Kevin and his life story is enthralling to me that he went onto to what appeared to be a good life making a successful living as an actor while recovering from the death of his Father, the rock in his life.

How would his life be any different if he would’ve just thrown the football, avoided the tackle and never have to lose his Dad at such a young age? It’s the conundrum I’m sure most of us have encountered at some point on our path what if I would’ve taken that subway train, stayed with the ex or gotten that scholarship to college. It’s the tearing of the dream that we have for ourselves that can hurt the most where we feel the regrets of time we’ve lost and where the what if’s eat us up inside.

Is the grass always greener over on the other side of the fence? Not necessarily, should we all just be living the life of our dreams with no regrets or resentments? I’ve always intended to raise my sons to follow their dreams, reach for the stars and be kind and giving human beings. It’s the life that we live that shows us who are true character really is. Excepting the hand we’re dealt and taking the leap of faith and being who we’re really meant to be that matters the most.

I saw myself becoming a famous actress and singer entertaining the world with my talent. Unfortunately I didn’t have the courage to pursue those idealistic dreams and leave my parents and go off to the big city. I didn’t believe in myself as much as I should’ve and that tears at my heart still today. But who am I to say that my dreams shall just wither and die? I can still realize them just in a different way, by performing in theatre and pursuing my passion for storytelling.

It’s the gift of words that sets my heart aflutter now as I’m passing on that love of reading and writing to my sons. It fills my eyes with happy tears as I sit and listen to my youngest champion son reading about Pete the Cat and his buttons as he acts and sings out every page. When I thought his brain might not be able to make sense of the letters with his autism and mental processing speed. Then as my heart swells with pride when my oldest rock star son starts reading me an essay that he’s writing for school and telling me he wants to be a writer like me when he’s older.

I wish for them not to struggle with their identities or what direction they should go career wise like I’ve done. To be able to avoid the “hits” that happen in life the fair weather friends, bullies on the playground, and young love breakups. If I could I’d protect them from it all but then they wouldn’t be truly living and discovering the world for what it is. Their time shouldn’t be spent wondering what if but really experiencing all that life has to offer them from school, friendships, love, and beyond!

It’s in these moments that I know I found the right path and even though my mind can wonder about the what if’s of the world it’s the life that I’m living being the best me I can be that matters. Not the one who made her way to Hollywood to become the actress of her dreams who may have caved in to all the pressure that a lot of celebrities fall under and resorted to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope.

I would rather be my authentic self who loves who I see when I look in the mirror, that prays with my children every evening for a better world for them to grow up in, and loves my husband with everything in me. That’s the bond of family that dreams, pride, fantasies, or ego can never tear away.

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The Christmas magic is real 

The magic of Christmas has enveloped me. Last night we went driving around town looking at the Christmas lights. I was taken back to my days as a child as my eyes danced in the twinkling of each bulb. We saw really cute penguins, elves, reindeer, and moose. We also saw some very unique decor with Santa as a hockey player complete with a Maple Leaf jersey, Santa on a  camouflage motor bike, and the one that made me tear up a beautiful white lighted Eiffel Tower. Then the chorus of questions poured in like a hot cup of insatiable curiosity. I then remembered all my inquisitive questions that I bombarded my Mom with every year. From my precious preschooler:

“Will Santa bring me my Bat Cave?”

“Does Santa like cookies or muffins?”

“Will he wake me up when he gets here so we can play with his reindeer?”

From my wise but vulnerable to the truth, elementary school student:

“How will Santa come to our house if we don’t have a chimney?”

“How will he walk through the front door and not set off the alarm?”

And the last one I’m hearing more and more this year…

“Is Santa really real-or is just you and Dad?”

I think back to what my Mom said all those years ago and it’s the same thing that I’ve told my oldest son.


Merry Christmas blessings to you from our house to yours. 🌟

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#Mondaymusings-Tales of my Childhood

Monday Musings-Tales of my Childhood

I write a lot of my thoughts, feelings, and passions. I was a little girl with a big heart and an even bigger imagination. I remember stories my Gram would tell me about her family. Her parents that were born in Ireland and Scotland who survived hardships of the Potato famine of 1846 and found their new life in Canada. 
Her close knit family came over by boat to forage a new beginning with two little girls and then my Gram was born almost a month after the town they lived in burnt down! They suffered a fire, flood, loss, and still remained strong together. Music was a very special outlet for their healing as whole family. The church and hymns sung around the house, and in the parlour after dinner sustained them. It gave them faith to overcome whatever trial they had encountered. 
One song that was so special to my family is Danny Boy. My Gram’s only brother had a beautiful heart and and even more beautiful voice. He loved his church as equally as he loved the church. He had survived the First World War and came back to support his family. He was set to have the solo for Danny Boy on the night of the St. Patrick’s day. He had been sickly but he wanted to honour his commitment to his choir. 
Being he was too ill to leave his bed he wasn’t able to. With his family surrounding him he sat up and sang one last time for them. Then he lay down, closed his eyes, and went to meet God. My Gram would tell me this story and her eyes would well up with tears. The pain of losing her brother in his late twenties was something she never healed from. 
When I expressed my love of all things Irish she taught me the song. I would sing it for her, my Grandpa, and my Mom. They would sing quietly along with tears in their eyes. My Gram would hug me so tight and say I made her brother proud. Every story she told of my hard working Great Grandparents made me feel connected with them. She brought their travels and tales to live for me. 
This is a tradition that still continues onto this day as I share these stories with my own children. I tend to gravitate to playing Irish characters in my theatre experience. My kids still ask me to speak in an Irish accent and they just love it. Every time I entertain them with a song or a jig I can hear my Gram giggling. I only hope my rendition does her and our Irish clan proud as all my memories are of them. 
s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 
Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.
Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.
Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host.
Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.

Today’s Write Tribe’s co-hosts are Crazy Little Family Adventure and Vinithia Dileep please be sure to check out all the talent that link up. Thank you. ❤️

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Ten Things of Thankful

I’ve had a busy weekend up before the sun and back after sunset. My son had a hockey tournament and I found so many things to be grateful for in this weekend alone! It’s been a long week that had my kids and I sidelined with the flu bug. In that time I felt sorry for mysel and had to look for things to be grateful for. I’m glad that in my fever hazed and sick days that I was able to see a silver lining in the grey clouds. Tome to wrap up my week with The TTOT linkup

I’m thankful for cuddles with my children. There’s something about the vulnerability of a child when they just need their Mama to help them to feel better. 

I’m thankful for my oldest son looking after me when I fell prey to the flu germs infesting our home. He was on his way to recovery but still needed to rest. So he set up movies for his little brother, made me some tea and watched over me while I slept. God bless him and his beautiful loving heart. 

I’m thankful for finally feeling better after not being sick since a year ago! Then it was my youngest son’s turn luckily it was a fast acting flu bug and he got rid of it quickly. He was so weak and exhausted and he spent most of his time sleeping. I was so glad when his fever broke and he was able to keep down some food. My poor sweet boy was so grateful for Mama cuddles as was I. 

I’m thankful for a family road trip. There’s always music, laughter, and yes even some fighting between my son’s. Yet it’s the conversations that take place that are the most special way to get to know what each other’s thinking. 

I’m thankful for sunrises that take my breath away. There’s nothing more spectacular than seeing God’s graciousness in the colourful tapestrys of beauty. 

 I’m thankful for the clouds that roll in to signify the end of the day and turn into a stunning sunset. Beautiful like a treasured artwork painted by God’s paintbrush. 

I’m thankful for strong little hockey players that put there all into playing their game. My son’s team finished up in third place after two wins and one loss. They passed, played, and held themselves with pride and did everyone in that arena  a service of watching their hearts on display. 
I’m so proud and thankful that the coaches recognized my son for the heart and hustle award for the second year in a row! He was so excited to show me his certificate and hockey puck. 

 I’m thankful for a fun but hectic weekend. There was so upset and meltdowns to deal with due to my son’s special needs and crowds of people can be hard for him to process. He knew that I would be there for him and protect him when needed. 
I’m thankful for pizza pool parties with a bunch of happy hockey players, and taking turns trying to out splash each other on the water slide. After all that was said and done soaking in the hot tub was the best gift of the day. 

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#Monday Musings-Rejection

She stared at the words on her phone screen goodbye as her tears started to fall and the words blurred into a black squiggly mess. It’s how some people choose to communicate breaking up, getting fired, and ending friendships via text. It’s how disconnected and disingenuous our world has become when this is thought of as an appropriate form of communication. And yet knowing this didn’t stop the pain that she felt as the reality crashed down on her like a ton of emotional back logged sludge. Any way you slice the rejection pie it hurts. 

Goodbye-it seemed so easy to say after many years of a childhood friendship that ends in tatters and torment from one persons choices. She couldn’t understand the finality of those words but as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months it became abundantly clear. How was she supposed to break away from those feelings of guilt for stating an opinion, questions that were mistaken for judgement, how did she become enemy #1 when she had been supportive for so long? 

She wrestled with her own guilt and remorse for things spoken and not said. For all those times when death came knocking on ones door taking a loved one and how that friendship remained loyal and steadfast and supportive through those dark times. When she became so wrapped up in her own grief that she couldn’t breath through the tightness in her chest and her scalp where even her hair began to hurt! 

She was no stranger to grief as she had to say goodbye to her Grandparents, followed by the deaths of her Father and step sister who left the world in sickness and confusion. There was no one to save them from Cancer or a broken soul that couldn’t take the pain of living in the world any longer. Where she could still hear the incessant sound of the PSP pump when it ran out of morphine that was allowing her dear Dad to go gentle into that goodnight. A month after in her tear stained, grief encased fog she was met with the news of the suicide that her step sister took to end her pain. This death so fresh, shocking, and regrettable when the path of her existence of loss and devastation was to great to bear. She began to question what life was all about, how would she survive when her heart felt like it was literally broken in two, and how would she continue to get out of bed and raise her child? 

At one time there were loving arms to wrap around her as the death of her Mother brought her to a halt. When words failed her and she sang so loud and proud on the final day of goodbye that even heaven could hear her. Then after the song stopped and she closed her mouth the tears flowed and the grief wall overtook her like lava from an erupting volcano and burned up her heart. She couldn’t walk without assistance as her bulging pregnant belly and aching hips gave in to the world of loss around her. Words spilled out of her mouth but could find no meaning as they became fear infused stuttering. 

Somehow she managed to carry on and walk that path of hopelessness and loss and raise her children and live to face another day. She had successes, job transfers, losing and loving new friends that entered her life. Each move felt like another form of painful ending mixed with the excitement of a new beginning. So much so that she didn’t know if she really was coming or going in the chaotic existence she had carved out for herself. 

How did she say goodbye to a thirty year friendship, she didn’t have a choice she just had to let it go and grieve another loss in her life as her heart bled on the page once again…

  Today I share this with the #Mondaymusings link up hosted by Corinne of Write Tribe and co-hosted by Philosophers Stone

https://www.facebook.com/BraveGirlsClub/photos/a.143945461409.136897.138801301409/10153709766621410/?type=3

*Image used with permission from http://www.bravegirlsclub.com and found on their Facebook page hehttps://www.facebook.com/BraveGirlsClub/photos/a.143945461409.136897.138801301409/10153709766621410/?type=3re

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Wearing my heart on my sleeve 

I’ve always been an emotional person the wear my heart on my sleeve kind of gal. There’s times where I think I need to have a thicker skin or put my heart away so I don’t get so easily hurt. It comes part and parcel with being empathic I feel people’s feelings, and I can “touch” people’s energy. I know when someone isn’t good for me or my loved ones and I can stay clear. 

I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubtand not judge a book by its cover. It will still happen to me and someone I love, that’s the way of the world unfortunately. Today was just like any other day before preschool filled with excitement an anticipation.  My son loves going to school and he wears and shows his feelings with his whole body. He was so excited to stomp up the stairs and count with me. He loves seeing his teachers and playing with his favourite toys there.  For the last month him and I have considered this a safe, fun, and educational place. Today though something happened and I’m still trying to process it. 

I have something brewing in my mind and my heart. If I don’t get it out I think I will combust! I was sure as I mulled it over to see how I could’ve handled it differently it would evolve into a blog post at some point. Today I was waiting with my son for preschool to start. There was a couple of families there and a little girl was staring at my son. He was standing there stomping as it’s his new thing that he does to feel comfortable in his environment, to gain sensory input. It’s an eclosed narrow hallway so his stomping is quite loud with its sound vibrations. 

I asked him to please quiet his feet inside and a classmate of his looked at him and announced to her Mom that he was crazy. The Mom (who did not acknowledge me besides with nervous laughter) said to another parent at that age crazy is good. I stood there stupefied, angry, and hurt for my son. I told him you’re awesome and don’t let anyone change that! My son isn’t crazy he’s very busy and full of kinetic energy and must move to learn. He has Sensory Processing Disorder #SPD and this how his eight senses react to sensory input. 

We all know we have our five basic senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing, sound, and smell. There’s many more types of senses but I’ll focus on the other three I was referring to:

  1. Propriocepetion- gives you the ability to know where your body is in space within your environment in relation to your other body parts. Think of the song Head, shoulders, knees, and toes. 
  2.  Equilibrioception- relates to our vestibular sense that’s found in the inner ear. This sensory sense is all about our ability to balance and have agility. 
  3. Interoception- relates to our body’s sensory system to know when we’re hungry, thirsty, or the urge to eliminate. 

My son is constantly seeking sensory input as all these senses build up inside his brain, body, and central nervous system and cause a traffic jam. Some of his senses are strong and some are weak and how he needs to seek out input looks different to everybody.

 This misguided observation we encountered didn’t bother my son at all. He doesn’t see himself any differently from other kids. He continued stomping while I stood there stewing in my furiousness for this hurtful remark. He made music with his feet, all be it loud music and made a little girl dance. Then that started a chain reaction and another classmate started twirling and he was still smiling and stomping. 

Although I saw his happiness I felt my heart crack for my child. He’s not different he’s different abled and is receiving therapy from his team so that he can function better in a world that can at times misunderstand and judge him. On Oct. 8 th it’s Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness please spread the love, awareness, and educate for SPD. 

   
  

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesday

I was sitting here thinking of things from my past and about an old friend I lost much too soon. As my memories came flooding back so did my tears and then this quote came to be. Hold your loved ones close as we never how long God will lend them to us. 

  
This has been my contribution to  Silver Threading Writer’s Quotes Wednesday. Please check out her inspirational and very talented group. Thank you. ❤️

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Quotes make my heart sing

It’s day 3 of my quotes challenge and I woke up feeling inspired to share another. I want to thank Emmmanuel for nominating me for this lovely challenge, it’s been a lot of fun. 😃

Today I chose one of my own and I’m looking forward to reading what my nominations come up with. A good quote is like a warm hug. ❤️

  
Today I nominate three more lovely people in my WordPress life. The rules are simple pick a quote or share one of your own, share it and nominate three people each day for three days. 😊

1. A Momma’s View

2. Champa Mom

3. Bare Naked in Public

No go forth and be inspired and fill your mind and heart with quote love! ❤️

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One Liner Wednesday

I have been struggling lately with death, mortality, and grief. I live honestly and my pain is broadcast through my emotions. Sometimes I think I should hide more and feel less, but this moment put all my fears to rest. My preschooler son saw my tears and just wiped them away and said “Mom who hurt your heart?” I was so overcome with emotion I hugged him tight and said “life did, but you’re healing it honey.” ❤️

This has been my submission to Linda G Hill One Liner Wednesday. I didn’t have anything funny to share so today I shared something heartfelt. Please check out all the talent that link up. Thank you. 💕

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