Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy 33rd Birthday Joshua






Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Aubree is a Month Old Today





Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Little Buttercup






Living Death

It's a living death. That is the only way I know how to describe it. I no longer cry for my youngest son or older granddaughter. Maybe, I am getting use to them being gone or perhaps I am coming to some sort of acceptance. It feels like another world. Things are all very different. I am getting ready to leave and visit another son and another granddaughter today. That son really misses his younger brother however he seems to be coming to some acceptance as well. I am sure his little daughter helps ease the pain. As a matter of fact, I believe God sent this precious gift to my family to bring hope and comfort that life goes on despite adversity and somehow we all learn how to survive. I cannot help that I am a deep thinker and I write serious thought provoking posts. I have always been this way and have always kept a written journal since I was 14 years old. I graduated from notebooks to an online blog.


Why do I bring all this up at this particular moment? I was organizing my Christmas ornaments and came across an ornament with a picture of my youngest son and his daughter on a Phillies baseball. They were both at a Phillies game and they were both laughing as my son held his daughter in his arms. I often wonder if Ava misses him. If she wonders where he has gone. I often wonder if she misses me and wonders where I have gone. Indeed it is painful to write let alone think too long on it so I need to move right along and keep looking forward instead of being pulled backward. Today is a good day. I will hold onto that.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Memories

I have been thinking about my boys and our lives as they were growing up. Did you know we had Family Night on Monday nights. As the boys became involved in the Boys' Club and soccer season became basketball season then onward to baseball season. We did not spend as much time as a family as we did when the boys were toddlers. So we had game night. Monday nights meant playing twister and the game of Life or 500 rummy. I can still remember Josh and Joey laughing as their mother (I) got tangled up on a game of twister. We kept careful score when playing cards and ate pizza and popcorn. When my youngest son was five years old, we had a pool in the backyard . I took Joey to Saturday morning swimming lessons at the "Y" because I feared he would figure out how to unlock the gate to the deck and drown in the pool. Josh and Shaun were already good swimmers because we vacationed a lot at hotels with pools or camped at places with a lake. The boys could dive as well as they did swim and the child whom I feared could drown became a swimmer on the grade school swim team. We were an active family. We played tennis and went skiing. We hiked trails and mountains. My boys grew up walking in old cemeteries in every state while their mother taught them about history. They grew up with a mother who was a lab supervisor at a Bucks County hospital and a weekend genealogist/tour guide. We went on tours in the night with flashlights on Halloween at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Laurel Hill was the same place their mother searched through stacks of records and wrote articles for the newsletter that came out monthly. A mother who conducted tours at the Dresher Morris house in Germantown on Sunday afternoons. Their mother went back to school when the youngest went into first grade and the lab supervisor behind the microscope became the counselor in a mental health facility behind a desk and the educator in front of the class. Their father was into computers and made a good salary and traveled to neat interesting places for business and we would travel with him to Nevada, Arizona, Florida, New Orleans or we planned vacations to Williamsburg, Jamestown, Disney World or the Jersey shores. Ambitious and determined and very competitive were we. And we had our struggles.


I guess it is normal to recall one's past as one becomes older. I remember my grandmother telling stories of her past. There were many happy moments in our lives and despite the difficult times, we never lost focused of what our family was all about. We are strength in numbers. I have three sons and four grandchildren. I raised three boys and now I watch as my two grandsons and two granddaughters grow the very same way my own children grew. They grow up way too fast and as a young mother I was too busy to notice the quickness of time. To grow is to live.


Crayons and coloring books, paper airplanes and puzzles, toy soldiers and baseballs, movies and popcorn, swimming pools and barbeques. I remember every sweet moment. I hope they remember too.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

1901 Census Record From Killala County Mayo Ireland Boland Family

 Residents of a house 2 in Kilroe (Killala, Mayo)


I came across a link to a genealogy site in Ireland and came across this document under the 1901 census record for my Boland family who began to emigrant to the United States in 1902. The house on #2 Kilroe located in the village of Killala just North of Ballina in County Mayo no longer stands as I located the spot via aerial shot of the area where the house once stood and located new development in the area surrounded by farm land. The farmland still exists however the house has been replaced. I remember my grandmother telling me stories of the Bolands in Ireland who were farmers unlike the Gallaghers who were fishermen in Donegal. My grandmother was the only child of Bridget Boland and John McCaffery (McCafferty) identified here as the second eldest child of John and Ellen Boland. My grandmother told me stories of Mary Boland coming to the United States first in 1902 then followed by Bridget (Agnes) then Kate (Katherine) then John, Ellen and the last two children known as Ellen and John. John Boland resided in Lower Merion on the grounds of Westminster Cemetery in a house on River Road and worked the grounds of the cemetery in exchange for free housing. My granddaughter told me that John liked living on the vast grounds of Westminster because it reminded him of the farm in County Mayo. I really do not know why the Bolands emigrated to the United States instead of remaining in Ireland. I only know they followed Mary Boland and her husband Bernard Cafferty. What is interesting about this document is it clearly stated that neither John nor his wife Ellen could read however all their children could read and write. All were Roman Catholics. Bridget was listed as a scholar which tells me she was currently a student when the census was taken on March 31, 1902. As a genealogist, I get really excited when I discover another piece of my family record. I cannot explain how it feels to see where they lived, how they worked, where they prayed. It makes them so very real. My grandmother was just three years old when her mother died in 1915 and raised by grandparents as well as her Aunt Kate only to go through life never knowing what her own mother looked like. I do not know if pictures were never taken or if pictures were hidden from my grandmother. My greatest wish is to one day discover a picture of Bridget in which some relative somewhere has in their collection.

Friday, January 09, 2015

While Mom Mom Was Away

Joshua kept me in pictures







Thursday, January 08, 2015

Road Trip Day Six

Tennessee to North Carolina to Virginia
Tail of the Dragon