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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Green

I’m happy to link up with Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill. Green is a symbolic colour in my family. We’re 1/3 Irish on my Mom’s side so you can imagine how important St. Patrick’s day was when I was growing up. We would say our prayers, honour St. Patrick and have my ancestors recipe of delicious Irish Mulligan stew.

There was one thing that confused me though could a certain colour of green denote danger? I was told if we were to wear Paddy green that it was bad luck. When you grow up with Irish ancestry a lot of superstitions are a part of life so I just didn’t question it.

I didn’t know what shade of green was paddy anyways so I chose not to wear until I was an adult. Then one day my Mom came to visit me and I was taking her shopping. I came out dressed in a new t-shirt I had bought recently and heard her exclaim “oh no you’re wearing paddy green!”

I went back to my bedroom and changed immediately. I know that may make some laugh as I was grown woman. But when my Mom starting making the sign of the cross and praying the Our Father I took this outburst seriously.

After we got to the food court I asked my Mom what was the superstition connected to that particular colour of green. She had told me my Great Grandparents immigration to Canada, tales of the Irish banshee that had a body of a dog and a face like a scary villain out of Grim’s stories. But really paddy green what was the fear of that?

She had explained that when someone in our family had worn the colour that a relative would die. At first I scoffed then I looked deep into her eyes and was ashamed because there was a belief and fear there.

Who was I to question the validity of a belief she held all throughout her life? After this insightful conversation we went back home and I made her a cup of tea and her favourite treat scones, like my Gram used to make. I cherish those memories and keep our Irish traditions alive with my own children.

My favourite thing about St. Patrick’s day is that there’s no expectations on this day. No need to get dressed up and go out to anyone’s for dinner, or get out of your pyjamas for that matter. The only thing you need to do is be happy, drink green beer, and sing Danny Boy.

In my family I make the green pancakes and potato patties like I would have as a child. And for one day out of the year I speak with an Irish accent. I’m putting those years of theatre training to good use. Also it makes my kids happy, and I love to hear their giggles when I break into song and kick up my heels in an Irish jig. I think the world could use a lot more happy traditions so I wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s day and may the luck of the Irish be with you.

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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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Aware

I don’t know when the day was or how the feeling came to be, but I’ve always been aware that I was different. I wasn’t a shy child, I had an insatiable curiosity about life. I wanted to know about people, what made them tick, their likes and dislikes. Before I was born my Gram told my Mom I would be special. So on the day I made my arrival my Mom, Dad, and Gram were tossing around names for me. My Mom suggested Lisa, my Dad liked it but my Gram said no I will name her after a movie star I just seen in a magazine. So my fate was decided then and there. I always wanted to be an actress I knew enough about old Hollywood and the silver screen then any other five year old did. 

My friends at school didn’t know who any of my favourites were and thought I was weird since their minds were on Star Wars, Mork and Mindy, and Disney. I enjoyed these movies and tv shows too but there was a whole other wonderful world that awaited me in the movie pictures. My Mom encouraged my love of the classics in cinema and literature and  relished  each with joy. Not to many eight year olds could quote Shakespeare and discuss Charles Dickens and know what they were prattling on about.  I could though, and my Mom and Gram called me their old soul. It was a wonderful way to grow up, it was like I had a secret life that I could share with the adults I loved. 

I also seen auras around people, and at a young age I called them rainbows. I thought everyone could see them. I also had visitations from some people I knew and many I didn’t. I still remember the day I saw my friend crying over her dog that had died. I said it’s ok he’s not really gone, he’s sitting on your lap. My Mom got a phone call about that exchange and I had to pretend that my imagination got the best of me. Some friends just accepted that’s how I was without questions. My Mom protected me the best she could in my reality but in my dreams no one could. I seen things I never wanted to see, visions of things that scared me and some things that gave me happiness. 

When did I become aware of the fact I am empathic you may ask? I think it was when I was seven years old. I realized not everyone could see the “rainbows” around them or others. And a lot of people got uncomfortable around me when I discussed them. So I just learned to be quiet and not tell anyone I had a gift. It was something special I shared with my Mom, Gram, and her family. I still remember the stories my sweet Gram would tell me of her Mother’s visions. 

There was a time when my Gram was quite young and working as a housekeeper at a hotel. Her bosses loved her and doted on her. Then one night she went out of town for a dance. She had gone out on a group date as was the style back then, and her sister accompanied her. They had a fabulous time and were coming back into town since both of them had to work the next day. There was a car accident and down went the car over the side of the cliff. My Gram told me all she remembered seeing was a white light and floating. She woke up in a bed in the hotel she worked at being cared for by her bosses wife. 

My Gram came from a family of nine and all the children lived at home and worked to support the family. So her boss and his family decided they would look after her, and wouldn’t let my Great Grandma know what had happened to her. They had to avoid this because she had a very bad heart, and they were afraid that the shock would kill her. After several weeks while my Gram was being nursed back to health from a broken neck, my Great Grandma was tired of the excuses of not seeing her daughter. So she marched up to the hotel and demanded to see her. Luckily my Gram was on the mend but little did she know that her Mom knew something was wrong as she dreamt about the accident happening! 

I’ve always had the sight, the Irish eye is what my Gram called it. It was passed down from my ancestors to my Gram, to my Mom, and to me. I have relatives that have a strong psychic nature. It’s something I’ve passed down to my own children as well. And the older I get the stronger it becomes. The same thing happened to my Mom as she went from being clairvoyant to clairaudient and clairsensient. A transition that gradually happened as she had spent her whole life being connected to the spirit world. I’ve paid attention to this sixth sense, this inner knowing all my life. It’s much a part of me as my blonde hair and blue eyes. 

I’m aware that not everyone will understand it and fear me or my gift. It is human nature to fear the things we don’t know, or understand. The spirit of God always guides me to like minded people who share the gift or want to learn more about it. I always know when there’s good people and not so good people. I can feel vibrations in speech, energy patterns, and in conversation. I don’t hang out my shingle and set up shop for readings like some people do. I know when I’m guided to help someone as the energy vibration will lead me to them. 

I’m very grateful that God blessed me and my family with a psychic sense. My Mom always told me to never fear it, but not to abuse it either. She said a great responsibility comes from using the sense properly. And that’s what I teach my children as well. A gift from God is to be used to help, heal, and never to harm or hinder. So I keep my thoughts to myself even when I see or I’m aware of the outcome. It’s like a present that gets unwrapped when I need it. But I’m always watchful, careful, and aware of my surroundings as to who’s watching me. 

This has been my submission to Sunday confessions of http://www.morethancheeseandbeer.com. Please check out her confession, the anonymous ones on her Facebook, and all the other talent who link up. Thank you for stopping by. 😊

 

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The Journey- A limerick

This journey I will take.
Before my wee heart will break.
Into the vast unknown.
I rise to the challenge
Even though I feel alone.

This is my first attempt at writing a poem in the Irish limerick style. I hope I didn’t offend my Celtic ancestry by doing so. Day 2 of my assignment with Blogging 201-Poetry

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Words Upon the Page

What could I place here except my words upon the page? Of love, lust, romance, in the pages that I read. Or of how I like to write in the still of the night while listening to the sounds of slumber. Of dreams I’ve had, thoughts I created, and books I wish to have wrote. I’m a just a mere vessel giving birth to the language of my heart. To read, to write, to feel the passion inside bursting forth from me.

Where does it come from, how did it come to be, this deep raw emotion inside of me? It came from my birth as I yearn for a time before me. Of castles, royalty, peasants, and the like. The call of my ancestors haunts me and I wish to walk in their footsteps. To feel what they felt, and hear what they heard, and wrap myself up in their majestic memories. Of Celtic tales of long ago cradling me in it’s mossy, lovely, presence as the ghosts of the past come back to life and I live vicariously through them. My Celtic blood runs strong in my veins, and I long to be free to explore these dreams and visions that come to me.

Of a little girl with a head of strawberry curls, and she beckons to me in the ethers. Shall I follow her and if I did where would we go? Would I end up on the lost island of Hye Brazil lost long ago within the shroud of mystery. I hear the call of my homeland to a place I only know in my dreams. Where fields of green greet me and I feel a chill in the air as the waves crash against the craggy cliffs. And I’m transported in time and space as I take the hand of the little girl with the strawberry curls, and she giggles and dances with glee, as I sit down to rest.

“Where are we going dear one. I ask?” “To the land that you love the best.” “Where do you come from my sweet one, and why is it me you seek?” ” I come from the land as the same as you, the beauty of the north, the strong and true.” I come to the homelands of my parents birth as you can see, it’s the most beautiful place on earth.” I did not seek you, I just came as you called, I’ve answered your hearts yearning and have calmed your fears.” She answered. As I see beauty all around me I must dry my tears. As the waves pound against the shore and I find myself craving more. The Irish sea rises up to greet me as I tiptoe across the sand, I know in all sincerity this is my homeland.
 

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