Tag Archives: grandparents

Salt of the earth

Unfortunately, I never was able to meet either set of my grandparents in person. Technically, my mother was pregnant with me when my parents paid a visit to my mother’s family farm in Tennessee. She didn’t know at the time that it would be the last time she would see her beloved mother alive.

Of course, my mother was full of childhood stories, and she adored both of her parents. Her dad was more stern, a hardworking farmer who supported a large family on the fruits of his labor while being a diabetic, which was much harder to medically manage at the time. He worked until his dying day.


Her mother was equally hardworking, helping in the fields and managing the household. She was an amazing cook and helped keep the peace with eight children with her kind heart and patience.

One of my favorite stories that my mother told about her parents was when grandpa tried to get rid of a farm dog that wasn’t pulling its weight when it came to herding. He tried to take Scott up into the hills and abandon him in the woods, but the dog returned, with bloody paws, determined to remain part of the family. Grandma intervened on behalf of old Scott and grandpa backed down, sparing the lazy but loving dog’s life. Mom certainly adopted grandma’s love of animals.

Both parents had a good sense of humor as well, which my mother certainly inherited. That’s why I love this photo, one of the few I have of my maternal grandparents together. Grandpa is letting just a hint of a smile cross his face, while looking pretty satisfied, and grandma is laughing with pure joy.

Simple people, with love of family and life.


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Dad reunited with his mother

My aunt told my mother that the family took part of Dad’s ashes and scattered them on their mother’s grave in Ireland. And then, being good Catholics, sprinkled the ground with holy water. So my Dad is reunited with his beloved mother at long last.

I don’t know if a photo exists of my grandmother, Catherine, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one. I did see a photo of my grandfather, Joseph, on his mass card. I know little about either of my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family. My dad spoke highly of his mother, he obviously loved her dearly and always said how sweet and hard-working she was. He had very little to say about his father. From what I have gathered, his father would be away from home a lot working, so he did not bond with his children the way Catherine did.

Who knows which came first, but Dad was more of the sensitive type, the young man who loved to read and write, not the kind who liked to engage in “manly” pastimes like working with tools. So he naturally gravitated towards his mother, and it probably helped that he had multiple sisters but only one brother. So the family was dominated by women.

I think it turned out to be a good thing, and I guess it turned out right that I was a girl. Dad always was very respectful of women, having been raised “right” by so many women back home.

I’m glad he is reunited with his mother at long last, if only symbolically. I know it is what he would have wanted.

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