Monday, March 17, 2008

"May the Road Rise Up to Meet You"

My Great-great grandmother on my mother's (mother's) side came to America straight from Ireland when she was a young woman. Her name was Mary Ann Cavanaugh, and she is listed in the Ellis Island records. She was employed as a governess for my Great-great grandfather's children, and when his wife died in childbirth, Mary Ann eventually became his second wife. Was he just looking for someone to raise all of his children, as my mom has often wondered, or was he truly in love with her? I will never know, but their marriage lasted for many years; both of them lived well into their 80s. My mother always made corned-beef and cabbage on St. Paddy's Day when we were growing up. Although I haven't eaten beef for years, I can still remember the warm, rich smells of that Irish meal cooking in our house. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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