March 13, 2011

she was an Irish women

With St Patrick's Day only a few days away I can't help but think of my grandmother, she was a proud woman. Her name was Mary Fenton, born in County Cork Ireland and one of twelve children.

She immigrated to this country as a young women with three of her brothers. She married my grandfather Henry who was also an immigrant but from Canada. After first living in Lynn, Mass. they then they moved to Brooklyn NY. where they raised five children thee daughters and two sons, my father Henry was their second child.

 And although it always puzzled me why she rarely spoke of Ireland, I know she missed her family there. I remember when she would receive letters from her sister Kit who was only a small child when she left Ireland.  She would carry the letters in her apron and I would watch her with curiosity carefully unfold them and read and re-read them, wiping away a  tear when she thought nobody was watching.

Nana & Daddy
I can close my eyes now as I write this post and see her sitting  in front of her sewing machine making clothes for me and many other family members all who benefited from her sewing talents. She made all her own clothes as well.  She had a closet full of pants suits- remember when they were in style? She never wore another dress after they came into fashion.

Many a day we'd walk up the avenue together hand in hand to Woolworth's and have lunch at the lunch counter. Followed by a trip to church to light candles for those of our family member who had passed. As a child I would kneel at the alter copying everything that she did wanting to be just like her, her faith was so strong, unwavering.

She loved to bake bread in these old black pans that were Popa's, my Grandfather was a baker; I think bread baking reminded her of him and filled the entire house with the most wonderful aroma. But no matter what her day time activity every evening she'd assume her position in her chair in the living room in the house she shared with my parents, my brothers and I and she would  and  knit or crochet and watch the news and her favorite game shows.

Nana- cousins Pat (left) Genevieve (right)
me  Jen in front

I will always remember our talks, our walks and the clothes she made lovingly for me.

I couldn't imagine my life without her, she was a good example and a role model. I will carry her strength with me every day of my life. She was a good and decent person she was an Irish women. 

1 comment:

  1. Just read the one you wrote about my mother and was truly brought to tears as I can remember her as if she were sitting right here with me. She was, as you said, a truly remarkable woman whom I still cherish dearly. The Irish sure make some great people.

    Let's all send her a toast on St. Patrick's Day. Pass the word. And also remember her birthday, March 25th.


    Aunt Genevieve


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