“If you ever go across the sea to Ireland
Then maybe at the closing of your day
You will sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh
And watch the barefoot gossoons at their play ”
GEORGE GRAFF, ERNEST R. BALL, CHAUNCEY OLCOTT
I am so happy to write that I have been across the sea to Ireland
This beautiful country is known for its luscious green fields, old mysterious castles, Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, The Peace Bridge, St. Patrick’s Day, Belfast Harbour where the Titanic Ship was built and so many more.
My ancestral home of Northern Ireland is known for something as special to me as all of these and that is my Father! My Dad was so proud of his homeland and yet he had to venture out and eventually cross the Atlantic Ocean to Canada to find work and there he stayed.
My father gave me so many things throughout my life and one very important love he passed on was the sweet love for this beautiful country of Northern Ireland and all the relatives living there. He was born on a farm called The Breen, in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
Several years ago, before my father passed away, he and I flew over so he could reunite with his two brothers and two sisters and many many nieces and nephews. Oh, what a wonderful and exciting time this was! So many hugs and tears; so much excitement! The local newspaper would feature my father standing alongside his brother on the front page with the story of this long awaited 50 year reunion. You see, it took my father fifty years to find the courage and the money to make this seven hour flight in the big jet back over that vast Atlantic Ocean.
“How things have changed” he kept repeating! One day he decided, to everyone’s surprise, to go and search out the girl he left behind. His beloved wife, my Mother, had since passed away so he thought this search was quite alright and went on with everyone’s blessing to find this past lost love.
After spending the afternoon and eventually finding the lady whom he had left behind and whom he had possibly thought of now and again over the many years; he finally walked in the door where we were all waiting to hear about his adventure. He gave a big sigh and with face flushed and a big grin he said to all of us; “She’s become an old hagg”!! We just roared with laughter and the poor man appeared to be trying to hide his disappointment with all the Irish humour he could summon. That was my Dad!!!
I will never, ever forget that special trip as long as I live! How grateful I am that I was able to witness this amazing visit and how fortunate we were that all my father’s sibling were alive and fairly well at that time.
My Father along with his brothers and sisters have all passed away now but there are so many cousins whom I have formed a wonderful close bond with. They are my amazing family and how happy I am to have them.
As long as health permits I will be going across the sea to Ireland every summer and will always think about my father and how happy he was that he did too!