I love early Spring and its temperature swings from mild and sunny to downright chilly. One of my favorite Spring flowers was my grandfather’s as well…he called them Jonquils, but I always think of them as Daffodils. Here is a picture of the Daffodils my darling hubby gave me for my birthday.
March is one of my favorite months because right in the middle we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the one day my grandfather Purcell made sure to remind my brother, sisters, and I of how lucky we were that his father made the long journey over from Ireland when he was just a boy. He was so proud of his Irish roots.
But was it luck or good detective work that had me deciding to try a different spelling of his last name while searching the passenger lists at ancestry.com. Either way, I was delighted when I found his name on the list of the ship Calabria arriving in New York on June 19, 1871 from Ireland with his mother Ann Leach Purcell and confirmed the fact with a Census from 1930 where my great-grandfather noted on the form that he came over from Ireland in 1871!
I have a long way to go to find the town my great-grandfather came from in Ireland, there seems to be a family disagreement and depending on which relative you ask, the answer will be Dublin, Tipperary, or Cork. But they all agree that Loughmoe Castle in Tipperary is the ancestral castle of the Purcell family. Here’s a picture that used to be on the homepage of my website…and may be again soon…
March is the month my grandfather was born, March 9th, 1903, and the month in which he died March 19th, 1981. The last time I watched The Quiet Man with my grandmother was March 17, 1981, the family had all gathered after my grandfather’s last stroke—all except my one uncle who couldn’t get there until March 19th—the day my grandfather died. We all believe he waited to speak to his oldest son one last time. I like to watch John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara fall in love a few times a year, but definitely as St. Patrick’s Day draws closer, and when I do it feels like a hug from my grandparents.
Life’s memories should be both bitter and sweet, how else would we recognize the bitter without the sweet? Life isn’t for the faint of heart, and as my mom likes to remind me, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Thanks, mom! LOL!
Do you have any memories of March..bitter or sweet?