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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Monday Musings-the lies we tell ourselves

I’m a truthful person I’ve been taught to always be honest but never cruel, to be appreciative and not take things or people for granted. To always speak from my heart instead of inventing a lie. There’s one lie I’ve told myself is that I’m fine. I’m really not when I say that, it’s a easy way of letting the world know I have it together. 

Even though it appears like I do I really don’t, I’m struggling and I hide behind the mask that I present to world. I always think about that quote 

“Be kind to others, because everyone is fighting their own secret battles.”

I am a kind and loving person and I’m raising my children to be this way as well. I teach them to tell the truth, and to let them know they can tell their parents anything. I give them the opportunity to tell the truth first then give consequences if they’re not honest with me. I don’t want them to think it’s ok to tell me they’re fine when they’re not. Or that “I didn’t do it”or “I don’t know broke” the lamp. 

We tell ourselves these lies because it’s hard to face the truth sometimes. But even though it’s an old cliche the truth will set us free. There’s nothing to remember when you tell the truth, there’s nothing that needs to be created when honesty is the best policy. I’m dealing with a situation right now of lies being told. I have given the opportunity to hear the truth but wasn’t given that respect.

 So now there are consequences and disappointment. Why do we have to hide behind a mask of untruths instead of just being honest? Why does it feel better to lie and make ourselves feel better than ripping off the bandaid and exposing ourselves? It’s easier to hide behind a facade then to be real with ourselves. This is a foreign concept for me as I was taught the truth is a positive way to live my life. 

To be lied to is to be disrespected, and the hurt that arises from that is crushing. I don’t need to build myself up with a house of cards where the truth is distorted and I can’t tell what is real or what is not. Whether it happens sooner or later that house of deception comes crashing down around you. Be real, it’s the only way to feel good about yourself don’t build yourself up into being someone you don’t recognize or respect. 

I’m going to start taking my own advice when people ask me how I’m doing I’m not going to say fine. I will tell the truth I’m happy the sun’s shining, I’m struggling but I’m finding a way to cope. I owe it to myself to speak the truth and not hiding behind a mask I’ve created out of fear.  William Shakespeare is one of my favourite poets and playwrights and he spoke the truth when he created this simple but profound quote. 

“To thine own self be true”

It’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.
Visit and comment on the posts of other bloggers linked here.

Share the love.

Today’s co-hosts are Everyday Gyaan and Tales of Two Tomatoes

  

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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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I don’t pretend to be something I’m not

I’m a truthful person I always have been, and always will be. I can be tactful if someone asks me a honest question. I don’t go out my way to be brutally honest but I won’t sugar coat the truth either. I wasn’t raised that way to be a waffler and float between lies and half truths. I don’t go about feigning the truth and pretend to be something I’m not.

 I’m a straight shooter, because that’s who I was raised to be. I was around both kinds of people growing up though the liars and the truth tellers.  I believe it gave me a strong perspective on who I wanted to grow up to be in my life. Recently I was faced with a situation of being honest or being politically correct in a delicate situation. 

I chose honesty and that wasn’t received very well.  Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything, maybe I should’ve just bit my tongue and not voiced my truth. That’s a lot of maybes in a bucket, and honestly that just isn’t me. I never pretend to be something I’m not for anyone. Not my husband, children, family or my friends. That  may make me a weirdo, or quirky, or too hot to handle but I know one thing it does make me, is comfortable in my own skin.

 

 I see a lot of professions based on dishonesty and it turns my stomach. All you have to do is turn on the tv and see and hear all the lies and half truths spewing from any election candidate. We live in the information world and can find out anything we want at a the click of a button. I think politicians should give us the public, credit for being intelligent and educated individuals.

 My son at the tender age of 8 has become interested in politics. I’m breaking one of my rules by discussing politics and religion, but like all his interests I encourage him to learn more. He was quite shocked to find out that he could never be President ! I told him we’re Canadian and we have a Prime Minister that runs our country. I never mentioned he did that well, just that he’s the boss and he has members of parliament for each province that answer to him.  

I won’t get into the checkered past of politicians  Canadian or American,  with him.  I don’t want to take the bloom off the rose just yet. He’ll figure it out in time he’s a smart boy. So here I am encouraging my son’s political aspirations and at the same time keeping him truthful and just. I think children can learn a lot by how the adults in their life treat each other. 

I want my children to know that they count on me as being truthful and supportive. I won’t pull the wool over their eyes and I always encourage the truth. I won’t let them be beguiled and told there’s sunshine when it’s raining. I’m raising them to be thoughtful, compassionate, kind, caring, loving men who will go out and make a difference in this world. I want their hearts, minds, and spirits embroiled in the truth. I was taught that honesty is the best policy. Even if it sounds like an old cliche the truth will really set you free. 

This is my Sunday confession for the lovely More Than Cheese and Beer. Please check out her anonymous confessions and the other talent that link up. Thank you.

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Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays

Here is my late edition to Silver Threading Writer’s Quotes Wednesday. I couldn’t think up anything last week so I went browsing through my pictures and the words just suddenly came to me. Enjoy and please click on and check out all the talent who link up. 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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These Eyes of Mine

I look at these eyes of mine ,bluer than blue staring back at me from the mirror. The crystal blueness takes me back as I see one tear slipping across my cheek. There’s a vast ocean of pain that these eyes of mine hide. I do my best to deal with it, hide it, and keep it all in until it’s pouring forth like a waterfall of emotion. I think to my past and wonder if I could’ve been better. A better daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. I think of all these roles I played from a young age. I became an aunt at the age of six, and I was quite used to being the youngest child in my family. 

I sat on my Dad’s lap and watched my big brother holding this tiny baby. I had a mixture of emotion as I looked at him. Curiosity, excitement, and yes even jealousy. My Dad had left when I was four I remember it all too well; the crying, shrieking, and red hot anger of my Mom as she chased him out of the house. He was running for his life as she brandished a knife, and I knew this was a women on the edge between sanity and survival. He had pushed her to a breaking point and she had pushed back. My Dad left, ran out of our house and didn’t look back. He took on a new family, responsibilities, and lived in their home. 

I visited every weekend and holidays and this never felt like my home.  I was a guest and nothing more, and I struggled to feel comfortable in my own skin. This wasn’t my Mom, bedroom, or backyard. This was too much newness for a little four year old girl to understand. I didn’t feel like I was special, wanted, or appreciated. I remember attending kindergarten in the fall. I was badly in need of a haircut and it was picture day on Monday. This would be my first and last haircut that my step Mom ever gave me. I couldn’t sit still the bowl on my head was heavy and cumbersome. The hairs tickled my nose and made me sneeze. It was an overstimulatmg sensory experience and everyone just thought I was misbehaving. I was called a brat and left on my own after that. 

I looked in the mirror and saw this ragamuffin hairdo and I cried bitterly the rest of the weekend. My first Kindergarten picture and I looked like I had cut my hair with a butterknife! My Mom was furious and tried to fix it but the damage was done. I couldn’t even smile for that Godforsaken picture. It tore me up inside to look so ridiculous. The taunts, jeers, and stares overwhelmed me. I spent more time hiding or throwing my fists around to avoid any confrontation. I was no stranger to it in fact I welcomed it, then someone knew I was there and mattered. After that hideous haircut I avoided going near a pair of scissors or that stool again. 

Then just like everything that floats around elementary schools and germ warfare I got lice at the age of six. I was horrified and scared about what was happening to me as I scratched my head until it bled. My Mom blamed my Dad, my Dad blamed my Mom and I was sent to stay with my Grandparents for a week. I remember sitting in the purple clawfoot tub as my Gram rubbed pink calamine lotion over my head, neck, and eyebrows. I felt that hot water pouring over me and watching those dead bugs lying in the tub. As they swirled down the drain my tears mixed with the pink liquid as it streamed down my face and into my eyes. It burned a lot, but not as much as my hot humiliation of having contracted the condition anyway. 

These eyes of mine have seen a lot of pain, hidden a lot of lies, and have yet continued to be my windows of truth. These are memories I’ve stored away in the tiny box that I’ve buried in my mind. Then something will trigger it and like Pandora’s ill fated box it will open up again. These emotional scars I wear on my heart threaten to overtake me at times. I watched something tonight about children and what their Father represented to them. Some said pride, confidence, anger, pain, love, and nothing but emptiness because he was gone. This struck a nerve with me. A jangling nerve trigger that was hanging in the balance. And my bluer than blue eyes welled up with tears while I struggled to gain my composure. My children will never know of my pain, they will never experience that uncertainty or need to doubt their existence. They will know only love, guidance, respect, and firmness when discipline is needed. They will know only of my joy and gratitude when they blessed me with their arrival.  They will know that they are and will always be, the key to my heart. ❤️

 

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One liner Wednesday 

We all have those moments when we feel less than, worthless, and beat ourselves up for our mistakes. I’m no different than you or any other parent in the making a life game. Today my son taught me through it all one sentence can make a difference. 

“Thank you for my happy Mommy” 

This has been my submission to https://Lindaghill.com. Please check out her one liner and all the other talent who link up. Thank you. 💕

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One liner Wednesday

I’ve been thinking of what inspires me lately and I came across a beautiful quote. I will share it with you today.

“Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I’m not perfect, and I don’t live to be.
But before you start pointing fingers make sure you’re hands are clean.”

-Bob Marley

This powerful quote is my submission to http://lindaghill.com One liner Wednesday. Please check out her talent and all the others that link up. Thank you. 💓

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