Today I introduce a new blog category on Irish American Mom. If you take a look at the menu bar, you will notice an additional section called Immigrant Tales. Here, I plan to post ‘Coming to America’ stories, either from this modern era or from centuries past. Tomorrow I will publish our first guest post, a poignant tale of family discovery in Ireland, from an Irish American writer Charles R. Hale.
The owner of Molly Malone’s, an Irish bar in Louisville, Kentucky, often meets locals who beam with pride when talking about their Irish roots, yet really have limited knowledge of their family stories. He recounts how one customer proudly announced his grandfather was born in Ireland, but had no idea what town, city or county his grandad hailed from. Grandfather is a very close relative, being only two generations back. I realized how quickly we lose connection, if we do not share our stories.
For many American families their past is slipping away. Those with knowledge of personal immigration tales are passing on, taking their family history with them to the grave. I firmly believe we need to record our stories, before there is no one left who remembers our family folklore; before there is no one left to tell us where we came from.
In the nineteenth century many Irish American stories were lost, never committed to the annals of history. In the years after the Great Hunger, the Irish became a silent people. Memories of this devastating calamity were just too painful to recall.
We always believe opportunities to record await us in the future. Our busy lives prevent us finding the extra moments required to write our memories, to record our family stories. Time marches on, and unfortunately by the time we are ready to write, it is often too late to document these precious family anecdotes or jokes, memories or memoirs, fables or wind-swept, historical sagas.
My desire to record my story inspired me to create this blog. I plan to print some of my ramblings, creating a bound volume for my children to read in the future. In ten or fifteen years they’ll probably disregard my Irish American memories as Mom’s senile journey. Yet maybe, when they have children of their own, their curiosity will be kindled.
If they show no interest I can read my journal myself, refreshing my memory when there are cobwebs in my brain. Who knows, I may have dementia some day! A scattered memoir such as this may bring moments of joy, if I still have the where-with-all to read. Or perhaps, when I am blind as a bat, one of my children may read these pages for me, bringing some joy to an old lady.
And so, I encourage you to write your family stories before it is too late. If you would like to share your tale, I invite you to use this blog as your platform. Whatever corner of the globe you hail from, I love warm, touching American success stories. Please check out my submission page for contact information. Further guidelines for guest posts are available by e-mail.
I am excited about this new section and look forward to hearing your wonderful immigration tales.
Slan agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
P.S. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for our very first immigrant tale.